Like it or not, it’s hard to argue that Nomada Studio’s debut Gris isn’t an absolute stunner. Alice B found it a bit bleedin’ obvious with its themes of feminine fragility and trauma in her Gris review, but that doesn’t stop it being an absolutely gorgeous picturebook platformer. She wasn’t alone, either. This week, publishers Devolver Digital alleged that a French studio has “ripped off” Gris when selling their mobile self-care app.
Gris wasn’t the first game to paint dainty flowing orb-children with bright pastel palettes (hello Monument Valley, Child of Light, etc). But from hand-held composition to almost frame-perfect animation similarities, Devolver reckon the Fabulous have crossed the line from inspiration to infringement.
After being thoroughly called-out online, Fabulous has taken down their offending video. Responding to Devolver’s tweet, they claim that they’ve opened an internal investigation and entered talks with Devolver to sort this mess out.
While that investigation is ongoing, CEO Sami Ben Hassine told Vice that it’s likely one of their artists or freelancers was “inspired by a game that they liked”. Regardless, Devolver much appreciate Fabulous taking down their video.
Hassine isn’t too happy at Devolver’s underdog angle of taking on the big, thieving brand, mind. Hassine claims Fabulous is just a small start-up, taking inspiration from games like Journey and Monument Valley to make self-care apps.