IGN Removes Dead Cells Review Following Accusations of Plagiarism

This is Niche Culture. In this column, we regularly cover anime, geek culture, and things related to video games. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s something you want us to cover!

IGN have removed a review for Dead Cells after accusations of plagiarism.

The claim comes from Youtuber Boomstick Gaming. He noticed that Filip Miucin’s IGN review of Dead Cells on August 6th had several sentences and phrases that were identical to his own video review on July 24th.

He later made a comparison video (which you can view below):

While he compares IGN’s video review to his own- it should be noted IGN’s written reviews usually follow what is said in their videos. The IGN review does have differences, though there are several sentences that are the same with synonymous adjectives interchanged. Further, the structure of the reviews also bear similarities. Such as the order the different aspects of the game are discussed in. While there are going to be similarities when discussing something non-subjective such as how the game’s mechanics work, the IGN review even shares the same positives and negatives that Boomstick Gaming mentioned in his review.

Boomstick Gaming points out these comparisons in the description to his video:

Boomstick Gaming: Dead Cells takes the progression of a metroidvania and integrates it into this procedurally generated action rogue lite…
IGN: It takes the progression system of a metroidvania and transforms it into a procedurally generated action rogue lite…

Boomstick Gaming: In Dead Cells you will need to kill your way through a labyrinth of levels all punctuated by boss encounters that starts off quite linear but the more you play the more routes and game mechanics open up to you. You might not be able to make it to the final boss on your current run but if you can manage to salvage some blueprints for some new gear or better yet, a ability altering rune, it makes it all worth your while….
IGN: In Dead Cells you fight your way through a ever changing labyrinth of levels with branching paths, your almost guaranteed not to make it all the way through on every run, but as your efforts lead you to blueprints that unlocked new gear, it makes it all worth your while….

Boomstick Gaming: In most games of this genres your coolest skills and spells are often set to stricky long recharge timers or a limited mana system but in Dead Cells, your abilities have incredibly quick recharges and allow you to seamlessly integrate these gadgets in normal encounters and doesn’t make you feel penalized for using your cool stuff. This combat system is fast, fluid, responsive and one of the most rewarding representation of 2d combat of the entire genre.
IGN: Most games limit your most useful skills with long cool down timers or a limited mana system but Dead Cells encourages you to use your deadliest gadgets with a fast recharge timer. It never punishes you using your best tactics. Fights are fast, fluid, responsive and hands down one of the most gratifying representations of video combat iv ever experienced.

Boomstick Gaming: Dead Cells only falters slightly with some repetition setting in, especially on the early areas and during longer play sessions. The enemy designs here are interesting and fun to fight but in the first level alone you will probably have killed the same enemy about 50 times already and that same enemy will be used throughout various levels.
IGN: Dead Cells does falter slightly with some repetition but its only felt in its earlier areas and during extended play sessions. While early level enemies are a good introduction and make for fun and interesting fights early on, you can only kill so many zombies before it starts feeling a little stale.

Boomstick Gaming: Dead Cells figures out and intriguing way to have your rogue lite and metroidvania experience all in one by focusing on your failures and urging you to try something new the next time.
IGN: Dead Cells strikes a perfect and engaging balance between the metroidvania and rogue lite experiences by focusing on your failures and urging you to experiment when you do fail.

Several commenters in the article of the IGN review and on Miucin’s Twitter posts also felt there was a case of plagiarism and pointed it out. IGN have since removed the video and written reviews, and published the following:

“As a group of writers and creators who value our own work and that of others in our field, the editorial staff of IGN takes plagiarism very seriously. In light of concerns that have been raised about our Dead Cells review, we’ve removed it for the time being and are investigating.”

Some commentators were still furious with IGN.

IGN has filled itself with what I call “junk food” content, content that avoids critical thinking, and heavily prioritizes clicks. As a business that strives to remain the number one gaming outlet on the planet, that’s a difficult challenge to address. But it’s not my role to care. I as a reader should derive satisfaction from the content I’m consuming, not left wanting or completely uninterested.~ original-mr.jam0

The content here has gone down south for awhile now, so I’m not really shocked, I show up every week to point out hypocrisy that no one listens to. Dude gave it a 9.7 yet couldn’t do his own review, how can anyone trust IGN, for anything but basic new stories that you can just see anywhere. The IGN staff always say one thing, but do another, I always want to be wrong about them, but there’s always these good reminders like this that come too often. I hope it was a misunderstanding or something weird, still, I use to like all their content, but over last year or two its just gotten lamer.~ SaltSlasher

In other news, Dead Cells is available now for Windows PC via Steam Early Access, and today on Switch.

Ryan Pearson

About

Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.