Developing a game is hard. It requires a lot of patience, effort, and passion from multiple aspects. Animation is one those critically important aspects, and not a place you’d want to take shortcuts. As it so happens, Archangel Studios, the developer behind the Soulsborne game Bleak Faith: Forsaken, is being accused of just that. Allegations have surfaced that the developer used animations directly lifted from FromSoftware games, Elden Ring in particular. And while the evidence may be convincing, the team at Archangel maintain the assets are legitimate.
Bleak Faith: Forsaken Devs Accused of Using Stolen Animations
After the game launched on March 10, some users discovered that many of the animations in Bleak Faith: Forsaken look eerily similar to the ones used in FromSoftware’s latest title Elden Ring.
The strongest evidence comes from Twitter user Meowmaritus, responsible for making DS Anim Studio. It’s a modding tool for Dark Souls that allows animations to be exported or used for other purposes. Meowmaritus shared footage showing the Elden Ring “claymore” animation side-by-side with the one from Bleak Faith: Forgotten. The resemblances are uncanny, to say the least.
Saw this footage floating around. Bleak Faith: Forspoken is 100% using animations ripped directly 1:1 from Elden Ring.
I do NOT condone people using my DS Anim Studio software to aid in exporting animations to include in commercial products or sell them on Epic Games Store. pic.twitter.com/9JHGMeu9as
— Meowmaritus (@meowmaritus) March 12, 2023
On the surface, this seems like a case of pure plagiarism against the developer who started the Soulsborne genre. However, Archangel Studios has stated that it not rip the animations directly from Elden Ring. A developer by the name of Roia posted on the Steam Forums with this to say:
“Any animations not made in-house are from the Epic Marketplace and have been up there for years, rigged to an Epic Skeleton. We’ve heard this comment before, but you can buy the animations yourself if you want as they are publicly available and have been for a long time. Any other question or concern should be taken up with Epic themselves.”
Basically, the development studio paid for and used Epic assets, same as many other developers do. But even if the Epic Marketplace assets are a bit sketchy, the developers are now in the crossfire. Still, Roia says the team will “rework things” if it’s proven the animations were actually stolen. For now, we’ll have to wait to learn more about the origin of the animations, and whether or not they should have been on the Marketplace to begin with.