In a dishonest attempt to reclaim some semblance of integrity in the face of a public who has been scorned one too many times by the industry’s numerous failures in recent years, IGN Executive Review Editor Dan Stapleton claimed that the site was not leaping to report on the recent allegations that PlayStation Network Senior VP of Engineering George Cacioppo attempted to solicit sex from an underage boy because they did not cover “general crime” – a lie which is easily disproved within even the most cursory glance at their archives.
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Stapleton offered this disingenuous defense in reply to criticism from a Twitter user who took issue with what he perceived as the site’s apparent refusal to cover the news of Cacioppo allegedly being caught in an amateur pedophile sting operation, which at that point had been circulating across social media for nearly three full days.
“Your ego stroking challenge to prove review corruption pales in comparison to not one outlet condemning George Cacioppo,” wrote @The__Josh on December 5th, referencing Stapleton’s recent pledge to leave the outlet if anyone could provide evidence that the site had ever accepted a bribe for any review score. “This is corruption in the highest form. Weak outlets that can’t bite the hand that feeds them. Do your damn jobs. It’s pathetic. @IGN”.
“Never heard of him,” countered Stapleton. “I bet that’s why you aren’t seeing anyone cover it – it’s a guy no one knows being implicated for crimes unrelated to his job. If Sony turned out to have known and protected him, or if he’d used his position to do it, that would be game industry news.”
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Understandably frustrated, @The__Josh rightly pointed out, “That would hold water if he was some random Sony employee. This is a exec of PLAYSTATION NETWORK. It’s very pertinent to gaming and the industry.”
“Figured a vet like yourself would know that,” he added. “Plus @IGN just released an article about space. Nothing to do with gaming…..”
Continuing to justify his outlet’s apparent disinterest in the story, Stapleton then argued, “Right, but Sony had nothing to do with his actions as far as I can see, and he’s not a name anyone recognizes. So it’s not really news.”
“IGN covers lots of things that aren’t game related (eg movies, TV, tech, science),” he continued. “But general crime isn’t one of them.”
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However, as noted above, a quick search of IGN’s archives easily disproves Stapleton’s claim that “general crime” is outside of the site’s scope of reporting, as such stories are not only regular staples of the outlet, but are often far less relevant to “gaming and the industry” than the allegations against Cacioppo.
For example, in March, IGN reported on the alleged heist of ¥1 Million worth of Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh cards by Tokyo resident Kensuke Nakanishi:
In October, the outlet’s Southeast Asia arm informed their readers of Curtis ‘Toyz’ Lau’s arrest in Taiwan for selling marijuana solely based on his former membership on the now dissolved, one-time League of Legends world champion esports team, the Taipei Assassins:
Just last month, IGN reported on the $31 Million in damages former House of Cards star Kevin Spacey owes for violating the terms of his contract, with their article not even making one attempt to relate it to video games by noting the disgraced actor’s appearance in 2014’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare:
More egregiously, two years earlier, in 2019, IGN reported on Seth Rogen’s response to the arrest of an Iowa teenager who attempted to use a fake ID bearing the name ‘McLovin’ – a reference to the movie Superbad, in which Rogen played a police officer – in an attempt to drink at a local bar.
Even further still, in 2015, IGN reported on the arrest of rap producer Suge Knight on suspicion of committing a hit and run murder on the set of a commercial being shot for the then-upcoming N.W.A. biopic:
These are only a few examples, but given how easily evidence can be found that disproves his defense, it should come as no surprise to Stapleton that faith in such publications from general audiences like the @The__Josh is at a rapidly-declining all-time low.
It seems that Stapleton also realized he was doing his industry no favors with his disingenuous argument, as his relevant tweets have since been deleted. Further, following Sony’s official confirmation of his firing, IGN has since published an article concerning the allegations facing Cacioppo.
What do you make of Stapleton’s defense? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!