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Texas Chain Saw Massacre devs say it won't have licensing issues

Ahead of Texas Chain Saw Massacre's release, its publisher says rights issues won't be a problem.

Justin Carter

August 15, 2023

2 Min Read
Leatherface in the key art for the Texas chainsaw Massacre

Whatever future The Texas Chain Saw Massacre will have, Gun Interactive says rights issues won't be a part of it. 

Talking to PCGamesN, creative director Robbie Hobbs said the developer will avoid the issue that ultimately sunk its previous horror game effort, Friday the 13th. In 2018, the multiplayer title found its future plans cut short due to ongoing licensing issues around the horror movie property. 

Servers for Friday shut down in 2020, and because Gun's license for the franchise will expire at the end of the year, it'll be pulled from physical and digital stores.

Hobbs called Friday the 13th's situation "inherently more complicated than it is with Texas." He explained that Gun has been collaborating with Kim Henkel, who co-wrote the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie and has been a key creative figure on the franchise overall. 

"We’ve been working closely with [Kim] during the entire process not only from a creative standpoint, but also a legal one," he continued. "And we've have been as diligent as possible during this entire experience to ensure things go smoothly."

Speaking to the larger process of creating a game based on a film, Hobbs revealed that many companies approached Gun after Friday's release. In meeting Henkel, he says, "we discovered that both sides had an immense interest in creating a game, [and] we quickly knew Texas was going to be our next project.”

The pros and cons of developing licensed games

Games based on pre-existing properties like comics or movies can sometimes add complications to a project's development. Last year, Avalanche Software co-founder Christofer Sundberg revealed the studio nearly made a game based on Marvel's Iron Man.

That project was in the concept process in 2012, and Sundberg alleged that Disney wanted it to be developed in a short period. It would've been impossible to pull off, he said, and had it not been cancelled, it would've collapsed the Just Cause developer entirely.

Other times, it isn't the license that's the problem, it's the project's ambitions. Rocksteady's 2024 game Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was delayed due to negative reception in the crowded live-service arena.

Some studios are able to work on licensed works more easily than others, as we've seen with the recent Spider-Man and Star Wars games. As properties cross mediums more and more, the baggage they come along with can get bigger.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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