Bleak Faith: Forsaken Devs Respond to Plagiarism Controvers
You could say the accusations were… bleak.
Bleak Faith: Forsaken devs, Archangel Studios, has been accused of reskinning and utilizing FromSoftware animation assets due to striking similarities between Forsaken and other FromSoftware titles such as Elden Ring. Others online have accused the devs of AI-generating perk icons in the game as well.
You can read the full statement yourself, but the basic premise is that Archangel laid the blame on Epic. “The assets in question were purchased from the Epic Marketplace in good faith and with the understanding that Epic went through the proper vetting and review process before listing them for sale.” The studio has also reached out to Epic Games about an investigation, wherein they were met with a message that essentially says that Epic isn’t in a position to “independently verify such [usage] rights” and that they make “no such guarantee to purchasers of content.” So, basically, Epic has washed its hands of blame and pushed it to a mystery third party. Given that the assets that Archangel Studios bought from Unreal Engine Marketplace have been removed, the studio has no choice but the recreate them in-house to avoid plagiarism. Archangel Studios went on to state, “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.” As for the AI-generated imagery accusation, the studio simply said it was an “oversight” and that those icons would be altered. This brings about some heavy questions about Epic and the way they vet and curate sellers and products on the Marketplace, so it’ll be interesting to keep an eye out and see if any changes happen as a result of this. This isn’t the first game to be accused of stealing another game’s assets, however, it’s one of the more recent controversies to take the internet and directly implicate a major storefront like Epic Games.
If you haven’t heard about Bleak Faith: Forsaken before this, now is a time to check it out. It’s a medieval Soulslike, so it isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel, but it looks like it’ll appeal to fans of Souls installations (though it was launched with mixed reviews). You can check out the official launch trailer here or check the game out on Steam.
What are your thoughts on this plagiarism accusation and how the studio handled the heat? Let me know in the comments below!