Last week, IGN editor Filip Miucin was fired for doing the one thing a professional writer should never do: plagiarizing someone else’s work.
On Aug. 6, IGN published its video review of “Dead Cells,” a new rogue-like game. Later that day, indie YouTuber Boomstick Gaming released a video showing some pretty conclusive evidence that the IGN reviewer, Miucin, watched Boomstick’s video, which only had a few thousand views at the time, and copied many of his points.
Here’s just one of many similarities between the reviews:
“This combat system is fast, fluid, responsive and one of the most rewarding representations of 2D combat of the entire genre,” Boomstick says during his review.
“Fights are fast, fluid, responsive and hands down one of the most gratifying representations of video game combat I’ve ever experienced,” Miucin’s review says.
IGN responded correctly by taking down Miucin’s review while investigating Boomstick’s claim. Miucin was later fired, and IGN published a different review from a different writer. If you ask me, they should have hired Boomstick for the assignment, since IGN did profit off of his work for at least a day.
The story doesn’t end there, however. Kotaku investigated and found evidence that Miucin, a once-professional video game journalist, has plagiarized his game reviews at least twice before. There are probably other uncovered examples of his laziness out there, so it’s baffling that a writer for one of the most visited websites in the world got away for this for as long as he did.
It’s also confusing as to why he would do this in the first place.
Being a video game reviewer is not a hard job. Trust me—I’ve done it several times before. Your job is to play through a video game and then write about your experience. To cheat at either of those simple and frankly fun tasks shows how incredibly lazy Miucin is.
What really irks me is that for many, myself included, being a video game journalist is a dream job. I know several people who would give an arm and a leg to take Miucin’s place and write video game reviews and cover the industry professionally. Instead, the job went to a plagiarizer who got away with it for far too long. That irks me.
Also frustrating is the fact Miucin won’t take responsibility for his actions. In a now-deleted YouTube video, Miucin said his plagiarism was “not at all intentional.” He didn’t even apologize to Boomstick Gaming for copying and profiting off his hard work. I find that disgraceful.
This whole fiasco shows there are still ethical problems in gaming journalism. In the past four years, there have been several uncovered examples of collusion, corruption, cronyism and general dishonesty in many corners of the video game journalism world, and plagiarism is just one part of that. Clearly, there is still work to do.
At least IGN responded correctly by taking down Miucin’s review, firing him, and publishing a new review, and Kotaku did right by investigating his history of plagiarism. Other games journalists online are condemning Miucin’s actions (while some are lambasting another journalist for, understandably, wanting to interview Micuin about his actions, but that’s another story).
I hope unethical folks such as Miucin are run out of the industry. There are better journalists than him waiting in the wings for their chance to do the job with honesty and integrity.