The hit multiplayer horror game Dead by Daylight is about to lose one of its most ambitious crossover chapters thanks to licensing issues with Netflix’s Stranger Things. First released back in 2016, Dead by Daylight has been host to numerous content updates in the form of the game’s Chapters, wherein new characters and maps are released every few months for the title with a mix of original and licensed content (with a few exceptions such as Leatherface being in its own smaller DLC). The tradition has continued for several years now, with fans seeing iconic horror villains such as Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and now possibly Pinhead added to Dead by Daylight‘s roster over time.
Back in 2019, leveraging the excitement from the release of Stranger Things‘ third season, Behaviour Interactive struck a licensing deal to get a crossover Chapter featuring the iconic Netflix series. This Chapter saw protagonists Nancy Wheeler and Steve Harrington enter the Fog along with the iconic Demogorgon as the new killer, with the Hawkins National Laboratory added as a playable location. Despite the massive popularity of this DLC and how new it is compared to other licensed chapters, it looks like Dead by Daylight is about to lose a license for the first time in its history.
On August 16, Behaviour Interactive released a news post announcing the closure of the Stranger Things Chapter on November 17. While the characters will still be playable in the game after this date, it will be impossible to purchase them or their respective outfits after this date. This means that players who don’t own the Chapter will be permanently locked out of the Demogorgon and its unique playstyle. Thankfully, the perks for these characters will still be available in the game’s Shrine from time to time for those who don’t own the DLC. Also leaving the game is the Stranger Things-themed map Hawkins National Laboratory, meaning players will no longer be able to access the iconic location at all anymore.
This news comes as a massive shock for fans, especially considering the recent excitement and rumors around the show’s upcoming fourth season. In an effort to atone for this sudden removal, all of the Stranger Things content will be available at a reduced price in the stores for a limited time to let players get their hands on the content before being locked out of it forever. Starting on August 18, the Chapter that includes all three characters, along with the Stranger Things Edition of Dead by Daylight will be on sale until September 1, outfits will be on sale until September 8, and the individual characters will be half price in the in-game store until November 17.
The strict nature of licensing, while not often talked about, has resulted in massive issues in the industry over the years such as the complete takedown of Alan Wake from digital storefronts because of licensed music and the more recent removal of the iconic P.T. demo. Other examples include the sudden removal of several older Marvel titles, including the first two Ultimate Alliance games, and the original release of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. With the growth of digital storefronts over the last decade, game preservation is made nearly impossible for non-physical content, and if it can even negatively impact something as big as Dead by Daylight, maybe it’s time for the industry to rethink how licensing is handled in the first place.