Friday the 13th: The Game has encountered and overcome its share of obstacles in its first year, most notably substantial matchmaking, stat retention and server issues. Developers IllFonic and Gun Media’s efforts may all be for naught as development on all DLC and content updates for Friday the 13th: The Game has been cancelled thanks to a copyright dispute over the film series on which the game is based.
Publisher Gun Media, announced the decision in a blog Monday, citing that the inclusion of the game in the lawsuit “makes future content for the game, including alternate play modes, new playable Jasons and Counselors, and new maps, unfeasible now or in the future.” The team had been working on a new Grendal map, “Uber Jason” character skin, new counselors and new kills before development ended.
The lawsuit serving as the catalyst for the decision pits Victor Miller, the screenwriter of the original Friday the 13th film, and the film’s director and producer Sean Cunningham. Both claim ownership of the slasher franchise, with Cunningham, who licensed the franchise to Gun, stating that Miller has no right to ownership as he wrote the original film’s screenplay as part of a work-for-hire arrangement. Miller disagrees, stating that a provision within copyright law causes the rights to revert back to him. Miller filed a notice to terminate the current holders’ claim to the films’ copyright which is set to go into effect on July 15, 2018 according to a court filing.
It appears that Gun Media held out until the last possible second, hoping the continuing legal battle wouldn’t impact the development of the asymmetric multiplayer title, but the company’s hand was forced with roughly one month left on the clock. While content development has ceased, the publisher did reiterate their commitment to fixing and maintaining the technical issues still facing the game. “We remain committed to launching dedicated servers on our console platforms and providing the continued maintenance and bug fixing important to supporting our fan base.”