Friday the 13th: The Game is a title with great potential and an ugly reality. It seems like everything that could have gone wrong has. What was once a promising crowdfunding success story is pretty much easing its second foot into the grave. What went wrong with this game? How did things go so wrong? And is there any hope for the title’s future?
The checkered past began when Friday the 13th: The Game’s launch crept nearer. The first indication that perhaps Illfonic and Gun Media may not have had everyone’s best interests at heart and been ready to give people what they deserved was when it came time for building hype. The 12,218 people who gave $823,704 to make the game happen weren’t the first to get to actually play the game. You know, that they paid for and funded. Members of the press, streamers, and influencers all got the game before them. Instead of apologizing and immediately making things right, there were explanations as to why things had to happen the way they did.
From there, we saw the normal issues people had with indie games. There were a lot of bugs in Friday the 13th: The Game. There were server issues, where people were having trouble playing. But what really put another knife into the back of the game was the way banning was executed in it and how it seemed people who were connected to the developers were immune. The best chronicle of this is found on Reddit. It all started when a user named Dilly Dingus was apparently banned because the people he was playing with said they would get Illfonic to ban him. They did. The developer attempted to justify it, but then claimed that the people who reported him and were also guilty weren’t going to be banned and that people playing as Counselors who helped Jason in “the spur of the moment” would not be banned. They also did not ban influencers who played.
This led to a major blow-up. DDOS brought the game’s servers down twice as fans lodged their displeasure. People went to post on the Friday the 13th: The Game subreddit. Except it turns out two members of Illfonic were mods, started shutting down any threads critical to them, and even the subreddit itself was briefly shut down on July 11, 2017. When all was said and done, people from the dev team were removed as mods and explanations were issued, but some felt like enough was not being done to set things right and address issues of favoritism.
It may seem like a situation that couldn’t get worse, but it did. Illfonic announced a new game called Dead Alliance. But, considering Friday the 13th: The Game additional content development was slowing down, people started accusing the developer of abandoning one game for the other. They tried to say they were capable of working on multiple projects at the same time. Yet still, it seemed like things were not always proceeding as people would expect.
Then, the effects of a lawsuit hit Friday the 13th: The Game. Victor Miller, who wrote the very first movie, is trying to terminate a grant of rights and regain ownership of the story he wrote and characters he made. However, Horror Inc. and Manny Company are trying to say the original script was a work-made-for-hire project and, since he has been paid, he has no rights. “Work for hire” was never written on the copyright registration, and we probably will not know until at least July 2018 what will happen. But Illfonic decided to nope out and halt all DLC plans before seeing what goes on with the lawsuit.
Now, there is only one thing left to fail: the servers. Illfonic has said, “We can only focus on console dedicated servers, bug fixes, and maintenance.” But, we have to remember now that Friday the 13th: The Game is a dead game. No new content of any kind can be added. Development will never be picked back up, even if the lawsuits are settled. This is a small developer that is also working on Armored Warfare, an active game, and apparently Project Advena. If focus is already shifting off of it, there can’t be much time left before it is completely abandoned.
Friday the 13th: The Game is in an unfortunate situation. It is a game that had potential. But bad decisions and mismanagement within, as well as messy issues with rights to the properties, have caused what appears to its untimely demise. While it seems like things are not completely over just yet, we are very close to the end being near. Enjoy every moment while you can!