Wellness App Dev Apologizes For Plagarizing Indie Game Gris

The accused app has owned up, apologized, and taken the video in question down.

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Indie platformer Gris was celebrated at launch for its beautiful art (among other things), and plenty of folks took notice of its gorgeous sense of style. Now, it seems that one designer took too much notice and copied many elements of the game's style in their own work for wellness app 'The Fabulous'.

Gris publisher Digital Devolver publicly accused the app makers of ripping off Gris' artwork in a tweet, which includes a side-by-side video of the app running alongside Gris. In the tweet, they warn other developers to be careful of "big companies and brands stealing creative work" from them.

The Fabulous took notice, and took the video down. Speaking with Gamasutra, Fabulous' CEO Sami Ben stated that the team's wrongdoing was "unintentional," and that the team has been inspired by several other games in their work, including Journey and Monument Valley. "We have a team of two artists and freelancers, and that video was created a few months ago," Ben said. "We're still investigating this as all of this has been sudden, but any wrongdoing from our side is not intentional. It might be that one of our artists or freelancers got inspired by a game that they liked."

Fabulous also followed up on Twitter, directly tweeting at Devolver Digital about the situation.

Following this, The Fabulous conducted an investigation, and ultimately made a post on Medium with a direct explanation from the designer who made the video in question. "When I was about to start the animation, I told our design lead that I was gonna get inspired from a game called 'Gris' for the animation," they wrote. He never played the game, so he gave me the OK for 'getting inspired'. I took the word 'inspired' way too far."

"I took things way too far and what I thought I was managing got slipped out of my control without me even noticing. Our lead designer had no idea about that since he, like I said, didn’t play the game. I am the only person responsible for this catastrophe. As a content creator, I am ashamed that I ended up copying someone else’s hard work, and believe me this is the first time that I know of this has happened to me."

Gris launched on PC and Switch late last year, and also came to iOS in September 2019.

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