Oct 12, 2021 - Technology

Epic Games to work with “Among Us” creator on future project


Image: Epic Games

Epic Games is working with "Among Us" creator Innersloth on something new, after finally acknowledging the indie developer's influence on its Impostors mode in "Fortnite."

Why it matters: It's the first time Epic has publicly conceded the game's clear similarities to Innersloth's breakout hit, in which players attempt to complete tasks while rooting out a traitor in their midst.

  • In a blog post Tuesday, Epic notes several improvements in its latest update to Impostors," the game mode inspired by 'Among Us' from Innersloth."
  • "Among Us" launched in 2018, eventually finding widespread success in 2020 as the year's most downloaded mobile game.
  • Much like "Among Us," "Fortnite"'s Impostor mode is about a team of players completing assigned tasks together while rooting out saboteurs.
  • On Twitter, "Fortnite"'s official account tweeted at Innersloth today that it "never got to talk about how you inspired us. What do you think about working on something fun together sometime?" before adding "to our DMs!"

Flashback: Epic introduced the Impostors mode in August, prompting swift disappointment from several Innersloth employees.

  • “We would have loved to collab and found out about it the same time as everyone else," community director Victoria Tran told Axios in August. She later tweeted that while gameplay mechanics "shouldn't be gatekept ... at the very least even different themes or terminology makes things more interesting."
  • Company co-founder Marcus Bromander tweeted that Innersloth "didn't patent the 'Among Us' mechanics. I don't think that leads to a healthy game industry. Is it really that hard to put 10% more effort into putting your own spin on it though?"

Between the lines: Although developers borrow and adapt mechanics and ideas from peers all the time, this particular instance — the creator of mega-popular "Fortnite" vs. a small, independent team with a breakout hit — was particularly egregious.

  • The very obvious Twitter exchange between the two developers today is a two-fold accomplishment: drumming up hype for a new collaboration, while also making public amends.
  • Reached for comment, a Fortnite spokesperson directed Axios to that Twitter thread.
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