Earlier this week, Filip Miucin was terminated from IGN over plagiarism allegations. Filip was accused by Deadite of Boomstick Gaming of copying his Dead Cells review, and after an investigation, IGN agreed and terminated the former Nintendo news editor’s employment. Fillip released a video regarding the claims on his personal YouTube channel, containing the following response:
“I take complete ownership over what happened with the Dead Cells review. There were a lot of circumstances surrounding it, but at the end of the day, I was the editorial lead on it, so if anything, that makes it my responsibility. My review process isn’t really different from other reviewers that I’ve met working as a professional in the games media industry, and the formula stays the same for whatever product I’m reviewing. I do as much research as I can about it, whether its a game, a product, or an event, I try to look at all resources I have available to me before I start formulating my own critical opinions, so I can offer the most cohesive possible review. The bottom line is that what happened with the Dead Cells review was not at all intentional, so with that said, I just want to apologise to everybody at IGN for all of the undeserved critiscisms and doubt that may have been sparked in their credibility as a respected source for games media.”
Though this may not be the end of things. When games media site, Kotaku, reported on the situation, news editor Jason Schreier discovered that another of Miucin’s reviews, specifically his review of FIFA 2018, bared some striking similarities to Chris Scullion of Nintendo Life’s review on the same game.
Kotaku cited the following comparisons:
“It actually works well; as long as you aren’t a stickler for intricate animation detail, you’re going to have fun here. It runs smoother than a greased-up jazz musician too, with a full 60 frames per second in both docked and handheld mode making for a silky performance and the general feel that you’re playing a high quality product. Although its (slightly less silky-smooth) cutscenes and other close-up moments reveal that the character models are a good deal less detailed than their Xbox One and PS4 counterparts, squint a bit during normal gameplay and you’d genuinely struggle to tell the difference.” – Chris Scullion, Nintendo Life
But when you’re playing the game, it actually works really well, and it’s easy to look past the graphical setbacks. Because whether you’re playing docked or undocked, the game seems to run at a consistent 60 frames per second, which looks silky smooth and really leaves you feeling like you’re having a true triple-A home console experience but on a console you can take with you on the go. However, when you get up close and get a good look at some of the character models, it’s pretty clear they do have a good amount of less detail than the Xbox One and PS4 versions do, but any imperfections are pretty much unnoticeable during gameplay. – Filip Miucin, personal YouTube channel
The discovery prompted Scullion to create a similar comparison video to Deadite’s, which may be seen below.
Miucin responded to these claims in a video on his personal YouTube channel.
“I was lucky enough to get noticed on IGN through my YouTube channel, which, if incase you’re wondering, is infact all of my own original work. So you can keep looking, Kotaku, and please, let me know if you find anything. Which, by the way, their news editor, Jason Schreier, tried to imply that my FIFA 18 review was also inauthentic by claiming that I copied it from Nintendo Life, and that’s just, so not the case. I mean, maybe he was implying that if you have similarly opinionated reviews, then you’re just plagiarising, or maybe he’s just trying to get as many clicks off of my name right now as possible, or maybe, he just likes kicking people when they’re down. I don’t know.”
That bluff of asking Kotaku to discover more, though, seems to have backfired; Kotaku received an anonymous tip alerting them to similarities between Sean Buckley of Enganet’s review of Metroid: Samus Returns and Miucin’s own review of the game. You can read Kotaku’s discovered similarities on their article, here.
Plagiarism is not a new occurrence in the video game industry, but is often more associated with developers as opposed to games media. Plagiarism Today postulates that the spread of the Internet and changing attitudes towards copyright may be responsible for an apparent rise in general plagiarism, but Times Higher Education counters that plagiarism rates, at least academically, are actually lower. Regardless, plagiarism is not acceptable, and readers expect reviews to reflect one’s own personal experience of a product. Miucin’s response video may be found below.