author: Adrian Werner
Bleak Faith Excessively Inspired by Elden Ring; Devs Accused of Theft [UPDATE]
The creators of Bleak Faith: Forsaken have been accused of stealing animations from Elden Ring. However, they are most likely not the ones to blame for the situation.
Archangel Studios has issued a new statement on the matter. The team announced that while working on Bleak Faith: Forsaken it purchased animations from the Unreal Engine Marketplace in good faith, confident that the company managing the store, Epic Games, had ensured that no stolen elements were included.
However, after contacting Epic Games, it turned out that the company does not check this at all and relies on the sellers' declarations. Thus, the administrators of Unreal Engine Marketplace are unable to guarantee the legitimacy of the items made available in the store.
After the issue became known, the animation stolen from Elden Ring were removed from the Unreal Engine Marketplace store. However, Archangel Studios will replace them in Bleak Faith: Forsaken with new ones via an update.
Original post (March 13, 2023)
The past few days have not been easy for Archangel Studios, the developers of the action RPG Bleak Faith: Forsaken. Last week's release of the game turned out to be a disappointment, and now the devs have been accused of stealing animations from Elden Ring.
- The case was detected by a fan going by the handle Meowmaritus, who noticed that some of the animations in Bleak Faith are identical to those in Elden Ring.
- Meowmaritus was all the more upset about the whole situation because he is the author of FromSoftware's modding tools and suspects that one of them, called DS Anim Studio, may have been used to extract specific animations from Elden Ring.
- You can watch the comparison below. The footage leaves no doubt that this is the same attack animation. You can also find other examples on Reddit.
Is this really theft?
However, the case is most likely much more complicated. Archangel Studios claims that it did not copy the animation from Elden Ring. The team is a mere three people and to develop a game of the scale of Bleak Faith the developers had to rely heavily on elements purchased from the Unreal Engine Marketplace. That's where the animations come from.
- This explanation seems likely, so there are two possibilities. Either FromSoftware itself also bought the same set of animations, or the person selling the animations took them from Elden Ring without the permission of the Japanese studio.
- If the latter is true (which is much more likely), the folks at Archangel Studios believe that this may not have happened by extracting animations directly from Elden Ring's files. Instead, the author of the package from the Unreal Engine Marketplace may have copied these animations using a technique called rotoscopy. Such a solution would have made the matter less clear from a legal point of view.
Recall that Bleak Faith: Forsaken debuted last Friday. The game is available only on PC. The game met with a cold reception, but since the day of release it has slowly but steadily improved. A day after its release, only 58% of player reviews on Steam praised the title, while at the time of writing this news it is 64%.
- Bleak Faith: Forsaken on Steam