Indie Soulslike Bleak Faith: Forsaken launched earlier this week on March 10th, and as expected, it shares lots of similarities with FromSoft games such as Elden Ring and Dark Souls: an interconnected world, big boss battles, animation-heavy combat, and so on . But comparisons began to surface online showcasing mirrored animations between Bleak Faith and FromSoft’s titles, leading to accusations of stolen assets, as reported by PC gamers. Archangel have now responded to the allegations of plagiarism, pointing to the Epic Marketplace where the team purchased the assets.
In a statement to RPS and in a post on the team’s Steam blog, Archangel say that they’ve “always been transparent with their community about the use of Epic Marketplace assets.” They continue to say that only 10% of their RPG was outsourced in this manner and that “as a three-person studio, it was a vital resource… throughout the four-year development.” Archangel say that they purchased the animation packages from the Epic Marketplace “with the understanding that Epic went through the proper vetting and review process.”
The Epic Marketplace is the storefront where developers can buy digital assets for games made in Unreal Engine, but Fortnite publisher Epic Games apparently doesn’t verify the copyright for marketplace items. In a statement to the studio, Epic say “each Marketplace seller represents and warrants to Epic that they have appropriate rights to upload their content.” They continue to say, “Epic is not in a position to independently verify such rights, and Epic makes no such guarantee to purchasers of the content.” The animation packages have since been removed from the marketplace.
“Out of respect for the original artists and the players,” Archangel have already replaced many of the purchased animations and will continue to do so over the next few days. “Certainly this has been a huge lesson for us and hopefully other indie creators out there too,” Archangel say.
I had never heard of Bleak Faith before, but I’m digging the boisterous boss battles (hello, hag-faced spider) and its sci-fi-fantasy fusion shown in the trailer above. If your curiosity is peaked, Bleak Faith: Forsaken is available for £25/€29/$30 on Steam. Also, I very nearly called the game Black Faith: Forspoken more times than I care to admit.