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IGN Under Fire After Removing Death Stranding From Game of Year Awards

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:23 PM
Ryan Smith
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:23 PM
  • IGN dubiously removed Death Stranding from its own 2019 Game of the Year Awards.
  • Gamers report that it tried to rig a reader poll but support poured in for the Hideo Kojima game.
  • Rating rumors continue to circulate as we approach the end-of-year game awards.

Popular gaming publication IGN has come under fire after it controversially removed Death Stranding from its 2019 Game of the Year awards. One Redditor reports that the game was added to a Game of the Year poll even though 7,000 votes had already been cast .

Then when it rocketed to the No. 1 spot regardless, the game was completely removed from IGN’s 2019 nominees page . That action may have gone unnoticed if not for a robust comments section and one moderator who appeared to echo IGN’s distaste for the Kojima Productions inaugural title:


Death Stranding voting
An IGN moderator asks users to stop voting for Death Stranding | Source: Imgur 

According to Krazy_K_Scorpion, Death Stranding’s massive popularity boils down to nothing other than the Hideo Kojima brand.

Poll Rigging Leaves a Bad Taste in the Mouths of Its Readers

To be clear, moderators do not necessarily reflect the opinions of IGN.

That said, why would:

  • Anyone put up a poll for its readers?
  • Then include a game they didn’t like in the first place?
  • And finally decide, nah, it shouldn’t actually be on the list?

This kind of reasoning is idiotic and ultimately backfired for the long-running publication. It now also has to contend with an unhappy readership who are not afraid to voice their criticism.

Here are a few samples from its own comments section:

The game is rightfully winning despite IGN trying to rig the poll by not having it as an option from the start.


Lol, I wonder what the actual total would be if it wasn’t for IGNs obvious f**kery.

Perhaps the real irony, however, comes from the overwhelming Death Stranding support. Last month, Kojima subtly hinted in an Italian interview that Americans are overly critical because they are too dense to understand his game.

Death Stranding and the Politics of Gaming

This isn’t the first time that influential publications have tried to juice the ratings of Kojima’s “masterpiece.” CCN.com reported only last week how negative Death Stranding user ratings had suspiciously disappeared from Metacritic overnight.

By complete contrast, the game was on the verge of declassification (overall negative rating), which may have had serious consequences for the upcoming and more universal Game Awards .

Game Awards
There is one noticeable inclusion in the Game Awards lineup. | Source: Game Awards 

Compare the nominees above to IGN’s list. They are remarkably similar, with one notable exception of course. One Redditor  conspires that Kojima’s former employer, Konami, may be playing an active role in the whole debacle:

Konami might threaten to pull ad rotations from IGN if it is positive about the game… IGN cares about access and ad revenue first and foremost. That could mean business politics between publishers.

On the other hand, Kojima also just so happens to be on the Game Award’s board of advisors . In other words, take your pick on who is influencing whom.

Either way, it appears there’s no way to escape the world of politics. Even in gaming.