Earlier this week, the Souls-like game Bleak Faith: Forsaken was widely criticized after noted Souls modder Meowmaritus showed that it used animations that were seemingly ripped directly from Elden Ring. Developer Archangel Studios has since removed the offending animations from the game, but denied the accusations of intentional plagiarism, stating that it found those animations on the Unreal Engine Marketplace.
Saw this footage floating around. Bleak Faith: Forspoken is 100% using animations ripped directly 1:1 from Elden Ring.
I do NOT condone people using my DS Anim Studio software to aid in exporting animations to include in commercial products or sell them on Epic Games Store. pic.twitter.com/9JHGMeu9as
— Meowmaritus (@meowmaritus) March 12, 2023
After the accusations surfaced, Archangel reached out to marketplace owner Epic Games to discuss the issue, and received a statement that essentially said that Epic is not responsible for hosted third-party content that breaks copyright. (It’s the same statement that Epic provided GameSpot when asked for comment.)
In a statement to PC Gamer, Archangel noted that the offending assets have been removed from the marketplace entirely for unknown reasons, and that the studio plans to replace them over the coming days. It further stated that the situation was a “huge lesson” for the studio and warned other indie studios from purchasing assets on marketplaces without doing their own due diligence. Epic declined to comment further on the matter.
It’s a difficult situation for all parties, especially given that Bleak Faith is a game that markets itself on its similarities to the Souls series. Regardless of the particulars, it’s a potential pitfall that independent developers should be aware of.
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