Epic Games recently kicked off a new Fortnite mode called Impostors in which ten players gather in a secret facility called "The Bridge" and variously attempt to complete tasks, commit sabotage, and quietly kill one another off, all while attempting to determine which two among them are the dastardly, titular "impostors." It is, as you may have gleaned from the description, very much like the mega-hit social deduction game Among Us.
The point didn't go unnoticed by Among Us community director Victoria Tran, who said on Twitter that "it would've been really, really cool to collab" with Epic Games on something. Among Us isn't an especially unique design—the original concept goes all the way back to the mid-1980s, and other recent videogames including Eville, Unfortunate Spacemen, and Werewolves Within have all provided different takes on it—but Epic's version, including the name of the mode, leans heavily into Among Us specifically.
like game mechanics fine, those shouldn't be gatekept, but at the very least even different themes or terminology makes things more interesting? 😕August 17, 2021
"I think it's just hitting me particularly hard today cause of all the bf dungeon stuff, plus this, and it hits so weirdly personal because it feels exactly like being a woman/POC in tech," Tran wrote. "It feels like a powerless 'lol what's the point anymore' of making our own stories/content."
Innersloth programmer Adriel Wallick didn't name Fortnite specifically, but made her feelings on the matter clear in separate tweets:
Anyway - just feeling pretty bummed today. Everything in the world was already feeling insurmountable, so this was just another fun reminder of how tiny we all really are.August 17, 2021
Tran confirmed in a Twitter DM that Among Us developer Innersloth did not work with Epic on the mode, "although we would have liked to, and found out about it the same time as everyone else." She added, however, that the studio is "working on some really cool collabs with other indie developers" that it hopes to be able to reveal soon.
It's an unfortunate situation, because it would have been easy to avoid: Epic could have looped Innersloth into the project to some extent, or it could've whipped up its own, more obviously home-grown take on the social deduction genre. To be clear, it's not a huge loss for Among Us, which remains a tremendously popular game in its own right, but I can't help but feel like an official Among Us mode made in partnership with Innersloth would have gone over very well with fans of both games.
I've reached out to Epic for comment and will update if I receive a reply.