Yesterday, Friday the 13th fans collectively yelped in terror when they discovered that developer Illfonic is working on a new game. They presumed this meant that Illfonic had moved on from the most popular game in the emerging “getting axe-murdered by 12 year-olds” genre. Not true, the studio says.
“We assure you, continued support for Friday the 13th: The Game has not been abandoned,” said Illfonic’s CEO Chuck Brungardt in a statement posted to Reddit. “In fact, it’s quite the opposite.”
The studio’s new game, Dead Alliance, is a zombie shooter. It was first announced back in May and is scheduled for release relatively soon, at the end of next month. Despite this, it flew under many Friday the 13th fans’ radar, and they reacted to it yesterday with vitriol.
“Wow, way to support the game you already released and promised to keep improving and adding more content for,” wrote one player on Friday the 13th’s official forums. “What hacks.” Others took to blaming the new game for the slower-than-they’d-like Friday the 13th updates, especially on Xbox One.
In the statement, Brungardt explained the structure of his studio and the development history of both Dead Alliance and Friday the 13th. “Most major and independent studios have multiple teams working on multiple projects at the same time,” he wrote. “This is critical for the survival of the studio, especially with the ups and downs with the game industry. Dead Alliance was started way before Friday the 13th: the Game.”
He added that, thanks to Friday the 13th’s success, the dev team actually has more people on it than ever. Originally, it was made up of about 20 people, but has now grown to 30, he said “We also have opened a second office [whose] sole purpose is to support development of Friday the 13th: The Game,” said Brungardt. “We are continuing to staff up more team members for continued support of the game.”
Despite Brungardt’s statement, some players remain skeptical, insisting that they’ll only believe it when they see the blood-spattered fruits of Illfonic’s labor. Friday the 13th has received criticism for glitches and connection errors, as well as a lack of depth—issues that can be more irritating than most in multiplayer games. Some impatience after two months is understandable. But rumors that Illfonic has given up on Friday the 13th would at this point seem to be unfounded.