Archangel Studios responds to Elden Ring asset-theft allegation

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Archangel Studios, the developer of the recently released Souls-like Bleak Faith: Forsaken, responded to allegations of asset theft from Elden Ring in a Steam page update on March 13.

Several eagle-eyed users on social media compared animations from Archangel’s Bleak Faith title to the hit FromSoftware game. In one particular instance, Dark Souls mod developer Meowmaritus posted footage of animations from both games side-by-side, showcasing the stark similarities.

“Bleak Faith: Forsaken is 100 percent using animations ripped directly 1:1 from Elden Ring,” Meowmaritus said on Twitter.

Notable similarities in the footage include Bleak Faith’s player claymore animations and Elden Ring’s straight sword attacks. While played at different speeds, the two animations follow the same pattern of an overhead swing, an over-right-shoulder swing and a series of quick slashes in the same direction.

Many Bleak Faith enemies also share movement sets from Elden Ring’s rogue gallery. For example, users compared Bleak Faith’s Abyss Watchers to Elden Ring’s most famous boss, Malenia. The two enemies spin around in the same rotation while dodging and slashing.

In the Steam post, Archangel admitted to using Epic Marketplace assets that were “a good fit for the game,” saying they helped the development team produce the game faster.

“We purchased these assets from the Epic Marketplace in good faith and with the understanding that Epic, as they do with all their marketplace sellers, went through a vetting and review process before the assets are sold,” the studio said.

“As indie creators, we are distressed and hurt by the accusations, as our sole intention is to create an engaging action RPG.”

Bleak Faith’s development team claimed no knowledge of copyright infringement from its asset pack. However, the team will work on “correcting the issue,” suggesting that it will replace the current animations and assets in the coming future.

Mixed reception

The accusations come on the heels of Bleak Faith’s lukewarm reception. Released on March 11, the Action-Adventure RPG is set in the grim remnants of a desolate world, featuring many combat elements reminiscent of FromSoftware games while showcasing a post-apocalyptic setting.

The game has only 64 percent positive reviews on Steam, with many reviewers praising its world-building and environment while criticizing its bugs and glitches. One negative review called the game “unfinished” and “too early to publish on Steam (…) for full price.”

The accusations have further sullied the game’s mixed reception in the gaming sphere. However, the alleged theft may be more of an innocent mistake on the Epic Marketplace’s part, with the asset marketplace selling packs that may or may not infringe on Elden Ring’s copyright.

An Archangel representative with the username ubermensch42 on Discord told players that the studio had brought concerns regarding the stolen assets to Epic’s Customer Service. However, they were unaware of the case’s legal repercussions.

“We’re not judges or versed in what is and isn’t allowed, or who owns the rights to any of these animations. This is why we reached out, to get some confirmation about the person who makes these animations,” they said.

While Archangel continues to try and resolve these issues, the team is also dealing with accusations of using AI-generated art for in-game images.

Elden Ring

Elden Ring is a 2022 action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. (wikipedia)


A Soulslike is a subgenre of action role-playing and action-adventure games known for high levels of difficulty and emphasis on environmental storytelling, typically in a dark fantasy setting. (wikipedia)


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