Out of all the games that have spun off into multimedia empires lately, few could have predicted that Dead by Daylight would become one of our most enduring.
Catering to a relatively niche demographic, it doesn’t possess the same instantaneous appeal that helped catapult the likes of Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone to mainstream success. After all, its crossover events are typically with much smaller brands — the kids today are hardly eschewing the MCU in favour of Hellraiser — and it doesn’t boast anywhere near as many celebrity endorsements or streamer collabs.
Yet, against all odds, Dead by Daylight is a legitimate phenomenon now. One that has the kind of intense following that’s usually reserved for major religions, professional sports teams and K-Pop bands. Only in this case, the fans aren’t stanning international pop stars or famous athletes, but rather demented serial killers (hey, no judgement here).
By wholeheartedly embracing this zealous community, supporting their product through regular updates, and smartly courting a Japanese audience with some tailored DLC chapters, Behaviour Interactive has managed to secure Dead by Daylight’s place as one of the biggest titles going at the moment.
More than just another passing fad, it’s been going strong for the better part of a decade and has reportedly entertained us with upwards of 1.8 billion matches. You read that right; that’s billion with a “B”.
And the Dead by Daylight Universe Keeps Growing…
As is befitting of any franchise that’s enjoyed such a lengthy stint in the limelight, Dead by Daylight has diversified into a number of lucrative markets. Believe it or not, the property has been adapted for the board game crowd, has several comic-books in the pipeline and you can even visit a licenced café over in Tokyo, should you ever get a hankering for murder-themed omelettes.
This aggressive expansion is showing no sign of abating either, as the coming years will see the IP broaden its horizons further. Indeed, if you happened to tune in to the recent 7th-anniversary livestream for DbD, then you will have heard the developers make several tantalizing announcements.
Ahead of the public broadcast, journalists were invited to a virtual press conference where we were given a chance to delve a bit deeper into these revelations.
Here, Luc Duchaine, Vice President of Marketing at Behaviour Interactive, enthused: “We are gearing up to expand the Dead By Daylight world beyond just the core game, offering players more ways into the fog than ever before. With so many [upcoming] entryways into the franchise, I am very excited to see how our stories will reach an even wider variety of people.”
And he certainly wasn’t kidding! Whether you main a particular survivor or prefer to go it alone as your favourite killer, the future is looking incredibly bright for us gore hounds.
Comic-Book and Movie Updates…
Although he was cagey with the details, Duchaine confirmed that the Dead by Daylight feature film is still in active development. Behaviour Interactive will be joining forces here with James Wan’s Atomic Monster studio— as well as the ever-dependable Blumhouse — to translate their iconic horror property to the silver screen.
We weren’t really given much else to go on, other than that they are currently headhunting for both a screenwriter and a director to helm the production, and that this recruitment process is “well underway”.
The subject of one Nicolas Cage was inevitably broached as well, with people asking if he might be featured somewhere in the movie (seeing as he’s granted permission for his likeness to be used in the game). Alas, Duchaine wasn’t ready to spill the beans on anything related to the film’s cast at this current time.
As for those long-touted Dead by Daylight comic books, we were informed that the first edition will finally be available (in both a print and digital format) from June 2023. Hyped up by Duchaine as a true “passion project,” it will serve as a prequel that focuses on The Legion’s origin and explains how that gang of masked sickos all found kinship in one another.
Published by Titan Comics, the book is written by Harvey Award-Winner Nadia Shammas, and illustrated by Dillon Snook, with Emilio Lecce on colors.
New Games From Supermassive and Midwinter Entertainment…
Of course, the most intriguing announcement from the anniversary livestream was that we’ll be getting a brand-new pair of games set in the Dead by Daylight universe. And by the sounds of things, they couldn’t be more contrasting.
On the one hand, Midwinter Entertainment — a subsidiary of Behaviour Interactive that was acquired back in 2022 — is currently hard at work on a PvE title that will tackle themes of “greed and lust for power.” Much like the embryonic movie production, this is still in the very early stages of development and so we don’t know all that much about it.
Duchaine was quick to stress, however, that it will not be a sequel to Dead by Daylight. Instead, he described it as a fresh take on the universe that will give teams of four a chance to explore “strange new corners of the Entity’s Realm”.
From that (admittedly vague) blurb, it sounds like it could be a Left 4 Dead or Aliens: Fireteam Elite type deal, which would make for a fun change of pace. After all, it’d be nice to have a few different ways of interacting with this rich world, beyond just kickstarting generators and griefing novice killers with the flashlight item.
Meanwhile, we also learned that Behaviour has entered into an exciting partnership with Supermassive Games (best known for Until Dawn and The Dark Pictures Anthology). Again, details are sketchy for the time being, but Duchaine confirmed that it will pretty much be what we’ve come to expect from the team who brought us The Quarry.
Hinting as to what’s in store, he said: “This is a brand new, single-player, interactive story game. Set in the world of DbD, it will be an intense narrative experience, filled with life-or-death choices.” While he unfortunately left it there (ever the tease), he did promise that more concrete information will be revealed later on this year.
In the meantime, it appears like we’ve got an awful lot of speculating to do. One thing is for sure though: from cinematic adaptations right through to comic books and spin-off video games, the Dead by Daylight universe has never felt so expansive or (ironically) alive.