The gaming site IGN is working to remove all of the posts written by former editor Filip Miucin, who was fired last week for plagiarism, after internet sleuths found that dozens of his articles and videos copied or rephrased from other websites without attribution.
“We’ve seen enough now, both from the thread and our own searches, that we’re taking down pretty much everything he did,” IGN reviews editor Dan Stapleton wrote on Twitter last night, referring to a thread on the gaming forum ResetEra cataloguing the allegations. For days, people had pointed out more similarities between Miucin’s work and various other articles and message board posts.
The plan, IGN editors said, is to scrutinise all of the work Miucin has published since the site hired him last October, then figure out what can be restored. IGN’s editors also said they hope to re-review the games he reviewed, including ports of Doom and Skyrim on Switch, both which have been replaced by the same message: “This article has been removed due to concerns over similarities to work by other authors. The author of this article is no longer employed by IGN.”
(I should note that IGN’s managing editor of games, Tina Amini, worked at Kotaku for nearly four years and is a close friend of mine.)
This move comes a week after a YouTuber accused Miucin of plagiarising a review of the game Dead Cells, which led IGN to fire him last Tuesday. That was followed by our coverage at Kotaku, which noted an additional case of apparent plagiarism involving a review of a FIFA game. On Friday night, Miucin posted a video response on YouTube, saying that any Dead Cells plagiarism had been “not at all intentional” and suggesting that he had not done this sort of thing before. “You can keep looking, Kotaku, and please let me know if you find anything,” he said in the video, setting off a chain of subsequent discoveries and accusations of dozens more instances of apparent plagiarism. Miucin has since removed the video from his YouTube channel.
The lengthy list of allegations against Miucin now includes a Bayonetta 2 review that drew from Polygon, a video that took word-for-word from a NeoGAF post, and a number of videos in which Miucin read excerpts from Wikipedia about topics like Super Mario Odyssey and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero as if he had written them. The list even includes an Octopath Traveler article that copied from one of his own IGN colleague’s reviews, much to that writer’s dismay. Tipsters have pointed me to dozens of instances in which Miucin took directly from other sources, some of which are rounded up here.
Miucin has not yet responded to several requests for an interview. Several IGN editors have made public statements about the incident.
“Deeply disappointed and upset that it’s looking more and more likely that we unwittingly hosted work that was directly lifted from or at best heavily derived from others,” wrote IGN editorial manager Justin Davis on Twitter. “I assure you we are taking very active steps to remove it all, and make it right. I feel betrayed.”
“Tonight IGN took down more content over concerns some of the work by Filip may have been copied,” wrote video boss Fran Mirabella. “After 18 years at IGN as a reviewer, a producer - it’s despicable. Authors and supporters affected: I’m sorry. Nobody at IGN stands for this. This is a personal statement of my own.”