Epic Games can't verify copyright of assets sold on its marketplace, Bleak Faith devs say 

Bleak Faith: Forsaken developer Archangel Studios purchased some assets on the Unreal Engine Marketplace that turned out to be a ripoff of Elden Ring animations. Epic Games, however, says it can’t guarantee that third-party sellers own the copyright for their work.

Epic Games can't verify the copyright of third-party assets sold on its marketplace

What happened?

  • On March 11, Meowmaritus, who develops modding tools for Dark Souls, noted that animations in Bleak Faith: Forsaken were similar to those in Elden Ring.
  • “To make it clear I don’t have any issues with devs being very inspired by [FromSoftware] (like Nioh, Mortal Shell, new Lords of the Fallen),” the modder wrote. “None of those games use the literal assets from inside fromsoft games’ data, they are just big fans of [FromSoftware] and heavily referenced.”

  • The tweet went viral, making Archangel Studios respond to accusations. “Any animations not made in-house are from the Epic Marketplace and have been up there for years, rigged to an Epic Skeleton,” one developer wrote on Steam.
  • So the studio bought this assets on the Unreal Engine Marketplace and had no idea about the copyright infringement.

How did Epic Games respond to the controversy?

  • On March 13, Archangel Studios shared a message on Steam, saying that it eventually received a commentary from Epic Games.
  • The company noted that it can’t independently verify the copyright for third-party assets sold on the Unreal Engine Marketplace. It added that each seller must provide warrancy that they have appropriate rights to upload and sell their content.

Here is the full statement from Epic Games:

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.

  • Archangel Studios stated that it will replace these animation assets over the next several 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,” the message reads.

Launched on March 10, Bleak Faith: Forsaken is a Soulslike game clearly inspired by FromSoftware titles. It received mixed reviews from players and currently has a 65% rating on Steam based on 1,169 reviews.

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