How Dead by Daylight Gave Slasher Horror Icons The Game They Deserved

“I remember that meeting where we were talking about Halloween and how to make [Michael Myers] unique,” Coté explains. “They pitched us the idea of a killer that would just watch you. We’re like, ‘What?’ They’re like, ‘Yeah, he’s just going to stand there and watch you,’ because that’s what Myers does in the movies. That’s what he does, but it’s an action game. People want to chase each other…We all thought, ‘Oh, you’re an idiot.’”

Yet, when Coté got the chance to actually play an early build of Dead By Daylight with Myers as the killer, he immediately understood what the team was aspiring to achieve.

“The very, very first version of the prototype I remember playing and repairing a generator and looking over my shoulder, and I see him standing on a hill and just watching me, and I go, ‘This is the creepiest thing I’ve ever experienced in this game,’” Coté says. “It’s super creepy, especially knowing it’s an actual other player right there. He could attack me right now, but he chooses to just watch me…that kind of thing made me realize the liberties we could take with the gameplay mechanics to really create something that would be unique and special.”

For the next few years, that’s exactly what the team did. They bent the rules of the game to incorporate other famous slashers. Freddy Krueger dragged Dead by Daylight players to dream world while Saw’s Amanda Young turned the game’s traps into a gambling proposition. Leatherface’s devastating attacks impacted a survivor’s ability to carry on and Ghost Face’s playfulness and humor distinguishes him from one of his major inspirations, Michael Myers himself. Through it all, the team’s goal was to stay true to the legacy of these characters and give them a proper home. 

“I love Mortal Kombat, but whenever a character gets imported to Mortal Kombat, they all turn into martial artists,” Coté says. “When you put Jason in Mortal Kombat, he becomes a martial artist and he hacks people, and then he does a finishing move and it’s awesome, but that’s it. When you take Michael Myers and put him in Dead by Daylight, he’s Michael Myers.”

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