Devolver Digital, publishers of indie platformer Gris, have accused a health app of plagiarizing several of the game's cinematic elements in their art style.
The app, called Fabulous, is a health and wellbeing tracker which has previously been named Apple's App of the Day in 27 countries during 2018 and won Google's Material Design award in 2016. It provides a simple and clean interface using bold colors to track a number of wellbeing factors, including exercise, sleep quality, meditation and other habits to improve mindfulness. However since then it has had a number of updates and in May of this year the app added in short animations and videos as you progressed along a journey of self-improvement.
Devolver takes issue with one of these movies that very closely resembles cinematics from their indie platformer Gris. The game is about a hopeful young girl dealing with a painful experience in her life. Her journey through sorrow manifests in her dress, which grants new abilities to better navigate her faded reality and gives a distinct look to all animations and cutscenes. You can see a few of them side by side below.
The white figure in the Fabulous app has been present since before these animations were added, but the way the dress moves, combined with the setting, timing and animation blocking make the similarities hard to deny. It's also a little painfully ironic that an app specifically designed to help those going through painful periods would crib from a game aiming to do the same.
Devolver claims this is another example of larger, well-established brands taking creative ideas from smaller studios, something that happens quite regularly on the App store and Google Play store. Years ago, number puzzler Threes suffered a significant earnings impact after a free clone version of the simple but well-presented game appeared under 2048, which quickly rose to prominence and overshadowed Threes' success and charming art style.
What do you think? Do you think Fabulous is a direct plagiarism of Gris?