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GamePro caught plagiarising

3 min read


There is a fine line between reporting on news and plagiarising on the Internet..

Basically the rule, as far as I can tell, is that if you are reporting on something from someone else’s site you need to do two things. Firstly you need to put your own thoughts and ideas across about it and secondly you have to link back to them. (see link at bottom)

So with that being said and the millions of small blogs out there plagiarising on a daily basis I really shouldn’t be suprised when the big guys do it as well.

Thought this one is quite funny, apparently GamePro has been caught stealing information from Gamasutra. Gamasutra runs a weekly column called “Release This!” which is basically just a list of titles being released in the coming week…

They started to get suspicious that someone was using this information with crediting it back to them and hatched a cunning plan.

Last week they added a new, non existent (The Gunny Sack Trilogy), game to their release list. Then sat back for a day and used the power of Google to now search for this fantastic game.

As luck would have it, GamePro had just posted their upcoming release list which just happened to include this game in it as well, not to mention they syndicated it to GameTrailers.com and PCWorld.ca

So the next week Gamasutra posted about a new hit game, Gem Pour: Casks (which is an anagram for GamePro Sucks), and suprisingly it also ended up on GamePro’s list.

GamePro has responded though and in a good way.


I humbly extend my personal apology as GamePro news editor. Believe it or not, I have used Gama’s “release this” as a premise for our own compilation for several months, in which we often (though clearly not always) add to, remove, and override your dates (i.e. with disputed games, Virtual Console releases, etc).

Nevertheless, we should have never commoditized Mr. Cowan’s efforts without proper citation, and offer an apology to him as well. That was sloppy work on our part. From now on, we will be sure to source you, as we regularly do inline with any exclusive stories you break, if/when we use “release this” data. Any future concerns, just ping me by email.

On that note, do you reference any outside media reports when synthesizing your “release this” data, or do you get dates directly from individual publishers, one by one?

(And Mike: Thank you for reminding the community that no one is immune from the temptation of lifting public data without accreditation. It lessens the sting of feeling like a complete douche and is a reminder that we can all benefit from greater transparency when inking to others).

Okay so they are both friends again with is nice isn’t it 🙂

I can tell you it is very annoying when someone does this as I have had it happen to me twice already. The worst culprit was PS3Center.net and I have even had one of my articles used on IGN, however they at least changed it all and said they got it from an inside source… The only reason I knew is that EA Games phoned me and asked how IGN had the same information when they gave it to me directly 😛

GameSetWatch – GameSetFocusOn: How We Made GamePro Look A Bit Silly

Last Updated: April 11, 2008


  1. James Francis

    April 11, 2008 at 08:58

    This is a bit of a storm in a tea-cup. Plagiarism isn’t about stealing ideas – it’s about stealing exact prose with no or very little modification. That’s why a lot of authors have been accused of it, because they wrote something very similar to what another author did. But sometimes it’s a case of selective memory an the violating authors don’t realize it.

    But a list? I’m not sure that entirely counts. Granted, the sites should have given credit due, but this is hardly the same thing as stealing an author’s writing.

    That is a term that came to being with print writing. On the Internet with its viral information culture, the definition can’t be as broad.


  2. doobiwan

    April 11, 2008 at 09:33

    JF, it’s not plagiarism per se it’s about due credit.

    But then again this is Gamepro, is anyone surprised?

    doobiwan’s last blog post..Evil Genius Conspiracy Theory: Why put a Blu-Ray player in a 360, when you can put a 360 in a Blu-Ray player?


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