Illfonic and Gun Media had a huge roadmap laid out for Friday The 13th: The Game including all new skins, all new kill moves, all new maps, all new interactive objects and plenty more features for the asymmetrical multiplayer horror game for home consoles and PC. However, a lawsuit over the Friday The 13th property has thrown a wrench into their aims for releasing future content for the game, and now it looks as if Friday The 13th: The Game won't be receiving any more content updates at all, which is heartbreaking news for a lot of fans.
The update came courtesy of a forum post on the official Friday The 13th: The Game forums, where Gun Media's founder, Wesley Keltner, dropped in to explain that there will be no more updates for the game, even if the legal dispute is resolved for the intellectual property...
Development on games can't just pause indefinitely and pick back up again; it doesn't work that way. Especially when you have no idea when that future date will occur. We can't keep building content that may never see the light of day. That's bad business.
What Keltner is referring to is that back in 2016 the original writer and the original producer for Friday The 13th went to court over the intellectual property rights, and they've been locked in a legal battle ever since. Back in 2017 things began to heat up even more to the point that the Hollywood Reporter did a detailed breakdown of the lawsuit, which indicated that the property could end up being split into parts, with the movie rights for Friday The 13th going to one party and the character of Jason Voorhees going to another party.
According to VentureBeat, the production of new content for Friday The 13th: The Game has been put on hold as the lawsuit determines what will happen with the franchise. According to Gun Media, the lawsuit supposedly makes it difficult to add new content to the game based on the property when the rights to the property are up in the air. What happens if they add a new skin or map or character that falls outside of the IP rights that the company attained for the game? What happens if some of the content in the pipeline is no longer within the rights that they originally negotiated?
According to Keltner, it just wasn't feasible for the team to keep working on content like new skins or maps that they may or may not have been able to release due to the legal dispute. There's also the issue that people would be out of work or simply stalling with content for the crowdfunding version of Friday The 13th: The Game while waiting for the ruling to be passed down, in order to find out what could be added to the game and what couldn't.
To avoid this kind of legal conundrum, Gun Media and Illfonic are stepping away from producing content for the game. The team will, however, continue to offer maintenance support for it by providing upkeep for the servers, bug fixes, and squashing glitches still present in the home console and PC versions of the game.
Many gamers are worried that no matter how the ruling unfolds, it doesn't seem like the future of Friday The 13th: The Game's servers and sustainability is looking all that bright. We'll just have to wait and see.