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Why it matters: Shortly after Epic Games announced a new mode for Fortnite that is clearly inspired by Among Us, some Among Us developers called Epic out for being maybe a tad too close to their game. Among Us may end up turning social deduction into a trendy video game genre (though it wasn't the first one), or at least a trendy game mode, but at what point is someone just ripping off Among Us?
The "Imposters" mode has players complete various tasks together to maintain a facility while one player, as the eponymous imposter, has to eliminate the others without being found out.
Victoria Tran, community manager at Among Us developer Innersloth, called Epic out on Twitter for giving Fortnite's new mode the same terminology and themes as Among Us. The word "imposter" is pretty standard, but the tasks players perform in the latest Fortnite update, along with the system by which they can vote out suspects on "The Bridge," seems a bit too close for comfort for Innersloth.
Possibly more concerning are similarities between the Fortnite mode's map layout and an Among Us map, as Innersloth programmer Gary Porter pointed out.
It's okay tho they flipped electrical and medbay and connected security to the cafeteria. pic.twitter.com/XXVsJPpiXn--- Gary Porter (@supergarydeluxe) August 17, 2021
"I wasn't even around for the development of Skeld and I'm still kind of offended," Porter said, referring to the Among Us map in question.
For comparison, Activision unveiled a new mode for Call of Duty: Warzone last week that's also obviously a take on Among Us, but other than the core concept of players becoming traitors, Warzone's "Double Agent" mode is quite different. It tasks players with tracking down and defusing bombs spread throughout the map while also analyzing clues to identify the double agents – of which there are more than one. Double agents have to eliminate the other players while planting and setting off bombs.
Fortnite became a success after rapidly building up its battle royale mode – inspired by the much smaller Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), which had recently exploded in popularity, making it free-to-play, and releasing it on consoles before PUBG. Some have criticized Epic for capitalizing on ideas from indie developers, making their versions with bigger budgets and more development manpower. Like Raw Fury community director Kristi Anderson, many criticized Epic for rolling out Imposters mode during its legal battle with Apple, in which it's supposedly trying to get Apple to open up its iOS ecosystem for the sake of smaller developers.