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Dead by Daylight dev announces colorblind mode amid controversy

An unexpected announcement

Dead By Daylight - An Archives key art, with a series of characters posing together. A man stands in the middle, holding up a mystical eye. Characters from the Dead by Daylight cast are to his sides, obscured in blue smoke. Image: Behaviour Interactive

Dead by Daylight developer Behaviour Interactive has announced a new feature, following outcry from the gaming community. Colorblind mode will come to Dead by Daylight, with settings for the various kinds of colorblindness: deuteranope (inability to perceive green light,) protanope (inability to perceive red light,) and tritanope (inability to perceive blue light. There is no release date, but it will arrive “shortly,” the developer said in a tweet.

The controversy began when a new test realm was rolled out for Dead by Daylight, which included a new HUD update. Patch 4.5.0, which has not arrived on live servers, comes with patch notes that explain the change.

The player status widget (player names, health states etc.) has been redesigned. Along with a number of graphical improvements to animations, the player status widget is now positioned on the left side of the screen. While this change was not made lightly, it was necessary in order to make the player names readable across all platforms and resolutions as well as make room for new HUD elements like the Hook Count.

Fans immediately noticed that the new UI was very difficult to make out for colorblind players. Dead by Daylight is a competitive game where four survivors try to escape from one powerful killer. Survivors leave red “scratch marks” on the environment that show their activity, and the killer’s cone of vision is represented by a red light.

This isn’t a new complaint; fans have been petitioning Behaviour for these changes for some time now, with one player going so far as to post a “weekly shitpost about the lack of colorblind settings for Dead by Daylight — and kept it up for 70 weeks.

Things became more heated when a developer on stream said “It’s getting really boring just blabbing about colorblind mode all the time, we’ve heard it a million times. We know. Continuing to badger us about it isn’t going to change anything.”

The controversy was highlighted by Steven Spohn, the COO of Able Gamers and a long-time advocate for gamers with disabilities.

Two hours after Spohn’s retweet, Behaviour Interactive responded with a series of tweets, which read, in part: “This is not indicative of the views of the team, and we deeply apologize for any frustration or harm this may have caused. [...] We have been working on a colorblind mode for some time now and we are planning on a release shortly.”

It looks like colorblind mode will not arrive in 4.5.0, which includes the new UI and a rework for one of the game’s killers, The Clown.

“We want to make sure this is done the right way so while we are hoping to get this into the next major release, we are unable to commit on the release date just yet,” Behaviour wrote on Twitter.

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