Former IGN Nintendo Editor Filip Miucin posted a video to his YouTube channel over the weekend, addressing his very public firing amidst plagiarism allegations. Before the video was removed, Miucin claimed that he was the victim of “a gigantic lynch mob” sent by publications over circumstantial similarities, despite two more examples cropping up in the aftermath.
As the “editorial lead” behind IGN’s now-retracted Dead Cells review, Miucin claimed to “take complete ownership of what happened,” blaming the supposed circumstances on his process of reviewing. Claiming it to be standard within the industry, Miucin stated that he researched “all resources” that were available, which presumably includes Boomstick Gaming’s Dead Cells review.
Although Miucin’s account of the situation swiftly moves onto an apology towards IGN staff and Dead Cells developer Motion Twin, as well as encouragement for Boomstick Gaming to continue creating content, the video began to highlight where the former editor feels he has been wronged in the situation. Given the public nature of his firing, Miucin has received a number of hate mail and threats. He attributes a lot of this to Kotaku’s Jason Schreier for bringing attention to the similarities between his FIFA 18 Switch review that was posted just days after Chris Scullion’s NintendoLife review of the same game.
NintendoLife: 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.
Miucin: 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.
Miucin refuted this as evidence of a repeated offense prior to his stint at IGN, which prompted Scullion to produce his own YouTube video highlighting the identical structure and similarities in phrasing throughout. Many have come to Miucin’s defence, boiling down a good portion to simple facts that aren’t owned by Scullion, however it turns out there is another example dated even earlier.
‘Should You Buy It? Metroid: Samus Returns for Nintendo 3DS Review’ was posted on September 13th, 2017, just five days after Engadget’s review of the title. Once again, it showcases an undeniably close-to-identical structure, keeping the same examples in the same places while swapping out some terminology for synonyms.
Engadget: Samus Returns takes the hero and the franchise back to its roots — from level design that encourages exploration and satisfying enemy encounters to the traditional 2D platforming style that helped birth the term “Metroidvania.”
Miucin: Samus Returns takes the legendary hero and franchise back to its roots, with everything from its satisfying enemy encounters and intelligent level design that encourages exploration to the traditional 2D action platforming style that literally helped define an entire genre of video games.
Engadget: For veterans of the franchise’s more traditional games, it feels like coming home. Samus Returns builds on the tight, exploration platforming of Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission, and then adds to it.
Miucin: For fans of the more traditional style games in the series, you’ll immediately feel right at home playing Samus Returns, because it shares the same near-perfect formula of exploration platforming with the other entries in the franchise like Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, and Metroid: Zero Mission, but then greatly builds upon it with some really interesting new gameplay mechanics.
Needless to say, IGN staff aren’t taking the actions of Miucin too well, with Reviews Editor Dan Stapleton likening apology to Kevin Spacey’s flippant response to sexual assault allegations, stating that “Getting stabbed in the back and lied to doesn’t bring out my best qualities.” PC Editor Tom Marks added to this with his own post to make it clear that “plagiarism isn’t a mistake: it’s a choice.”
KitGuru Says: To me, it seems as though a thesaurus was taken to someone else’s work one too many times for it to have been a by-product of a faulty process. Regardless of Miucin’s intentions, however, I hope he can own up to the mistakes made and offer a proper apology to IGN, Motion Twin and the content creators hurt in the process.