UPDATE: The Co-creator of “Friday the 13th” pointed out that I was wrong on the release announcement of “Slasher Vol 1: Summer Camp”. It was on Oct 31, 2014 instead of what I wrote saying it was announced May 2015. As he pointed out it was literally the 2nd thing on the Google search of “Slasher Vol 1 released date”. So that’s my fault, and this whole article breaks down as I was thinking one game borrowed from the other. What I can see now is that 2 games just happen to have the same idea back to back. It would be highly unlikely that one copied the other being that close together.
I was wrong, I’ll admit it. I really have to take the time to write better articles and fill them with facts instead of just trying to pump out content. So I apologize to the 50 or so people that read this, but really apologize to the people over at Gun Media and Friday the 13th game. Ever since Last Year was announced I was under the impression it was a big David vs. Goliath thing. The Big Company was trying to push out the little guy. Turns out I was wrong.
So now the rest of the article, or I guess my speculation that one took ideas from the other does not make sense. I will certainly have to get this game when it comes out and review it on it’s own and give it the credit it deserves.
Again, thanks to Ronnie Hobbs for calling me out.
[Original Article Follows]
Here is part 2 of this examination of the game “Friday the 13th” the game. In the last article I discussed what I thought about the game so far. This article I will explain where the game got it’s roots and how it came to be. The last game to come out for Friday the 13th was in 1989 on the NES. The classic game let you play as the counselors and you had to kill Jason. Most people I know have never beaten it and the only thing everyone remembers is the music and purple jumpsuit.
But we’re not here to talk about a game that is almost 30 years old, we are here to talk about the game by Gun Media. Gun media was founded in 2011 by Wesley Adam. They are a publisher who have a couple games under their belt ranging from iOS apps like Brech & Clear to a Fighting game called “Speakeasy”. They teamed up with a developer called illFonic. illFonic has made, or have been involved with a lot of games most notably “Star Citizen”.
Gun Media is publishing and co-developing the “Friday the 13th” game alongside illFonic. The game was originally developed as “Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp” which was basically the same premise before just a different type of story without Jason. In early 2015 Gun Media started to talk to get the license for Jason and the movies because the Slasher game and Jason were basically the same thing and would benefit from working together. So after some talks Gun Media acquired the rights and raised over 1 million dollars from Kickstarter and BackerKit. On October 13, 2015 it was announced that Slasher was going to evolve into Friday the 13th. So this is all well and good and I hope this turns out to be a very fun game. Many asymmetrical games have come out over the last couple of years, but none of them have the backing of a 30 year old franchise and a huge passionate following. I hope this sparks a new flare into the slasher genre and we start seeing new movies and definitely new games….
But there is one thing wrong with all of this, the timing. I don’t mean this is the wrong time for the game to come out, quite possibly it is the exact right time to do so. With the growth of YouTube channels and competitive play, it just seems right to be made. The thing that is wrong is that there is another game out there that is basically the exact same thing, just again, without Jason.
Take everything after this with a huge shovel of salt.
“Last Year” is an asymmetrical horror survival game that puts High School students in the 90s against a slasher. Sound familiar? This game was funded through Kickstarter with just an image and an idea, pretty freaking amazing if you ask me. The problem? When James Wearing put out the art work for “Last Year” in November of 2014, the main killer was a huge man in a jumpsuit, hockey mask, wielding a machete. Problem is, that looks exactly like Jason.
So naturally Crystal Lake Entertainment had every right to try to protect their property, and they did. They put a cease on the campaign until it was resolved. So basically the resolution was to just redesign the character in question (shown above) and went on their way with the development. Now this “Last Year” campaign started in November 2014, and Friday the 13th was campaigned a year later. Quite a coincidence that these two games that have similar gameplay, environments, and hell even similar characters. One could argue very strongly that Gun Media and illFonic have copied from James’ game.
Now let’s go back to the beginning of the article and look back at “Slasher Vol 1: Summer Camp”, that game turned into “Friday the 13th”, so where does that fall into the timeline of all of this. According to a Google search
IGN the game was announced May 2015, which was after the original concept of “Last Year”. I’m not saying that there isn’t room in the world for two or three asymmetrical horror slasher games, it just seems a little fishy with the timeline of everything.
on October 31st 2014, just days before the Kickstarter campaign for Last Year. Friday the 13th and Last Year are still very similar in play style and game mechanics. I know 2 games can exist that are similar without having the tinfoil hat on saying one stole the other idea, it just seems crazy that they are so close to style and game play.
Anyway just my opinion about this whole thing, that really isn’t a thing just something I noticed. I see a lot of press with the Friday 13th game, but almost nothing for Last Year. I mean check out this video, looks way more fun than the other game and is only being made by a couple people without the backing of a 30 year franchise:
This game is the game I want to play. This is the game I feel should get recognized.
I can’t wait to play it and hopefully you can’t either.