Game publisher Devolver Digital has accused Fabulous, a self-help app, of allegedly ripping off the art style and certain animations from their platformer GRIS. Fabulous encourages its users to incorporate healthy habits into their daily routine. Devolver posted their accusation to Twitter, tagging the official Fabulous account and including a video with a side-by-side comparison of various sequences from the app and GRIS that demonstrate their similarities.
The Fabulous app (@GetTheFabulous) ripped off GRIS and is reminder to all devs to be mindful of big companies and brands stealing creative work from smaller studios. pic.twitter.com/scg20wt4Vj
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) November 5, 2019
After Devolver’s Tweet, the company behind Fabulous took down the video containing the footage Devolver used for their comparison. They eventually replied to Devolver’s Tweet, rejecting Devolver’s labeling of them as a “big company” and insisting they, too, are “a small startup.” They announced they had privately contacted Devolver to work things out as well and clarified they hadn’t intended for “any wrongdoing.”
Similar to you, we’re a small startup inspired by the things we love. We have removed the video as a preemptive action & are investigating. We’ve privately contacted Devolver Digital to resolve this. Any wrongdoing on our part was certainly not intentional.
— The Fabulous (@GetTheFabulous) November 5, 2019
Fabulous CEO Sami Hassine told VICE Games that the company is “investigating this as all of this has been sudden, but any wrongdoing from our side is not intentional.” Hassine went on to discuss the inspiration for the game, attributing their app’s “universe” to “games like Journey, Mountain Valley, and books like The Little Prince or The Alchemist.” Hassine admitted that there was a chance someone who worked on the app “got inspired by a game they liked.”
Devolver hasn’t made any other official statements on the matter since their original Tweet, but they did respond to Fabulous with a simple “Much appreciated.”
It’s not clear what will happen to the Fabulous self-help app, but at least the two companies appear to be communicating with each other.