Dead by Daylight: Why Is the Stranger Things DLC Being Removed From the Game?

Dead by Daylight will soon lose most of its Stranger Things-related DLC, but what does that mean for the future of the game?

Stranger Things Dead by Daylight
Photo: Behaviour Interactive Inc.

The Dead by Daylight team shocked many players recently by announcing that the game’s Stranger Things-related DLC will no longer be available to purchase after November 17.

The Dead by Daylight website expands on this upcoming content removal by clarifying that “The Demogorgon, Nancy Wheeler, and Steve Harrington” will no longer be available to purchase beyond November 17. Additionally, all “collections and outfits related to Stranger Things” will no longer be available to purchase after that date.

The good news is that anyone who purchases any of that Stranger Things DLC before the cutoff date will retain access to it beyond that point (hence the ongoing sales). It even sounds like the team plans to redistribute existing Stranger Things-related character perks and achievements so that you’ll continue to be able to access them in more generic forms. The bad news is that nobody will be able to access the Underground Complex Map (Dead by Daylight‘s Stranger Things-themed level) after November 17.

The Dead by Daylight team has done an excellent job of explaining when this content removal process will happen and what you can do to ensure you’re still able to access as much of it as possible. At the moment, though, nobody seems to be offering an official explanation for why this is happening and what it means for the future of the asymmetrical multiplayer title.

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However, it’s pretty easy to assume that the most obvious culprit in this instance is the often harsh reality of the content licensing process. Simply put, Netflix must have informed the Dead by Daylight team that they do not wish to renew/extend the Stranger Things license beyond that cutoff date. It’s certainly difficult to imagine this was simply a creative decision and that the Dead by Daylight team willingly decided to walk away from this incredibly popular property.

Still, the devil is certainly in the details in this instance. Given how much notice the Dead by Daylight team is giving players regarding this upcoming content removal, my guess is that the developers knew the original agreement was expiring, were not able to negotiate an extension, and ultimately decided to go this route. The alternative is that Netflix just yanked the license out from under them without significant advanced notice, which doesn’t seem likely given how this whole thing is being handled so far.

Actually, as far as licensed content removal goes, this seems like a pretty generous arrangement. After all, we’ve seen license disputes over things as relatively minor as in-game music lead to games being removed from digital storefronts entirely. It’s a little odd that the one piece of Stranger Things content you won’t be able to access in Dead by Daylight moving forward is the map, but at least this removal won’t completely blow the game up.

Given how much Dead by Daylight relies on the novelty of these licensed characters and worlds, though, it’s going to be very interesting to see if this removal is the first of many to come or whether it ends up being something of an outlier.