The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Game Developer Accuses Real-Life Weapons Manufacturer of Stealing Its Gun Design... Twice

Entered in Long Form Video


This piece began with a single anonymous email, asking our news team to look into a strange situation surrounding a video game studio, a gun design, and a world-renowned defence company. Intrigued, I began to look into the situation, and quickly discovered this was an even stranger set of circumstances than I went in expecting. My objective from that point was straightforward - to untangle this mess of patents, verbal contracts, supposedly broken promises, and double dealings, and explain them as plainly as possible to the viewer - while never losing the entertainment value of quite how odd it is that an obscure video game designer may have inadvertently created the design for a real-life shotgun.

Strategy and Execution

Unlike many IGN reports, this was designed from day one to live both as a video and an article, and with that in mind I went into my conversations with the developer in question with a view to gaining audio, video, and image assets. We decided to shoot for a new format of IGN video, introducing a 'Dateline'-like report style in which a host presented the video and I, as the reporter, was interviewed within the video. One challenge was that the key interviewee would not allow us to use video of him, forcing us to find ways of including only his voice without losing visual intrigue. To capture the rabbit-hole like process of reporting the story in the first place, we presented this as a narrative, not revealing all the twists from the start, keeping viewers in place to find out how the headline would manifest itself. This piece was a true collaboration between IGN's news and video teams, who have traditionally been fairly separate, and the amount of ideation that went into melding those two disparate areas is something I was proud to be a part of.



The final result is a piece that, upon release, sat apart from almost all of IGN's news video, establishing a new format known as IGN Investigates. Aside from getting an unknown story out into the world (and receiving a significant amount of follow-up coverage from other outlets), I consider the greatest success of this piece to be the establishing of that new strand of video. Multiple IGN Investigates videos have emerged since, and provided an entirely new medium for IGN's reporters to work within, while still utilising their greatest skill - investigation.


Video for Game Developer Accuses Real-Life Weapons Manufacturer of Stealing Its Gun Design... Twice

Entrant Company / Organization Name



Entry Credits