Update: After being engulfed in an Elden Ring animation imitation scandal, three-person team Archangel Studios has released a statement explaining how Bleak Faith: Forsaken ended up with identical assets to FromSoftware's hit open world RPG. Effectively, it explained that 10 per cent of the game's development was outsourced to Epic Marketplace assets, and it bought the packs in good faith. Since escalating the issue to Epic Games, it received the following response:
Pursuant to the Marketplace Distribution Agreement, each Marketplace seller represents and warrants to Epic that they have appropriate rights to upload their content. As with any store that hosts third-party content, however, Epic is not in a position to independently verify such rights, and Epic makes no such guarantee to purchasers of the content.
The assets have since been removed from Epic Marketplace, and Archangel Studios is committed to replacing them all in the game. The team explained in a statement:
[The response from Epic] is not satisfactory for us and so we have taken the decision to replace the assets purchased from the store over the next several days. Some changes we included in the recent patches, and more are coming in the next few days. Certainly this has been a huge lesson for us and hopefully other indie creators out there too that assets on these storefronts seemingly cannot be purchased in good faith.
Original Article: Plenty of games lift ideas and concepts from FromSoftware's revolutionary gameplay formula, popularised by Dark Souls back in 2011. This is so common, in fact, that an entire cottage genre of "Soulslike" games now exists. Bleak Faith: Forsaken, a Soulslike game released on 10th March, has allegedly taken things one step further, with its developer being accused of "stealing" animations directly from Elden Ring.
Dark Souls modding tools developer Meowmaritus called the title out on Twitter, showing off some pretty damning evidence and, unfortunately, mistitling the game in the process.
In response, a developer from Bleak Faith developer Archangel Studios released a statement on Discord defending the inclusion of the assets, explaining that they were purchased as part of a pack obtained from the Epic Games Store.
The dev, under the username 'überfaith42', wrote, "we’re always been transparent about using the Epic Marketplace for animations that are good and fit our theme. The rest I made – we just needed more variety, and I’m not an animator by trade, I had to learn for this game.”
A link to the Epic Games Store asset pack, which the developer claimed the animations came from, was provided, but only links to a 'not found ' page now.
Archangel now claims that the studio is working on alternative animations for the game, and überfaith42 followed up their Discord post with another, which states that "I want to stress this decision comes currently purely out of an artistic lens, as an artist I take pride in all the manual work and unique things I’ve built over the course of these many years. I wanted the game to stand out and bring its own flare in as many ways as possible. I definitely wasn’t aware any of the animations were really similar to anything else, I just thought we were doing business with a legitimate entity and that their work fits our vision of the combat. If it turns out that this seller is illegitimate, we will have all been victims of nefarious behaviour.”
What do you think of this whole situation? Is it 'stealing' to use assets acquired via a legally purchased asset pack? Do you believe the asset pack was indeed purchased legally? Let us know in the comments section below.