Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Dead by Daylight community speaks out against Hellraiser NFT collab

[Update 7:24pm] Behaviour Interactive have released a statement in regards to the Hellraiser NFT and its connection to Dead by Daylight.

“We hear and understand the concerns raised by our community over NFTs. Absolutely zero blockchain tech exists in Dead by Daylight. Nor will it ever. Behaviour Interactive does not sell NFTs.”

[Original] Dead by Daylight has effectively shot itself in the foot thanks to its collaboration with partners Park Avenue Entertainment and Boss Protocol on the Hellraiser NFT.

According to the Boss Protocol website, Boss Protocol has the license to create NFTs from Hellraiser based on the in-game Pinhead and Chatterer models created by the Dead by Daylight team. The team at Dead by Daylight worked with the game division of Boss Protocol, Boss Team Games – which controls some interactive rights to Hellraiser via Park Avenue Entertainment – to bring Hellraiser and Pinhead to the popular asymmetrical horror game.

While we won’t go deep into the mines of speculation, we can assume this means that in order to bring Pinhead to Dead by Daylight then Behaviour Interactive had to actively consent to their in-game models being used as an NFT in the future. The tweet from the official Twitter account says as much.

It should be noted that while Dead by Daylight is not actively selling NFTs, it is painfully obvious they gave their consent for the in-game model of Pinhead and Chatterer so that Boss Protocol could launch their Masters of Horror NFT collection.

The specifics of the Masters of Horror NFT collection aren’t clear, but considering that Boss Protocol and Boss Team Games have mentioned Evil Dead and Friday 13th, it doesn’t bode well for those particular franchises. Especially as Boss Team Games are behind the upcoming Evil Dead video game.

As for how the Dead by Daylight community reacted when faced with the news that they had effectively purchased a DLC including content that would be used to sell NFTs… Well, it’d be an understatement to say that the majority wasn’t all too pleased.

Content creators such as Pixel Bush Entertainment, a YouTuber who looks extensively at the lore behind the Killers and Survivors in Dead by Daylight, released a video yesterday detailing their disappointment with Behavior Interactive and their support for the Hellraiser NFT. The video is titled “The Hellraiser NFTs and Destruction of Player Good-Will”, which seems more than accurate considering the overwhelmingly bleak reaction the reveal of the Hellraiser NFT earned Behavior Interactive.

We reached out to Pixel Bush Entertainment to find out more about what they thought of how Behavior has handled Dead by Daylight’s NFT fiasco.

“After a string of buggy updates, plagues of hackers and an unpopular new matchmaking system, Behaviour’s goodwill with the people who played the game was already wearing thin, but the new announcement of involvement with NFT production has rocked the community in a big way.” Pixel told us via email. “Behaviour has always tried to paint itself as a socially conscious company but this announcement has well and truly buried that notion.”

They continued, “the environmental damage of NFTs is well-documented, but if Behaviour was more upfront about this from the Chapter’s release then at least people who morally objected to the Hellraiser NFTs could have refused to buy the DLC, writing the whole thing off as a failed experiment.”

Pixel added that the thing that has most incensed not just them, but “many other members of the community, big and small” is that Behaviour Interactive made the announcement of the Hellraiser NFT nearly “half a financial quarter” after Pinhead’s official release. Aka, when the reveal of their collaboration with Boss Protocol and Park Avenue Entertainment wouldn’t affect sales as much as it would have if they’d revealed it at the start. A good business decision maybe, but one that feels morally unethical and downright corrupt.

Community reaction has become so negative that the Hellraiser DLC is currently being review-bombed over on Steam. It is currently ranked at ‘Mostly Negative’ with 1.3k reviews and counting.

For other fans, the reveal of Behaviour’s partnership with Boss Protocol and Park Avenue Entertainment is just another blow from the game towards its fans. Dead by Daylight and Resident Evil fan artist Alister (xZombieAlix) spoke to us about their thoughts and feelings about the new Hellraiser NFT.

“When it comes to BHVR and DBD, there has always been a weird relationship between them and the fans. In general, it is a good game with great mechanics that is flawed by all of its bugs and rushed updates, but these were easily overlooked in the long run.” They told us. “But finding out that BHVR has associated themselves with Boss Protocol and helped them with some Hellraiser NFT’s hurts a lot. Knowing that a game I love and have made hundreds of 3D Renders and mods about, is now working with NFT’s is upsetting.”

Like the numerous fans who tweeted at the publisher during the Hellraiser NFT announcement, Alister made it clear that they do not support NFTs and are dismayed that they brought the Hellraiser chapter “without being what the truth was.” Whether they, or others who are furious at this news, will still support Behaviour Interactive or Dead by Daylight – financially or otherwise – is hard to say until the publisher makes a solid statement about their contribution towards the controversial Hellraiser NFT.

What’s clear is this: it’ll take a lot for Behaviour Interactive to be able to regain the trust of their community – something which Pixel highlights in their email to us.

“I’m not sure what they could do to address the immediate problem, it’ll depend entirely on the contract with Boss Protocol and Park Avenue, but the absolute minimum Behaviour will need to do to regain the trust of the player base is to be a lot more transparent with future licenses and partnerships.” The content creator tells us. “Any future NFTs based on DBD content must be off the table for future releases, and Behaviour has to make this completely clear to the player base. Some people have advocated the removal of Pinhead from the store and I’m not sure what I think about that, but more than anything else Behaviour has to show a genuine long-term commitment to making amends for this. And it’s clear from the responses from former and current employees alike that there’s interest from within the company in making those amends.”

We’ve reached out to Behaviour Interactive for more information and will update this article accordingly when given a response.