You can file this in the “yikes” category. Indie RPG YIIK: A Postmodern RPG has been accused of plagiarizing best-selling author Haruki Murakami’s After Dark. While the offense wasn’t brought to light until now, the evidence is pretty damning.
The scene in question appears to directly lift quotes from the novel, which you can take a look at right here:
Now, Allanson has gone on record saying he wanted to “make the video game version of a Chuck Palahniuk novel or a Haruki Murakami novel.” However, he never mentioned that he would accomplish that by directly lifting Murakami’s words themselves.
This is only the latest controversy surrounding YIIK: A Postmodern RPG. Before its release, it was heavily anticipated game inspired by classic 16-bit RPGs, most notably Earthbound. Unfortunately, it was highly criticized upon its release, with our review noting its slow combat, truly unlikable protagonist, and convoluted mechanics as negatives. The soundtrack was praised, at least.
YIIK Plagiarism of Haruki Murakami Novel Discovered
Allanson has combated the negative reviews by saying, “my mistake was thinking that video games are art.” He followed up on this with this choice comment:
So, the thing is, games aren’t art. They’re toys for children and it’s considered in bad form to talk about anything meaningful or impactful or thought provoking.
Of course, there’s nothing really “thought provoking” about plagiarizing an iconic author’s words. While Allanson has noted Murakami as an inspiration for YIIK, he’s never gone on-record about using his words directly in-game. He has yet to comment on this latest controversy either, though we should probably expect him too at some point.
YIIK: A Postmodern RPG is available now, for better or worse, on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.