Among Us developers criticize Fortnite's new "Imposters" mode

Daniel Sims

Posts: 242   +12
Staff
Why it matters: Shortly after Epic Games announced a new mode for Fortnite that is clearly inspired by Among Us, some Among Us developers called Epic out for being maybe a tad too close to their game. Among Us may end up turning social deduction into a trendy video game genre (though it wasn't the first one), or at least a trendy game mode, but at what point is someone just ripping off Among Us?

The "Imposters" mode has players complete various tasks together to maintain a facility while one player, as the eponymous imposter, has to eliminate the others without being found out.

Victoria Tran, community manager at Among Us developer Innersloth, called Epic out on Twitter for giving Fortnite's new mode the same terminology and themes as Among Us. The word "imposter" is pretty standard, but the tasks players perform in the latest Fortnite update, along with the system by which they can vote out suspects on "The Bridge," seems a bit too close for comfort for Innersloth.

Possibly more concerning are similarities between the Fortnite mode's map layout and an Among Us map, as Innersloth programmer Gary Porter pointed out.

"I wasn't even around for the development of Skeld and I'm still kind of offended," Porter said, referring to the Among Us map in question.

For comparison, Activision unveiled a new mode for Call of Duty: Warzone last week that's also obviously a take on Among Us, but other than the core concept of players becoming traitors, Warzone's "Double Agent" mode is quite different. It tasks players with tracking down and defusing bombs spread throughout the map while also analyzing clues to identify the double agents -- of which there are more than one. Double agents have to eliminate the other players while planting and setting off bombs.

Fortnite became a success after rapidly building up its battle royale mode -- inspired by the much smaller Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), which had recently exploded in popularity, making it free-to-play, and releasing it on consoles before PUBG. Some have criticized Epic for capitalizing on ideas from indie developers, making their versions with bigger budgets and more development manpower. Like Raw Fury community director Kristi Anderson, many criticized Epic for rolling out Imposters mode during its legal battle with Apple, in which it's supposedly trying to get Apple to open up its iOS ecosystem for the sake of smaller developers.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 1,569   +3,089
Only think that I might dislike more than Fortnite's approach of "Be everything, from everything" approach at new content is other companies complaining "But we were so creative first to invent a game mode for our shooter game first!" and now "We've basically *invented* murder mystery intrigues and they're copying us!"

Just stop and go away, both of you.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,667   +3,325
TechSpot Elite
The only thing that I'd find distasteful is copying the same terms as Among Us. The map is a non-issue, and the game type isn't something new (and the perspectives are different).

But it would've been par for a Fortnite collab (considering how much they collab with everyone), so I guess it is something to call them out on...
 

psycros

Posts: 3,827   +4,985
The only thing that I'd find distasteful is copying the same terms as Among Us. The map is a non-issue, and the game type isn't something new (and the perspectives are different).

But it would've been par for a Fortnite collab (considering how much they collab with everyone), so I guess it is something to call them out on...

And it would have been so easy for Epic to call them up, and the Among Us team would probably have been happy to do something cool together. But no, Epic had to be jerks.
 

Wereweeb

Posts: 70   +137
Only think that I might dislike more than Fortnite's approach of "Be everything, from everything" approach at new content is other companies complaining "But we were so creative first to invent a game mode for our shooter game first!" and now "We've basically *invented* murder mystery intrigues and they're copying us!"

Just stop and go away, both of you.

I'm on the devs side on this one. It's really easy for a billionaire company with virtually infinite resources to copy and then destroy smaller developers, like Amazon does with small manufacturers.

Just goes to show the futility of the "anyone can be an enterpreneur" and "pull yourselves by your bootstraps" discourse people, it's easy to realize an idea when your daddy already has made millions from the african gem trade, like with Elon Musk. If you don't own the capital, you're forced to enslave yourself to a capitalist or have your creation seized from you.
 

MaitieS

Posts: 121   +141
Is that developer dumb or what? He is offended for what? Similar map? Damn guy shouldn't even breath in that case cuz someone could be offended by that as well.. Damn what an age we live in...
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,197   +4,061
TechSpot Elite
Is that developer dumb or what? He is offended for what? Similar map? Damn guy shouldn't even breath in that case cuz someone could be offended by that as well.. Damn what an age we live in...
It's not just the map, but the terminologies and concept too. It's not like they can do anything about it (they can't copyright such things), but it's normal for people to call out others when they see such "inspiration" being used in another game :)
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,569   +3,089
I'm on the devs side on this one. It's really easy for a billionaire company with virtually infinite resources to copy and then destroy smaller developers, like Amazon does with small manufacturers.

Just goes to show the futility of the "anyone can be an enterpreneur" and "pull yourselves by your bootstraps" discourse people, it's easy to realize an idea when your daddy already has made millions from the african gem trade, like with Elon Musk. If you don't own the capital, you're forced to enslave yourself to a capitalist or have your creation seized from you.
I don't disagree with those arguments and would agree with you if the mode was actually a more close copy of Among Us. I am sure that has happened and will happen because of it's popularity, but you gotta base your copying argument on something a little more substantiated than the concept of betrayal by other players as a game mechanic as the basis.

Just because I like smaller devs and they make good games, doesn't means that they're always masterful creative inventors of never before seen ideas, honestly just putting a twist on a really, really old idea like the murder mystery except now in an interactive video game is fairly ok in my book, and Epic transparently riding off their success, well that's what they did since Fortnite became a thing that copied PUBG and added minecraft elements. But that doesn't makes them copies, at most it's distasteful and in fairness to your point, it shows you that the thing that matters the most to succeed as a videogame maker it's still how much money you can invest in marketing.

But it is just that, distasteful and sad, not something we should imply it's a copy. It's an imitation but a game is much more than some less common game mechanics.