Do Horror Games Need to Be About Movies to Be Successful?

In 2018, fans were surprised when a legal challenge against the Friday the 13th series meant that Friday the 13th: The Game would not be getting any more new DLC. The game had sold 1.8 million copies but the legal challenge meant that players of the multiplayer game would be unable to enjoy any new playable characters or new map locations. 

Paradoxically, Friday the 13th: The Game was a huge success because of the movie series but also suffered because of it. It prompted game developers making horror games to think about whether they should make their own idea or hope that their game wouldn’t face the same issue if they make it about a movie.

How Dead By Daylight Uses Several Movie Series

Stranger Things logo” by Lowtrucks [Public domain]

Friday the 13th: The Game is about just one movie series but multiplayer game Dead By Daylight has successfully put characters from several horror movies and shows into one game. Some of the playable characters in the game are The Ghost Face from the Scream movie series, Michael Myers from the Halloween movie series, and the Demogorgon which was in the new Stranger Things DLC.

Adding characters from more than one movie allows a developer to easily make their game popular with millions of horror fans – for example, you might not be a fan of Friday the 13th but still have watched Stranger Things. It also makes the developer less likely to run out of ideas as they could potentially add every horror movie enemy to the game.

Horror Games That Don’t Use Movies

Games that aren’t about movies may take longer to find players. Without fans of a movie series sharing the news about the game’s release, the game will have to use its entertaining gameplay to get players and hope that people enjoy it and tell their friends.

It can be difficult, but there are a few developers who have been able to develop great ideas. One online slot game, Lost Vegas, is a zombie slot with themed symbols on the reels. Another horror slot is Blood Suckers which is about vampires but does not feature specific characters from specific series or films. Yet when you see legit real money casinos ranked, these slots come out as some of the most popular. LeoVegas and other major online casinos which offer free spins and bonuses offer these games and they are enjoyed by many players.

Horror Games Need Tropes Not Movies

Dracula 1958” by Screenshot from “Internet Archive” of the movie Dracula (1958) [Public domain]

Horror games about movies and horror games with new ideas all use certain tropes and this is the reason why they are all successful. Being about a hugely popular movie can be helpful, but a scary game will get people playing.

Developers looking for new ideas for games can easily find characters, symbols, and stories their players would like. There are huge amounts of zombie games but they could make infected enemies like Resident Evil or add multiplayer so that players can enjoy it with friends.