This isn’t as clear-cut as it may appear because Among Us is a remake of a game called Werewolf that has been around long before videogames. However, Imposters is so similar to Among Us in terms of design and organisation that it’s safe to assume Epic took direct influence from it, which isn’t cool.
Epic Games announced a new Fortnite mode called Imposters in August. Yes, it basically rips off Innersloth’s hugely successful Among Us, aside from the inclusion of a banana who has technically appeared in federal court, as if the name wasn’t enough of a clue. Epic fail!
Innersloth’s Victoria Tran told us at the time that Innersloth did not work with Epic on the mode, “although we would have liked to, and found out about it the same time as everyone else.”
Epic has belatedly realised that, if it’s going to fight high-profile legal cases where it claims to be standing up for developer rights, then ripping off a smaller developer’s game without credit is probably not a good look. The first mea culpa came in some patch notes yesterday, which began “v18.20 brings improvements to Impostors, the game mode inspired by Among Us from Innersloth!”
Then, and I’m sorry about this, the follow-up arrived in the form of branter. You know, the game’s official twitter accounts pretending to have a chat, a bit of banter.
Chronic. “We never got to talk about how you inspired us” is probably as close to a ‘we dun goofed’ as you’ll get from Epic, followed by the tease that Epic and Innersloth will be “working on something fun together.” A 3D Among Us mode in Fortnite would do very nicely, thanks.
Epic’s climbdown may be belated but is welcome nevertheless: not least because, in the context of Fortnite’s countless other partnerships, it felt a little odd that Among Us just got an unofficial copy that everyone knew was supposed to be Among Us. The larger idea here is giving credit within the games industry: for example, when a successful game starts to inspire imitators, or a popular mod gets officially incorporated into a game.
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