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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.

Go deeper

Sony's high price of admission

Photo: YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

Sony is under fire from indie developers who say it charges over $25,000 for prime placement on the PlayStation store and gives them "no ability to manage their games."

Why it matters: The process of getting listed, and then selling, games on the PlayStation store is a bureaucracy that small developers have no control over.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 3 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

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