Indie Soulslike Bleak Faith: Forsaken launched earlier this week on March 10, and as expected, it shares plenty of similarities with FromSoft games such as Elden Ring and Dark Souls: a cohesive world, big boss fights, animation-heavy battles, and so on. But comparisons began to surface online with mirrored animations between Bleak Faith and FromSoft’s titles, leading to allegations of stolen assets, as reported by PC Gamer. Archangel has 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 says they have “always been transparent with their community about the use of Epic Marketplace assets.” They go on to say that only 10% of their RPG was outsourced in this way, and that “as a three-person studio, it was a vital resource … throughout the four-year development.” Archangel says it purchased the animation packs from the Epic Marketplace “with the understanding that Epic went through the proper investigation and review process.”
The Epic Marketplace is the storefront where developers can purchase digital assets for games made in the Unreal Engine, but Fortnite publisher Epic Games apparently doesn’t confirm the copyright of marketplace items. In a statement to the studio, Epic says “each Marketplace Seller represents and warrants to Epic that they have appropriate rights to upload their content.” They go on to say, “Epic is unable to independently verify such rights, and Epic makes no such warranty to purchasers of the Content.” The animation packs have since been removed from the marketplace.
“Out of respect for the original artists and players,” Archangel has already replaced many of the purchased animations and will continue to do so over the next few days. “This has definitely been a big lesson for us and hopefully other indie creators out there as well,” says Archangel.
I’d never heard of Bleak Faith before, but I’m digging the rowdy boss fights (hello, beard-faced spider) and its sci-fi-fantasy fusion shown in the trailer above. If your curiosity is piqued, Bleak Faith: Forsaken is available for £25/€29/$30 on Steam. Also, I almost called the game Black Faith: Foreshadowed more times than I care to admit.