Fortnite has a new “Impostors” mode that’s a far cry from anything the online game previously had to offer.
Impostors sees eight players maintaining new map The Bridge while two other players try to overtake it. The snag is that no-one knows who those two impostors and.. yes, it’s Among Us in everything but name. Granted, “impostor” is a fairly common word, but developers Epic didn’t even try to swap it up for “interloper”, “enemy agent” or some other term.
It’s true that Among Us isn’t a wholly original idea. It’s similar to several existing board games, including the sadly out-of-print Burke’s Gambit, but it has its own distinctive style and features. Impostors, on the other hand, is such a blatant clone of Among Us it’s embarrassing. Yes, there are plenty of Among Us knock-offs on the Steam Store, but this is the work of a major developer.
And yet, Among Us’s developers apparently would have been open to an official collaboration with Fortnite, having previously crossed over with Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. Their statement to IGN read:
“We didn’t work with Epic on it, although we would have loved to collab, and found out about it the same time as everyone else. We’ve been working on some really cool collabs with other indie developers that we can hopefully share soon though.”
However, there’s even more to Epic’s questionably shenanigans. As a few people were quick to point out, Epic has, in its lawsuit with Apple, tried to paint itself as the little guy, standing up for those who Apple would steamroller over. And yet here they are, borrowing heavily from a smaller developer who would have been happy to work with them. It’s not a good look. It’s also not the first time Epic has copied things from other sources. The company has been sued for taking dance moves from existing artists and turning them into emotes, though whether you can copyright a dance move is still pretty fuzzy.
We don’t expect much to come of this; Inner Sloth, developers of Among Us are unlikely to take legal action, and Epic has previously seen off a copyright lawsuit from the developer of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. But that doesn’t stop Epic’s behaviour from seeming very suss.