Behaviour Interactive has announced that Dead by Daylight’s Stranger Things-branded DLC will no longer be purchasable after November 17, 2021.
This delisting will have a few interesting side effects for the asymmetrical multiplayer horror game. The delisting of the Stranger Things DLC means that players will no longer be able to play in the Hawkins National Laboratory Map, but they will retain access to the playable characters inspired by the show, so long as they purchased them before the content was removed from sale.
Two of those characters—designed to resemble characters Nancy Wheeler and Steve Harrington from the popular Netflix series—don’t have a dramatic impact on Dead by Daylight’s game balance. They’re mostly cosmetic variants of regular human survivors, and the special gameplay perks they offer will be accessible to other characters (albeit randomly) after the characters are removed from sale.
The third character, the Demogorgon, presents a more interesting conundrum. The Demogorgon joined the ranks of Dead by Daylight’s playable killers, a roster of licensed and pastiche versions of monsters meant to evoke the feel of classic horror movies. Each killer was designed with a unique skillset and set of game mechanics.
After the Stranger Things content is gone from the store, players won’t be able to try out The Demogorgon as a character unless they’ve already purchased it. All three characters are currently on sale, so Behaviour does seem to be trying to get as many players hooked up as possible.
The Dead by Daylight developer hasn’t expressly stated that this delisting is happening due to a license expiration, but it’s fair to assume its deal with Netflix must be about to conclude. No word yet on if this is because Netflix wants to work on new Stranger Things game content as part of its new game-focused plans, or if this expiration was a part of the original deal with Behaviour Interactive.
There’s been a slew of IP owners looking to get their characters into popular video games in the last couple of years, as DC and Marvel’s characters wander into Fortnite and Captain Jack Sparrow takes the helm in Sea of Thieves.
But if licensing these characters is going to be a part of your studio’s future, Dead by Daylight’s delisting is a scenario possibly worth planning for.