Dead by Daylight: A success rooted in Behaviour’s history
Dead by Daylight’s breakout success is a story with roots that run back through Behaviour’s nearly 30-year history, says the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, David Reid.
As he sees it, the company has spent the decades since its founding in 1992 building the partnerships and honing the game-making chops that produced the hit asymmetrical multiplayer game, which celebrates its 5th anniversary on May 25.
“Dead by Daylight is our flagship title but Behaviour has been part of over 170 games on every platform with multiple publishers across some of the greatest intellectual property in all of entertainment and generations of consoles and video games,” David says. He points to the success of Behaviour’s 2010 release, Naughty Bear, as the inspiration for some of the thinking in Dead by Daylight. “There’s really a storied history to this company that a lot of people just aren’t aware of.”
That’s been changing thanks to the success of Dead by Daylight and could gain much broader notice with the 5th anniversary broadcast and the upcoming release of the game’s next chapter, which introduces horror video game legend Resident Evil to the Entity’s Realm.
Since its launch in 2016, Dead by Daylight has grown to more than 36 million players and is now one of the most streamed and viewed titles on Twitch thanks to its social focus and gripping, cat-and-mouse gameplay. Players continue to find the game and stay, which David attributes to Dead by Daylight team’s success in “breaking the meta” with every new chapter. “Each chapter gives players something new to learn, with every Killer and Survivor the perks are different, the maps are procedurally generated so you never know exactly how it’s going to go,” he notes. “All these changes and excitement keeps veteran and new players alike riveted.”
Thrills also come in the form of Dead by Daylight’s “Hall of Fame of Horror,” which has introduced legendary horror characters from film, television and video games into the game, giving players a chance to play as Halloween’s Michael Myers, BIll Overbeck from Left 4 Dead and Pyramid Head from Silent Hill, among others. Asked about the meaning of Resident Evil’s upcoming addition to the Hall of Fame, David called it “a tremendous honour.”
“Resident Evil is the most successful horror video game franchise of all time with over 100 million units sold,” David enthuses. “A lot of people at Behaviour and on the DbD team are huge Resident Evil fans, so it has an emotional resonance for us. And we know there’s a community of Resident Evil players who may find Dead by Daylight really interesting. It gives them a chance to discover our multiplayer game.”
Again, David sees the willingness of Resident Evil’s creator, Capcom, to work with Behaviour as recognition of the company’s long history of successful partnerships with some of the world’s biggest licenses. “It’s an incredibly exciting moment because it’s Dead by Daylight’s 5th anniversary and Resident Evil’s 25th anniversary – you don’t get to be a successful franchise for 25 years without taking excellent care of your brand and your community. It’s important for us that Capcom knows we’re going to do right by them, we’re going to be good stewards of their properties, and we’re going to delight their fans with what we are able to do with them.”
As David notes, Behaviour is one of the few developers that can say they’ve been doing this for just shy of 30 years. “That speaks very highly of Behaviour’s capabilities,” he says. “The world knows Behaviour from the success of Dead by Daylight, but it’s a reputation founded on almost 30 years of being a great partner for some of the world’s best publishers and licenses.”