Rights issues forced publisher Gun Interactive to pull the plug on its Friday the 13th game, but it says the upcoming Texas Chain Saw Massacre will “go smoothly”.
Friday the 13th: The Game had a nemesis – and it wasn’t a masked killer, but IP rights. Not long after the game’s launch in 2018, a lengthy legal dispute began between the original film’s producer Sean S Cunningham and its writer-director, Victor Miller.
That lawsuit meant that publisher Gun Interactive (then Gun Media) was forced to shut Friday the 13th’s servers down in 2020, not long after it scrapped some ambitious-sounding content updates.
It was a sorry state of affairs for all concerned – not least for its players. Since then, Gun Interactive and developer Sumo Nottingham have been working on another asymmetric co-op game based on a classic horror franchise – The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Out in just a couple of days, it’s set just a few days before the events of the 1974 film on which it’s based, and feels like a continuation of Friday the 13th: The Game, albeit with four-versus-three action rather than four-versus-one.
Speaking to PCGamesN, the game’s creative director has sought to reassure potential players that Gun’s latest retro horror game won’t be cut down by rights issues this time – largely because the Texas Chain Saw property is owned by just one person.
“The situation surrounding Friday the 13th was inherently more complicated than it is with Texas,” Hobbs said. “With Texas, we are dealing directly with Kim Henkel, the sole owner of the IP. We’ve been working closely with him during the entire process not only from a creative standpoint, but also a legal one. We have been as diligent as possible during this entire experience to ensure things go smoothly.”
It echoes what the game’s senior executive producer Darren Campion told us in December last year.
“We don’t see any IP issues at all,” said Campion. “It was actually the IP holder that went to Gun [Interactive]. Because of that, it’s going to be a continued game for the foreseeable future with none of those problems that they had before.” Better yet, these negotiations were all agreed on before Sumo Digital was selected as developer. “They came to us and we started talking to them because they wanted experience in the triple-A market. They wanted to see how they could really step up their games and take the experience from a developer like us.”
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is out on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S on 18 August.