A long-running legal dispute harking back to events in the 1970s is now having a major impact on multiplayer horror game Friday the 13th: The Game.
Publisher Gun Media today announced that it’s canceled plans for updates and DLC to the IllFonic-developed game, which is based on the movie series, Friday the 13th. In the cat-and-mouse horror survival adventure, players take on the role of psychopathic killer Jason Voorhees, or any one of the teenage counselors he’s trying to murder.
The lawsuit is between Victor Miller, who wrote the original film back in 1979, and representatives of Sean Cunningham, who directed the movie. Cunningham says he has legal rights over the movie and its characters. Miller points to a provision in copyright law that he says reverts the rights back to himself. Cunningham says Miller was just a paid-for-hire worker.
The case, which was first brought in 2016, is not specifically about Gun Media’s game, which the company launched following a licensing deal with Cunningham, but is included in its provisions.
Gun Media issued a statement earlier today:
“When we originally learned that the game fell within the cross-hairs of this legal dispute, we tried to balance the creation of new content requested by our fans against the maintenance and bug fixing that our community expects and deserves. We attempted to do both within the limits of the legal case.
“ We’ve now been forced to accept that 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. Although the listed content types will be affected, 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.”
The company said it’s put all future content plans on hold, including the introduction of an “Uber Jason,” new counselors, a new map and other extras such as clothing and emotes. We’ve contacted Gun Media to find out more about the game’s future. Friday the 13th: The Game was released a year ago, and is available for around $40 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.