Fortnite released a brand new social deduction murder-myster-party mode on Tuesday called Impostor. The mode is very similar to the social deduction game indie game Among Us, down to the exact format and layout of the game, a fact that did not escape the internet. The Among Us Twitter account even responded the mode's announcement on Twitter with a tongue-and-cheek emoji.
The similarities drew criticism toward Epic from many players who are accusing the AAA developer of ripping off the indie developer of Among Us, Innersloth, without giving any credit to that company for the concept and format of their Impostor mode. Perhaps most notably, Community Director for Among Us spoke up, expressing her disappointment in Epic.
Many players pointed out the glaring similarities between the game mechanics and messaging, including the use of the word imposter, the format and layout of the assignments in the game, and the format of the meetings that can be called to vote off sus players. While Among Us did not invent the murder mystery party game, the Imposter mode seemed more like a clone of Among us than an adaptation to many who have experienced the mode.
Many of the players who did criticize Epic argued that, considering the companies penchant for collaboration, it would have been more appropriate for Epic to collaborate with Innersloth to bring an Among Us type mode to the game, rather than allegedly lifting the formula wholesale.
There were also some players who defended Epic's new mode, arguing that Among Us didn't invent the murder mystery party game, and that you can't own a concept for a game. Many criticized this line of reasoning, however, pointing out the precise similarities between the titles that went beyond using the same genre.
The backlash over the new imposter mode is not the first time Epic has been in hot water over allegedly copying ideas for games.
Fortnite BR came under fire in its early days due to its similarities to Player Unknown Battlegrounds BR. They adapted many mechanics from PUBG, even using the same weapons in the game, the dropping from a plane mechanic, and the closing circle.
While many of those things are well-established parts of the BR genre today, at the time PUBG's developers were very upset over what looked like a larger studio taking their ideas and mechanics. PUBG ended up suing Epic Games over the similarities in 2018, though they dropped that suit later that year.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.