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5 sites plagiarize Gematsu's Samurai Shodown news article [Update 1/10/2020]

Editor's Note: The Geekiary and Sirus Gaming was contacted and has updated their articles to cite Gematsu. We also updated our picture to reflect this.

Plagiarism is a very serious matter and even just a single instance of it can get a writer or website to lose all credibility with their audience. Recently, Gematsu levied plagiarism accusations against Niche Gamer, which led to the owner Brandon Orselli stepping down as Editor In Chief. Although, I should note he didn't go gently into that good night. For a full rundown of that situation you can check out these two videos from friend of the site, Vara Dark. [1] [2]

If you read the title of this article then you already know that Gematsu's plagiarism problems have only gotten worse. Five different websites saw his news article on Samurai Shodown and decided to make it their own. This rampant plagiarism was discovered by me on January 8, 2020 but I held off on writing this story so I could inform Gematsu owner, Sal Romano of what was going on. I also wanted to get Sal on record attesting to the fact he wrote his article and he didn't copy anyone else.

Sal told me he indeed wrote the Gematsu article himself and thanked me for the information. He also said he would be contacting the websites privately so the matter could be cleared up. Now, in order to do my due diligence I checked every press release I had for Samurai Shodown so I could be 100% sure this wasn't a case of several sites working from the same official source. Nothing like what Sal wrote was in anything I had on file, so it appears Sal was indeed being truthful to me. With that said, let's take a look at the plagiarism.

On January 6, 2020 Sal Romano published an article, Samurai Shodown for Switch launches February 25 in the west, that detailed the Upcoming Switch release of Samurai Shodown. Looking at the article, it is clear Sal got some inspiration from the official Samurai Shodown website. Secifically, Point 3 which reads as follows...

"Samurai Shodown! 2", which came out for the Neo Geo Pocket in 1999, is now available on the Nintendo Switch! 2 distinct versions of each character combining to create 32 unique playstyles!
You will notice that playstyles is a single word on the official site, while Sal wrote it as two words, play styles, in his article. Also, Sal has a - between pre and order. This will be important later on, so please keep it in mind. That said, let's examine the sites that didn't even bother to hide their plagiarism.

I never heard of VideoGamesBlogger before this incident, but I know I read there article Samurai Shodown for Switch Release Date for the West Announced, which was also published on January 6, 2020, before. It is an almost word for word copy, paste, publish job of Sal's article. I say almost word for word because they removed a single word and a link to the Nintendo Switch site for Samurai Shodown. Worry not about clicking that link as it is an archive. It should also be noted that the about section, which Gematsu cited as coming from was not properly sourced in the VideoGamesBlogger site.

Bloody Disgusting isn't the first site you would visit when it comes to video games but they do indeed have a video game section. On January 8, 2020 ,as part of their video game coverage, they published an article titled ‘Samurai Shodown’ Arrives February 25 For Nintendo Switch, which is nothing more than a copy, paste, publish job with a sentence and a few words added in front of what they copied from Gematsu. They also added a single word and changed another in the last sentence they copied. An attempt, no matter how crappy, was made to try to disguise the theft.

On January 7, 2020 SirusGaming published an article called SAMURAI SHODOWN SWITCH VERSION TO LAUNCH FEBRUARY IN WEST and as you already figured out, it too plagiarised from Gematsu. SirusGaming changed up the first two sentences, but after that it is a word for word copy, paste, publish job. I should also note that SiruGaming did not make a citation that the about section came from the official Nintendo site.[Update: After informing Sirus Gaming of their plagiarism they have updated their article and cited Gematsu. The link to the article here remains the original one.]

On January 7, 2020 TheGeekiary published their version of Sal's article. This one, “Samurai Shodown” Coming to Nintendo Switch This February!, is my absolute favorite of all the plagiarized articles. The author, Farid-ul-Haq, added a bit to the front end of his copy, paste, publish job. I realize I am using that phrase a lot but please bear with me. Farid-ul-Haq was good enough to put the about section in quotes and note it was the official description, but he didn't link the Switch site for Samurai Shodown. So close to a proper citation. Now this next thing i a going to tell you is what makes this my favorite of the plagiarized articles. Included in the article by Farid-ul-Haq is this little nugget, "Do not copy our content in whole to other websites. Linkbacks are encouraged.
Copyright © The Geekiary." The utter balls to copy someone else's work then slap a copyright on it alongside a do not reproduce notice. I wonder how Farid-ul-Haq feels about archives like the one I included in this article? [Update: After informing The Geekiary of their plagiarism they have updated their article and cited Gematsu. The link to the article here remains the original one.]

Exclusively Games was the site that put in the most work to hide their plagiarism. It seems they ascribe to the, change it up so the teacher doesn't notice train of thought. Their article, ‘Samurai Shodown’ on Nintendo Switch Finally Gets Western Release Date, was published on January 8, 2020. Aside from adding a bunch of extra paragraphs the writer, Kyle Payne, swapped out a few adjectives for different ones and rearranged a few sentences. This would fool most people but those of us who do a lot of writing pick up on these little tricks.

Three things really stand out that tells me this was indeed a case of plagiarism and not a simple coincidence. The word preorder, which is the correct and logical way to spell the word, has a dash between pre and order just like in Sal's article. Additionally, playstyles, again the correct and logical way to spell the word, is spelled as play styles. Now, these two words, preorder and playstyles, are two words when translated from Japanese to English. As Sal specializes in Japanese news he would do this out of habit, which is why it appears that way in his article. Kyle Payne, the Exclusively Games writer, who seems to be of a Western heritage should spell those words as singular but he may spell them exactly as Sal does. It isn't a slam dunk but the fact that Kyle has a habit of thanking or pointing toward Gematsu as breaking the story first tells us he is familiar with Sal's work.

As I said in my opening, plagiarism is  serious matter and I only written this article after checking everything several times over. While no one who is caught with their hand in the plagiarism cookie should be in the field of video game journalism, no one should have false accusations made against them. Should any of the websites or individuals in this piece provide me with hard evidence that I was wrong, I will happily post a public apology and retract their section. If you think this piece is important enough to do so, please share this.