IGN Editor-in-Chief Fired Over "Alleged Misconduct"

The now-former EIC had lead the editorial website for five years.
Image courtesy of IGN

One of the most popular and longstanding gaming publications, IGN, has decided to “part ways” with its five-year editor-in-chief Steve Butts, following an investigation into “alleged misconduct.” The company released a statement to Kotaku this afternoon.

“IGN initiated an investigation into alleged misconduct involving Steve Butts,” said IGN general manager Mitch Galbraith. “As a result of the investigation, the Company has appropriately determined to part ways with Mr. Butts.”

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IGN did not respond to a request for additional comment on the situation, including clarification on if IGN has any other ongoing investigations over misconduct.

In mid-November, a number of IGN employees briefly refused to work because IGN had not formally responded to allegations made by former editor Kallie Plagge against another editor:

Plagge described an experience at IGN from 2016, where former editor Vince Ingenito allegedly harassed her and “one other female employee” for months. (The other employee has not come forward.) The harassment included “uncomfortable compliments” (”Guys don’t like skinny girls. You’re perfect”), “manipulative and abusive comments” (“[The guys he assumed I was dating] are all boys. You need a real man), and “overtly sexual comments” (“When I was your age, I could go all night”). Plagge recalled the latter was followed by a touch on the arm.

The company later said “IGN has failed two of its female employees” and the women “did not get the respect and care that they deserved as IGN employees and as people.”

Butts has not made any public comments since IGN’s announcement, nor did Butts respond to my request for comment.

Part of Waypoint's mission involves reporting on and discussing the ongoing issue of sexual harassment in the games industry. But as reported in various publications, VICE has its own troubled history with misconduct. Last year, Waypoint collectively released a statement , as part of a push to change internal VICE policies and culture. VICE issued their own statement. We still have a long way to go, and welcome Waypoint's readers to help keep us accountable.

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