Friday the 13th: The Game will not be available for purchase after December 31, because of the legal battle over the IP.
Friday the 13th: The Game, a popular asymmetrical multiplayer survivor horror game, has hit a wall regarding content development in 2018, and today the game’s developer announced that the game’s license expires on December 31, after which the game won’t be available for purchase anymore.
According to the developers themselves, Friday the 13th: The Game will still continue to function through at least December 31, 2024, for those who already own it. At the same time, developers cut the game’s price down to $4.99 for the base game and $0.99 for each piece of DLC content. The price cut will remain until the game is finally delisted from both digital and physical storefronts on December 31, 2023.
Gun Interactive, the game’s developer, has also expressed gratitude towards the supportive gaming community.
The decision to pull Friday the 13th: The Game from sales comes in the midst of the court battle between the original screenwriter of Friday the 13th, Victor Miller, and the movie’s director Sean Cunningham, who also produced several entries in the franchise. Miller claims that he’s the rightful owner of the Friday the 13th IP and all the associated characters and hopes to use a provision of the US copyright law that allows authors to claim their work after 35 years—the same law Clive Barker used to attain rights to the Hellraiser.
Despite not being involved in the lawsuit, the mere fact that the ownership over the IP is being disputed spells bad news for Friday the 13th: The Game and anyone else adapting the IP. Game developers and anyone else looking to adopt a certain IP have to get licensing from its owner. In the case of Friday the 13th: The Game, it was Sean Cunningham who had been given the right to make the game.
The same applies to the game’s updates, which Cunningham would have to approve, receiving residuals from the title in return.
However, with the ongoing lawsuit and ownership dispute, no one can legally approve the release of additional content for Friday the 13th: The Game, including updates that were scheduled for release. This left Gun Interactive with very little to do but fix game bugs—of which there were plenty—and make service improvements. But, the lack of upcoming content spells the death of a multiplayer IP, and that’s exactly what happened to Friday the 13th: The Game.
With their work on Friday the 13th: The Game suddenly interrupted, Gun Interactive is turning their attention to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre game, which is also an asymmetrical multiplayer survival title, based on the original IP, with the intention to make a fully immersive and personalized massacre for each player. That particular game is scheduled to release on August 18.
There’s yet another Friday the 13th gaming project announced, but very little detail is available at the moment, and it likely won’t be published until the lawsuit has been resolved.
Friday the 13th: The Game is currently available on PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One.