In the world of video game character design, you will often see some similar archetypes pop into existence. And with a game like Fortnite, which dumps out dozens of new skins a season, that overlap seems a lot more likely.
Before this turns into a thing, I wanted to chime in and say that no, a Respawn Apex Legends animator is not really accusing Epic of ripping off a character for a new Fortnite skin.
Here’s the tweet that is starting all the drama:
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Parra is a Senior Animator at Respawn, and he is joking (key word: joking) that this Fortnite skin shares similarities to his own creation, Crypto, an Apex legend.
The tweet says that he’s “heard of this guy before,” because he’s sharing a tweet where Epic lays out the full name of the set, the Crypto Collective, which is indeed the name of the Apex hero. But the skin itself is named Deadlock, and most of the similarities end there.
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To try and further say that this is a rip-off, fans are going to the next level to say that because he shares the “green” theme with Crypto that’s another clue. And yet the “green text hacker” concept has been around for ages, probably most popularized by The Matrix back in 1999.
And then fans are saying that Deadlock’s chinstrap beard looks like Crypto’s metal chin implant. Guys…
I just…don’t see it. Everyone is running too far with Parra’s joke (which was focused on the name) and I really don’t think Epic would have bothered to rip off Apex’s Crypto six months later, and if they had, I wish they’d done a better job of it. Crypto looks awesome and is a fantastically designed character. Deadlock looks like an Xbox One Slim come to life and he is probably one of the worst skins I’ve seen Fortnite v bucks generator do in a long time.
Epic has gotten in trouble in the past for stealing emote dances, but skin design? Not so much. They often pull from fan skin concepts, but when they do, those fans are compensated. And I think in general, Epic has some of the more creative skins out there. But when you have to design a bunch of relatively generic common and uncommon skins to release every year, you are probably going to have them share at least some similarities with every other quasi-military shooter ever released at some point. Here, the name sharing is not surprising, given the rise of crypto as a term the past few years, and in practice, the characters look nothing alike. I’m seeing Apex fans showing off other skins wearing masks and goggles that are supposed to resemble Caustic:
I mean, come on.
Coincidences happen, or at worst, slight homages. Nothing to see here.
Reboot vans and cards and the ping system? Yeah okay they stole those.