Some of the people behind indie hit Among Us have spoken out about Fortnite's new Impostors mode.
Yesterday, Fortnite developer Epic announced a new game mode for its all-encompassing battle royale that has an uncanny resemblance to 2018 online multiplayer social deduction game Among Us.
Fortnite Impostors sees 10 players, eight agents and two impostors play out their roles on a submarine. Like in Among Us, the agents carry out routine assignments, while the impostors sabotage the facility and eliminate players. Impostors can also teleport players to cover their tracks and disable assignments.
And just like Among Us, agents can call for a discussion at any time by finding and reporting an eliminated agent or interacting with the discussion panel. During discussions, Agents and impostors can share information with each other via emotes and a brand-new quick chat menu, asking contextual questions about who was doing what and accusing suspicious candidates for ejection.
At the end of each discussion, agents and impostors vote to either eject someone or skip their vote.
As news of the new mode spread online, some of the people behind Among Us expressed their disappointment on social media.
"It would've been really, really cool to collab haha," tweeted Among Us community director Victoria Tran. "Just sad indie hours rn."
Then: "Like game mechanics fine, those shouldn't be gatekept, but at the very least even different themes or terminology makes things more interesting?"
Innersloth's lead Unity programmer, Adriel Wallick, expressed her disappointment via a webcomic:
???????https://t.co/aPNezC2RBc— Adriel Wallick (@MsMinotaur) August 17, 2021
"Anyway - just feeling pretty bummed today," she added.
"Everything in the world was already feeling insurmountable, so this was just another fun reminder of how tiny we all really are."
Programmer Gary Porter also weighed in:
I haven't been tweeting much recently because I've been working so hard on upcoming content for Among Us. So it feels weird to be compelled to tweet again because of stuff like this.— Gary Porter (@supergarydeluxe) August 17, 2021
I wasn't even around for the development of Skeld and I'm still kind of offended.— Gary Porter (@supergarydeluxe) August 17, 2021
Anyway that's my piece on the whole thing. Gonna get back to adding butts to among us or whatever
InnerSloth co-founder Marcus Bromander took to Twitter to point out the company did not patent Among Us' mechanics because "I don't think that leads to a healthy game industry".
"Is it really that hard to put 10 percent more effort into putting your own spin on it though?"
Responding to a Twitter user who pointed out the viability of patenting Mafia, the influential live party game that inspired Among Us, Bromander replied: "If WB can patent a Nemesis System and Square can patent the ATB system we could patent the tasks system for example."
Fortnite's Impostors mode comes as a surprise given it's a game built on frequent collaborations with third-party IPs for the sale of character skins. Tran told PC Gamer Innersloth did not work with Epic on the mode, confirming: "although we would have liked to, and found out about it the same time as everyone else."
Bromander later said on Twitter: "Worst part is we've been actively trying to collab with them."
A representative for Epic told Eurogamer this morning the company has no comment to share.
This isn't the first time Epic has quite obviously taken ideas from other genres and added it into Fortnite. When Epic first added battle royale into the game, PUBG Corporation accused Epic of lifting ideas straight from PUBG. At the time, the PUBG team was using the Epic-owned Unreal Engine and working with Epic engineers to help build the battle royale.
And Epic has been criticised for cherry picking from popular culture - particularly for Fortnite dance emotes - without credit.