Following yesterday’s announcement and release of the new Fortnite: Impostors game mode, the developers of Among Us have shared some of their thoughts and feelings on Epic Games’ attempt to mimic the hit social deduction game. Ranging from simple dismay at the way that Fortnite is taking such heavy inspiration (to be charitable), to pointing out how closely Impostors is aligned with Among Us’ design.
it’s safe to say that the team are a little disheartened by the way that this has happened. Among Us community director Victoria Tran posted on Twitter that “it would’ve been really, really cool to collab”, indicating that, if Epic had asked, they would have been happy to work with the games industry giant on the new mode.
like game mechanics fine, those shouldn't be gatekept, but at the very least even different themes or terminology makes things more interesting? 😕
— Victoria Tran 🧋 (@TheVTran) August 17, 2021
Tran acknowledges that borrowing game mechanics from other games is fine – like how almost every first person shooter after Halo has had recharging health and a two gun limit – but takes objection to the themes and terminology. Among Us terms the “bad guys” in the game as “Impostors”, which Epic has lifted to simply be the name of their game mode. A change of theme could have leant on ‘invaders’, ‘double agents’ or similar to avoid excessive similarities.
Even the Fortnite: Impostors map is eerily similar to the Skeld map that features in Among Us. Programmer Gary Porter tweeted a side-by-side of the two maps, noting that, outside of a few tweaks, they were fundamentally the same layout. “It’s okay tho” he writes, “they flipped electrical and medbay and connected security to the cafeteria.”
To illustrate, @PeterNStrange on Twitter drew some helpful lines and dots.
Some people seem like can't see the similarity, so here it is. It's not "obvious", the room might have different points but you can't look at this and think it's totally different. pic.twitter.com/3IWbpmUf60
— Stephen N. Parker (@PeterNStrange) August 17, 2021
InnerSloth is a studio of just nine people, but they were even smaller when Among Us’ popularity exploded last summer. At the time, they were just five people, which was a factor in the speed at which they were able to update the game and deal with the huge floods of players their servers were facing. By comparison, Epic is vast. They were already an industry giant thanks to the prevalence of Unreal Engine and successes of Unreal Tournament and Gears of War, but Fortnite’s success (off the back of lifting the battle royale formula from PUBG) has propelled them through launching the Epic Games Store, buying up studios like Psyonix and MediaTonic, and kicking off lawsuits against Apple and Google.
Anyway – just feeling pretty bummed today.
Everything in the world was already feeling insurmountable, so this was just another fun reminder of how tiny we all really are.
— Adriel Wallick (@MsMinotaur) August 17, 2021
At the end of the day, what Epic has done is par for the course in the video games and entertainment industry, but you can’t help but root for the underdogs in this situation.