Indie studio NOWAA claims that Fuse, who is set to be introduced in the upcoming Apex Legends Season 8, is a knockoff of its character named Hunter from the game BulletVille. The developer told NintendoLife that the two characters “[seem] to share a lot of similarities”.
The studio also pointed out comparable features between Fuse and Hunter such as: an 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.
See what Hunter looks like here:
“We are happy that the Apex Legends team liked Hunter’s style to the point of wanting to recreate it in Apex Legends,” NOWAA said in a statement. “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.”
NOWAA CEO Yohami Zerpa later explained to PC Gamer that the studio had also been in contact with EA’s indie-focused label, EA Originals, about a publishing deal for BulletVille. For context, EA is the parent company of Respawn Entertainment and also publishes Apex Legends.
Zerpa told NintendoLife that this link “reinforces the theory of a potential ‘inspiration’” taken from Hunter by Respawn. However, he added in a separate statement to PC Gamer that he “[doesn’t] necessarily think there’s a connection between EA Originals and the people at Respawn, but suffice to say that EA is aware of us at the bare minimum”.
Both publications note that EA has yet to officially comment on the situation. It’s also currently unclear if NOWAA plans to take legal action over the alleged knockoff character.
In other Respawn Entertainment news, the developer might be working on a new game, according to a now-removed job listing. Respawn stated that it was looking for a “generalist software engineer” to join its “new IP incubation team”. However, details about the project remain scarce, aside from a reference to “new, practical technologies to enable ‘adventuring forever’”.