Plagiarism is a pretty serious allegation in the world of games journalism. Actually it’s a pretty serious allegation where writing is concerned as a whole. Trying to pass off someone else’s work as your own is terrible. And yet, people keep doing it. Especially when it comes to video games.
Back in 2018, IGN had to remove a bunch of plagiarized content. Earlier this month PlayStation Japan was accused of plagiarizing lots of animation. Now it seems like Niche Gamer has been accused of the very same thing. The worst part is that it’s been going on for years, and they had the world’s lamest excuse.
It all started when Gematsu tweeted at Niche Gamer asking directly about plagiarized content. NG was quick to respond, saying they would take down the post and article. Then it just got worse and worse. Numerous instances of plagiarism have surfaced from as late back as 2016.
These instances of plagiarism are pretty damn blatant too. One of the earliest is from an article about PC releases for a couple of JRPG games, which still contained a ‘read more at Gematsu’ link at the bottom. Other examples included some minor changes to throw off plagiarism checkers but were found to still be pretty damn close to their sources.
In general, this seems like one of the worst cases of plagiarism in the games industry for a long time. Not only are the thefts blatant, but they appear to have been going on for quite some time. According to Gematsu’s Twitter account, they were even warned back in late 2015 and continued to do it anyway.
Niche Gamer did eventually come out with a reason behind the theft. Basically they said that it was all a hired ghostwriter who has since been let go. Of course, if that is completely true, then this ghostwriter has been with the site since 2016 getting no credit for his work. If that’s the case, then NG is a butthole no matter whether this is a massive and obvious lie or not.
It seems unlikely that Niche Gamer has any way out of this one. They’ve clearly been stealing from Gematsu for years. Even if it was a ghostwriter, then it speaks to a massive lack of editorial oversite that this was allowed to happen as often and as long as it did. Plus, if Gematsu is to be believed, they knew it was going on and did the bare minimum to stop it anyway.
Personally, I think that NG deserves every ounce of the backlash they’re currently getting. They’ve lost over a thousand followers since the news broke, and hopefully, they’ll lose more. The only way to keep the industry plagiarism free is to have a zero-tolerance policy. Plus, does anyway really want Niche Gamer to get away with it? I hope not.
Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:40 PM UTC