While browsing games on Steam, Twitch streamer Benjamin ‘Dr Lupo’ Lupo thought he discovered an Escape from Tarkov knock-off, but it turned out to be the game’s sister title — Hired Ops — which his community quickly dubbed “Tarkov Lite.”
Escape from Tarkov, the “realistic online first-person action RPG/simulator” developed by Battlestate Games has carved out a special place in the hearts of many members of the gaming community for its immersive (and extremely challenging) gameplay loop.
The B-state Games title may not grab the same level of attention on Twitch and YouTube as games like Call of Duty: Warzone or Apex Legends, but many powerhouse content creators like Pestily, Anne Munition, and DrLupo spend plenty of time grinding the hardcore FPS.
While browsing games on Steam with his Twitch chat, Lupo stumbled across what appeared to be an Escape from Tarkov knock-off — but he and his community quickly realized that Hired Ops is actually an arena shooter set in the Tarkov universe.
During his Escape from Tarkov stream on April 17, DrLupo wanted a change of pace and hopped on Steam to try and find another game to play. While browsing the digital storefront, he stumbled across a game called Hired Ops.
“Isn’t this basically Tarkov but CoD?” he asked his chat.
After jumping over to the game’s Steam page and taking a closer look, many similarities between the two titles quickly became apparent.
“This looks familiar,” he joked as Hired Ops’ gameplay trailer played and his chat pointed out that the same factions are present in both games.
At one point, the trailer confirmed that Hired Ops takes place in Tarkov, Russia — a fictional location, but one that obviously shares its name with Escape from Tarkov. After hearing this, Lupo stared at his camera in disbelief, then broke into laughter as his chat began spamming “Tarkov Lite.”
“I didn’t think they were so bold about it, but it’s just like Tarkov,” the streamer remarked while his viewers continued to joke about the similarities to EFT. “Is it just Tarkov lite?”
While many might assume Hired Ops is simply a knock-off of Escape from Tarkov, it’s actually a separate game set in the same universe. While its developer, Absolut Soft, is separate from Battlestate Games, the two studios appear to be sharing many assets between both titles.
The EFT developer also congratulated the team behind Hired Ops on the game’s full release on April 13. Hired Ops is now available as a free-to-play title on Steam, and if it were truly a copycat it’s safe to assume Battlestate Games wouldn’t be congratulating Absolut Soft on its release.
While it may be a bit hard to figure out, any Escape from Tarkov fans who are craving a break from the game’s hardcore mechanics (or for anyone simply looking to try out a new FPS title) Hired Ops is ready and waiting for players to jump in.