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Is Fortnite’s New Imposter Mode Going Too Far With ‘Inspiration’?

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Epic Games has unveiled a new Fortnite temporary mode, a whodunnit adventure that is gaining a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons. Due to the indie game’s meteoric rise in popularity over the past year, the gaming community will often compare an experience like this to Among Us. But are there too many similarities in Fortnite’s new Imposter mode to be a coincidence? That appears to be the case, and the team behind Among Us agrees.

In the past, Epic Games and other companies have collaborated on Fortnite, which has resulted in a number of crossovers. However, InnerSloth was left out of the discussion concerning Fortnite’s Imposter mode, which is also the name of the murderer in Among Us. The Among Us analogies started right away when the new mode was released, but it wasn’t until I dug deeper that I realised this was more than just inspiration; it’s an unofficial crossover. The issue with it being unofficial is that InnerSloth, a small indie studio, stands to gain nothing from the new Fortnite mode, but Epic Games stands to gain everything. At least they did until the Among Us team started to speak out. 

Victoria Chan, the Among Us game’s community director, expressed her dissatisfaction with the new Imposter mode on Twitter. In a Tweet, she stated, “It would have been really, really cool to collab here, haha,” “Just sad indie hours rn.” says the narrator. “Like game mechanics, they shouldn’t be gatekept,” she continued, “but at the very least, different themes or terminology makes things more interesting?”

Among Us Unity programmer Gary Porter added to the conversation with a direct comparison to the map in Fortnite’s Imposter mode and the Skeld map in the indie game. The two share extreme similarities, as seen above. “I haven’t been tweeting much recently because I’ve been working so hard on upcoming content for Among Us,” he shared in the thread. “So it feels weird to be compelled to tweet again because of stuff like [Fortnite].” He added, “It’s okay, though. They flipped electrical and medbay and connected security to the cafeteria. I wasn’t even around for the development of Skeld, and I’m still kind of offended.” 

InnerSloth co-founder Marcus “Puff” Bromander added to the conversation, adding that while they didn’t patent the Among Us features because “I don’t think that leads to a healthy game industry” it’s not that difficult to put your own twist on anything if inspired by another game. “After all, I’m just going to keep making the games I want to make. Everything else is merely background noise.”

This isn’t the first time Fortnite has been chastised for being “inspired” by other media, with litigation centred on emotes inspired by prominent pop culture allusions. With the name of the new mode being Imposter, the similarities between the two maps, and the whole presentation of the Imposter Mode to the public, it’s difficult to deny that Epic Games made a key error when “inspired” other properties. Indie studios already face numerous challenges, ranging from fundraising to resource assistance, so a move like this by a mega-corporation like Epic Games is tough and perhaps destructive to the firm and other indie teams.

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