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IGN (formerly known as Imagine Games Network) is an American video game and entertainment media company operated by IGN Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Ziff Davis and wholly owned by J2 Global. The website was founded by Chris Anderson on September 29, 1996 and is currently located in SoMa, San Francisco.
Originally a network of desktop websites, IGN is now distributed on mobile platforms, console programs on Xbox and PlayStation, FireTV, Roku, and via YouTube, Twitch, Hulu, and Snapchat.
Why They're IGNorant
- Although not as bad as Common Sense Media, some of their reviews are handled by childish amateurs who don't even review or play the game properly.
- When they gave the 2017 SNES classic game, Star Fox 2 a 5/10, IGN praised it for feeling like a 90's game but criticized the outdated 3D graphics (it was made for the Super Nintendo which was 27 years old by then; they also clearly failed to do their research as Star Fox 2 actually WAS made in the mid-90's, and was going to be released in 1995 before it was canned in favor of Star Fox 64). Basically they contradicted themselves by criticizing and praising something for what it is at the same time.
- Then there's the infamous "too much water" review of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire that became a meme. In the review, she criticized both the overabundance of empty water sections and water Pokémon that were fought almost 75% of the time against Team Aqua (which could get monotonous). The review was decent (even if it didn't take into account the main theme of the 3rd gen), but in the bullet point section it was summed up as just "too much water," which looks stupid.
- The 4/10 Prey received from Dan Stapleton, all of this resulted from a glitch that erased Stalpeton's save file. 4/10 just because of one (albeit major) glitch. After the patch where they fixed the glitch, IGN gave Prey 8/10.
- On October 10, 2006, they gave God Hand a 3/10 because they found the camera to be broken, and then proceeded to call the game "boring, annoying, and frustrating." Fortunately, a YouTuber named Saurian made a response to this review to prove them wrong the very next day.
- Because of Jessica Chobot starring the game Daylight they gave it 8.5 out of 10.
- They called Call of Duty: Ghosts as groundbreaking whereas Doom was hated on as being derivative.
- They did not even know who developed Torment: Tides of Numenera during a review.
- Another example is their scathing review of Football Manager 2009 game because the reviewer, apparently unaware of the existence of the football manager genre, compared it with action games. IGN promptly removed the review, replacing it with an apology.
- They gave Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition an 8/10, while they gave the Wii and 3DS versions 9/10 and 8.7/10, respectively, and stated that the Switch version is the best one. During the review, they also stated multiple incorrect statements, and mispronounced multiple names in a voice acted game. When they reposted it, they only fixed the pronunciations.
- They gave Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown an 7/10, During the review video, the game was played with Normal instead of Expert controls, in which Kazutoki Kono, the director of the series, criticizes it for not being using the expert controls..
- They gave The Guy Game a 7.7. out of 10, calling it an "excellent game", despite the controversy surrounding it.
- They gave Pokémon Sword and Shield a 9.2/10 despite the fact that it was riddled with many flaws. Out of all the things to criticize about the game, they criticized the soundtrack which is one of the best parts of the whole game.
- One reviewer gave SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated a 5/10 (mediocre) all simply because it's kid-friendly, it's easy and just basically being the same as the original despite being, you know, a remake! Rehydrated was intended as a love letter for fans of the original game.
- Oh and let's not forget the fact that the same reviewer who gave Rehydrated a 5/10 gave The Last Of Us Part II a 10/10.
- They gave all Madden NFL games from Madden NFL 20 to 22 a 6/10 despite that it was still the same game, same graphics, same old madden with no improvement at all.
- They gave Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury a 7/10 just for being a re-release, despite having additional content and an improved moveset such as increased movement speed. Hypocritically enough, they have given enhanced re-releases higher scores than the original in the past, such as the case with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
- Also, as mentioned above, they unfairly praised some of the Madden NFL games.
- They also gave Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania a 6/10 for being "too difficult", despite being a good game that returned its roots and charm from the classic Super Monkey Ball games and redeeming its 2010s games.
- They gave Postal 4: No Regerts a 2/10 calling it "one of the most thoroughly unenjoyable mistakes ever created" despite the fact that it was an improvement over its predecessor. This goes to show how biased they are. Although justified, considering that the game itself has negative reviews from other critics.
- Highly susceptible to video game developer influence and are often rightfully accused of being bribed by them.
- One famous example is their review of Warcraft III: Reforged.
- They defend anti-consumer acts such as on-disc DLC's.
- They tend to start fan-boy wars on their forums.
- Most reviews are biased and based on the opinion of the reviewer, instead of focusing on the game´s highlights and flaws, which can make the opinion of IGN as a whole seem inconsistent.
- Their TV channels and movie podcasts are of bad quality. Once they even published a video plagiarized from GameSpot's YouTube channel, you can clearly see how they overlaid their watermark over GameSpot's.
- Practically invented the Entitled Gamer term to dismiss criticism after gamers criticized the poor ending to Mass Effect 3.
- While not as severe as certain other websites, IGN is not free from corruption:
- The aforementioned coining of Entitled Gamer by former writer Colin Moriarty can be considered as a case of corruption, as IGN was running an advertisement campaign for ME3 back then. Although Moriarty did apologize for his action later on.
- Lauren Wainwright wrote several times about Square Enix positively without disclosing the fact she had done paid consulting work for the company. Later when Eurogamer writer Rab Florence criticized her in his article, Wainwright threatened EuroGamer with a lawsuit just to get them to edit her out of Florence's article.
- Jose Ortega's review of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for IGN Spain does not disclose an involvement in the game’s Spanish "review camp". These very criticized events involved a heavily-controlled play environment with a company PR handler, constraints that pushed some journalists to cheat in order to progress faster and, at least in some of the camps, provided lavish accommodations and gifts. In this case, the participation appears extremely likely, since his outlet’s presence at the the review event has been confirmed by the Editor-in-Chief of IGN Spain.
- IGN sometimes rates games down for their difficulty, for example, they gave Metro 2033 a mediocre score just because they considered the game very difficult, and many games from the Kirby series get 6/7's from them because they think it’s too easy.
- One of their moderators admits to censoring discussion on GamerGate.
- IGN likes to attack certain fanbases with no apparent reason (likely just for dissing the fans or for funsies):
- They bash on the Sonic the Hedgehog series and its fans intensely without even playing Sonic games properly, especially with their video "Sega Doubles Down On Sonic - Game Scoop!" where one of the members made fun of Sonic fans by saying "Sonic fans want to have sex with Big the Cat" and the infamous line "Sonic was never good." IGN, along with Game Grumps (Most notably Arin Hanson) are the reasons why the hatedom is getting worse by the time.
- They also like to provoke the Kingdom Hearts fandom by insulting its characters, calling them "garbage characters nobody cares about" and say that the game Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue has left them disappointed even though it didn't come out yet, they also hired someone who did not know anything about the franchise to do an analysis video on the Kingdom Hearts 3 Jump Festa trailer. Max Scoville did it again as a joke, only to get backlash from the Kingdom Hearts fanbase.
- Former writer Marty Silva is an agenda-pushing Social Justice Warrior and a supporter of Anita Sarkeesian. He once compared individuals who down-voted the universally panned Ghostbusters (2016) trailer to Nazis. And like Author Gies from Polygon, Marty will penalize a game of sexualizing characters, for example, he once panned Killer Is Dead for its "offensively juvenile attitude toward sexuality".
- Ironically, former editor Steve Butts was fired for sexual misconduct. They also had to apologize to female staff members over sexual misconduct allegations.
- Vincent Ingenito, despite his anti-GamerGate beliefs, was also fired for sexual misconduct.
- Also, despite claiming that Sonic was never good, there are a lot of Sonic games that they reviewed positively, such as Sonic Rush, Sonic Battle Sonic Pocket Adventure, and even Sonic Free Riders with Pocket Adventure being one of the highest rated Sonic games on IGN.
- Their parent company tried to buy over Gawker.
- They were part of the group of people who defended Alison Rapp.
- Most of the time when they say a game is 'okay', the game is really boring and way worse than they say it is.
- They were blasted by their own readers for whining over a WWE 2K cover for not having a female athlete on it.
- They, along with PC Gamer and The New York Times, spread false information about Saudi Arabia banning video games.
- They support Feminist Frequency, claiming they help both fictional and real women.
- They also mock developers as well, such as Tekken creator Katsuhiro Harada who called out Social Justice Warriors after a fan asked him a question about localization of costumes for Tekken 7. He was attacked by one of the video producers of IGN Gav Murpgy calling him an "garbage developer".
- When Bethesda placed their policy on preventing reviewers getting copies before fans of Bethesda could get them, IGN complained about how unfair it was to their other journalists.
- They claimed guns in gaming were holding back the video game industry.
- They were caught plagiarizing a review for Dead Cells, and when caught they were forced to take down the video. After that, the writer who made the review was fired when the investigation was complete. In fact they even discovered that he was also copying from other journalists working for IGN and other YouTubers as well.
- They were part of the group along with ResetERA that boycotted Play Asia over Dead Or Alive 6 to the point Play Asia was so annoyed that they decided to release the game in the west anyways.
- One review of Dragon Quest XI got the backlash of JRPG fans due to forced in political correctness and finding non existent problems of sexism in it.
- There mishandling of the gameplay of Bayonetta 2 was so bad that Hideki Kamiya of Platinum Games has called them horrible.
- They were part of the group that attacked The Legend Of Zelda: Triforce Heroes for having no female characters playable.
- For their Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII review, they published four reviews of the same game. Sure, they covered the separate game modes, but the splitting of reviews made it seem like they did that for more views.
- The Fire Emblem: Three Houses part of their NVC podcast was awful (they took down the highlight of said podcast):
- None of them seemed to have a good idea of what Fire Emblem was. One thing is minor nitpicks and the other is not knowing the name of the games.
- They called Fire Emblem: Three Houses Fire Emblem: Three Heroes (confusing it with the mobile game, Fire Emblem Heroes).
- They claim that it doesn't have a "zoom into the action and change of presentation" effect in battles... While the footage shows a zoom into the action and change of presentation.
- "Fire Emblem Heroes on the 3DS", "The last one was Fates", "The first one on the 3DS was Heroes". So many misinformation in less than a minute. What's best is that one of them said they did wiki stuff, which given how inaccurate the FE wiki is, that explains a lot.
- They called Fire Emblem a Real-Time Strategy game (for reference, a RTS game would be something like StarCraft, Fire Emblem is more of a Tactical Role-Playing game).
- They say the supports enhanced the storytelling... when talking about Fates, which had a lot of bad supports and a terrible story overall.
- As revealed by numerous former employees, they treat their staff like garbage. The higher-ups, especially Steve Butts and Tal Belvins when they were still there, usually manipulate and force them into doing whatever they wanted.
- When the employees have to travel, they are given very low quality hotels to stay in, while the higher-ups stay in high-end hotels. They claimed that they didn't have the money to have the employees stay in better hotels, which isn't true.
- If an employee has a question for the higher-up about something, they will often never get any straight answer.
- IGN Russia doesn't even pay their own employees either.
- Even with the amount of pro-Social Justice politics within entertainment they are still not satisfied. Another journalist claimed that their allies weren't doing enough either.
- The writers copyright struck one YouTuber's video for pointing out the flaws in their logic.
- They were pissed at TotalBiscuit endorsing a game that he liked and out of spite they gave the same game a 6 out of 10.
- The writers are very petty as they actually attacked 2K for not liking a pic related to them on Twitter.
- They were also very pissed off at Bethesda's review copy policy as well.
- The writers also complained about how sexist the film Deadpool is especially during the scene where Deadpool even wondered if attacking or not attacking a woman is sexist and still proceeded to shoot her dead, even though shooting a woman, while usually not a good idea, is not sexist.
- Similarly to Rotten Tomatoes, their review summaries in most of their negative reviews try way too hard to be funny, as they often don't get to the point or they're simply cringe worthy.
- The writers have often reported on rumors and speculation as facts without citing any legit sources; the most recent example was reporting unconfirmed rumors that Le Mans '66/Ford v Ferrari director, James Mangold, would be directing the second season of The Mandalorian. Not only was this false reporting that showed a lack of research, but Mangold himself slammed the article on Twitter, calling them out for not using actual sources.
- The IGN Boards are all filled with fanboys, trolls and toxic users.
- On its YouTube channel, a video was posted of a fake parody trailer of Mandalorian season 2 branded as a real trailer. After backlash, they changed the title just to ignore more backlash. The same thing happened with the Splatoon 3 trailer, as they posted a parody trailer instead of the real one.
- One of the site's content creators, Max Scoville, openly supports AntiFa.
- One of their journalists, Matt Thrower, convinced WizKids Games to sever all ties with Robert Burke Games just for promoting ethical behavior.
- Some of its writers bash other people's opinions on things should their opinion be different than theirs. One such example is when Lucy O'Brien labeled anyone who dislikes The Last of Us Part II a "virgin."
- The Team Fortress 2 animated video "Expiration Date", was taken by IGN, who didn't even get credit to valve, and renamed it "Love and War Update Trailer."
- A writer gave Just Dance an extremely negative review for no good reason. While it was indeed a flawed game, they were still way too harsh on it.
- Their game guides might be helpful, but there's a lot of other guides out there that will most likely prove more helpful.
- On some occasions, they give actual bad games accurate scores. One of the very, very few examples is that IGN has actively warned gamers not to buy Final Fantasy: All the Bravest (due to heavy usage of micro-transactions) and Spanish for Everyone (because it contains offensive material such as pedophilia, prostitution, drug smuggling, theft, animal abuse, etc.).
- They usually make great and funny April Fool's pranks, such as the famous Legend of Zelda movie prank.
- IGN responded to feedback regarding the plagiarism of the Dead Cells review within hours of the news going viral and responded by booting Filip out of the company and apologizing to Boomstick Gaming, something that is rare in the entertainment industry.
- Devs React to Speedruns is really fun to watch and overall nicely executed. This is very original as there has never been earlier the developers' reaction of speedrun of their game. It is also worth mentioning that the very reaction of the developers is genuine and they often mention that they should patch their games because of the glitches that make it easier to complete the game faster.
- They have recently started to summarize the reviews every month, showing the ranking from the lowest and the highest ratings.
- Like Nintendo Life and Push Square, they present a list of the month's most anticipated games, which is a good little thing. This is useful as some players would not be aware of when their most interested game would come out.
- Some IGN employees sound like really cool people, the most notable example being Luke Reilly.
- The general graphics prepared by IGN pleases the eye, distinguishing the design of thumbnails, inserts used in videos, and the logo itself.
- They are still a reliable source of information.