Fortnite is the game that made gaming studio Epic Games powerful. It’s actually nothing more than a shameless copy of a game called Player Unknown Battlegrounds, PUBG, but which succeeded by offering it for free on PCs and consoles of all kinds. Interestingly, the studio is in a serious legal dispute with mobile companies over the issue of app shops, in which it presents itself as a champion of small developers, but in reality it blatantly plagiarises them whenever it can.
Yesterday Epic Games announced something we all suspected was coming sooner rather than later: Fortnite will have a new game mode called Imposters that is basically
a gross plagiarism an adaptation of Among Us… but without the indie game’s creators at all. In fact, this mode of intrigue and betrayal even emulates the terminology of Innersloth’s game, who feel helpless in the face of what they perceive as a blatant copy from a much bigger and more powerful company.
As soon as the announcement of Imposters came out, Among Us community manager Victoria Tran commented on social media that “it would have been really, really nice to collaborate [with Fortnite]”, always in a tone of regret. “I mean, [copying] the game mechanics is fine, they’re not something that should be limited, but would using at least a different theme or terminology make things more interesting?”. To this, Tran adds in a later message that Epic Games’ announcement has left them feeling completely helpless.
What’s the point of creating our own content anymoreVictoria Tran “It feels like being a woman or a minority in the tech sector. It feels disempowering, a ‘what’s the point now’ of creating our own stories and content”. Innersloth programmer Adriel Wallick went even further with her accusations by sharing a digital comic about content theft, in a clear reference to Fortnite. “Everything in the world already felt unfathomable, so this is just another fun reminder of how small we really are,” she added shortly afterwards on her account.
From the looks of things, it’s clear that the creators of Among Us have not taken kindly to what they perceive as plagiarism by one of the biggest companies in the gaming world. This is not the first time Epic Games has been accused of stealing or copying other people’s content in Fortnite without giving credit to its creators: since 2018 they have faced several lawsuits over the game’s dances, although the courts have sided with Epic Games.