Epic Games has just added a new social deduction game mode to Fortnite called The Spy Within, taking somewhat unsubtle inspiration from Among Us' popular cat-and-mouse premise.
The time-limited mode has been introduced for the holiday season, and sees players (you guessed it) assigned to a team – without knowledge of who their teammates are – tasked with weeding out friends from foe.
Two players in each game will be on the Spy team (read: the imposters) and must eliminate all others – who are working in silence to complete objectives throughout the map – while avoiding detection.
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It’s no secret that Among Us’ Cluedo-inspired premise found immense popularity during this year’s lockdown periods as gamers spent (even more) time indoors, offering a simple, enjoyable way to stay engaged with friends without the need for expensive games and hardware.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Among Us was the most searched video game on Google, gaining unprecedented traction for what is, essentially, an online board game.
Fortnite has spent the last few years at the top of the industry pile, and so it follows that Epic Games hopes to seize on the popularity of the sleeper hit by adding an almost identical mode to its already phenomenally popular game.
This isn’t the first time the battle royale heavyweight has been accused of pinching successful ideas. Way back when, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds developer, Bluehole, expressed concerns that Epic lifted designs from what many consider the defining game of the battle royale genre.
Fortnite’s addition of the ping system, an idea popularised by Apex Legends, also drew criticism for its obvious, unashamed similarity to that used in the Respawn title.
By-and-large, Fortnite’s battle royale competitors have been unhurt by Epic’s casual larceny; both PUBG and Apex Legends remain hugely popular games in their own right. It remains to be seen whether Among Us, led by a small indie team from InnerSloth, can weather the storm from such a big-hitter.
In better news for fans of the game, Among Us is no longer a PC and mobile exclusive. Nintendo recently announced that Among Us is coming to Nintendo Switch, marking the game’s first foray into the console market.
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