Respawn Entertainment and EA, developer and publisher behind the popular battle royale Apex Legends, have been accused of ripping off a character from upcoming indie shooter, BulletVille.
Apex Legends, which could be launching on Switch as soon as next month, is set to introduce new character Fuse as part of its eighth season on 2nd February. NOWWA, the team behind BulletVille, says that it has found the character to be "quite familiar", noting his "eyepatch, biker attire, skull belt, mechanical arm, moustache, belt of grenades, gloves, necklace, vest jacket with circular symbol on the back, leg holsters, red/grey colour scheme, and characteristic grey stripe of hair."
The team points out that Hunter, a character from BulletVille, has been public for nearly two years, and that Apex Legends' Fuse "seems to share a lot of similarities" with its own design. The accusations go further, as NOWWA explains that BulletVille playtests were held with EA in October and November 2020 – something it says "reinforces the theory of a potential ‘inspiration’."
NOWWA shared the following statement on the matter to Nintendo Life, attaching an image of the two characters side-by-side:
“We are happy that the Apex Legends team liked Hunter’s style to the point of wanting to recreate it in Apex Legends - we were even hoping for an eventual crossover! Nonetheless, we are afraid that, as a small indie game producer whose game hasn’t been launched yet, we’ll be called a ripoff of Apex Legends, which is certainly not true.”
"Hunter can count on two weapons: a pistol and rocket launcher. Guess what Fuse’s ultimate ability is?" NOWWA says. "A rocket launcher."
We've reached out to EA's Apex Legends PR team for comment and will update this story if we receive a response.