Perhaps even more than playing Dead by Daylight, its player base loves speculating about who the next survivors and killers will be to join in on the terrorizing fun that is sacrificing to, or escaping, the Entity. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Mathieu Côté, the game director for the game at Behavior Interactive, and he had some fascinating insight on how these characters are chosen, as well as why Scooby Doo and the Mystery Incorporated gang will likely never appear in the game.
I first asked Côté if he was familiar with Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, to which he replied, “Yes, I am a huge fan!” For the unfamiliar, the animated show is a real treat to watch, and revolves around many classic Hanna-Barbera characters facing ridiculous legal woes. In an episode titled, “Shaggy Busted”, Shaggy and Scooby run into trouble when an officer assumes that they are high on drugs, working the hippie vibe of the characters, and the gang needs to plead their innocence in court.
Such a take on the classic characters is by no means wholesome of family friendly, and it is exactly from there that I ask Côté if the team would consider taking the whole gang of Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred, and putting a unique Dead by Daylight spin on them as survivors. The answer was a resounding no, though not for any lack of trying:
“Scooby Doo is near and dear to Behavior, we’ve made a few games over the years, so yes, it is something we have brought to the table a couple of times. Unfortunately, the Scooby Doo franchise is one that they absolutely now want to keep kid friendly forever. There have been a few exceptions, on Supernatural the TV show and the Scooby Apocalypse comic series, and maybe there was a time they were more open to that kind of thing, but no, there is no chance right now. But that sort of thing, yes, we are constantly looking at what else we can do. The Scooby Doo thing was obviously one of the first things we looked at.”
Characters On The Cusp Of Acceptability
There are so many characters that seem to fall within a grey zone of being appropriate for Dead by Daylight. This writer would love to see the Aliens franchise represented, with a Xenomorph killer and Ellen Ripley combining a flash light onto a tool box with duct tape, but the idea may simply be too far into the genre of Science Fiction to fit into the game, even if horror elements are present.
When asked about this or franchises that seems impossible to implement, Côté states, “That’s a tough one, because the ones that I really want in are possible, but, the Xenomorph and even the Predator are really on that line, just past the line for use, but others would argue that they would be fine within the Dead by Daylight world, and that’s a long debate.” There is no doubt that some would argue in favor of such a character, but one would expect Dead by Daylight to stick to more traditional, horror-based properties rather than mixing with too much science fiction.
On that note, Côté elaborated about one case that sits perfectly on a line that excludes him from making it into the game, at least for now, “Chucky for instance is comedy, much more than horror, but he’s still a horror icon. I don’t think he would fit as it, because he is too funny. The size is not a problem at all, we could do something, even the hooking we would make a way to make happen. That’s an example of likely just too far outside the genre to be used.”
Côté continued by explaining how from the beginning the developers of Dead by Daylight strived to create a unique world, and it was a challenge when they first introduced a licensed character instead of one of their own creations, “We didn’t want people to mistake our game for a Halloween game [the film franchise] game, we have to be Dead by Daylight. I think that when we brought in Michael Myers, we continued to create our own chapters, and we managed to create a brand that is strong and stands on its on. Dead by Daylight is not diluted when you add Freddy Krueger, it’s now become a playground where all of horror can live, which is something you don’t see in other places. I think the only other place where you saw as many of these characters interact is Mortal Kombat.”
He concluded by stating that there is some room to experiment, but only because of the hard work put into creating what the game is today, “I think we could potentially push the boundaries of what can fit in DBD, to a certain extent, we’ve created something that is powerful enough to withstand a bit of stretching.”
Stranger Things Makes A Big Impact
The kind of experimentation was clear in the release of the Stranger Things chapter featuring Nancy Wheeler, Steve Harrington, and the Demogorgon. While that series leans less away from horror, Côté explained how positive the release was, “[Stranger Things] was by far the biggest release we’ve had in the history of Dead by Daylight, we broke out concurrent user records, and there are more people playing today than there have ever been. And with the Switch release, we just added on top of that.”
As for what lies ahead, Côté was clear in saying that there were ideas in place, but nothing else he could share now. Catching a glimpse into how survivors and killers are chosen was a real treat, though it would have been fantastic to have the Scooby gang brought into the game with the unique Dead by Daylight spin players have come to know and love.
Source: Source: Mathieu Côté, Game Director for Dead by Daylight at Behavior Interactive