First let’s talk Freddy, Leatherface, etc. These icons of slasher films are IP, or “Intellectual Property”. The easiest way to define this is to just think about them as “brands”. Like Coca Cola and Pepsi for example. The name and likeness of other film icons, like Freddy, are owned by companies. Why do you think it took so long for us to get a FvJ film?
Think of it this way. Have you ever seen Coke and Pepsi packaged together? Nope. Never. Wait, I know what you’re thinking...what about Mortal Kombat? They had Jason, Leatherface, etc, all in one game. Yes, that’s true. But it’s an MK game, not a Texas Chainsaw game featuring Jason. So MK becomes neutral ground in that case. It’s just licensed characters, which still has some legal red tape, but easier by comparison.
Now that you’ve had a very brief crash course in IP, I’m thinking I know your next question. “OK, Fine. I get it. But what about the characters from the F13 films! Will we see characters like Reggie, Shelly, Chrissy, etc, in the game? You guys already announced Tommy Jarvis, maybe there will be more? Yes?”
This one is more of a “maybe”. Let me explain. When we got the license to work with F13, the only thing that came with it was the ability to use Jason’s name and likeness. But even then we couldn’t touch JvF or reboot Jason. They simply were not included. Also not included were the characters from the film. Now, could we just make up a generic female character and call her “Chrissy”? Sure. But that feels kinda phony don’t you think? Shouldn’t it look just like her? We think it should. Which then leads to another authenticity question...Shouldn’t she sound like Chrissy too!? Yes, she should. That’s a problem.
First we would need to find the actor/actresses that were in the films. Some have passed away, so securing their likeness would be very difficult. Some however, are very much alive and still very much involved with horror cons. So first we would need to pay them for their likeness. This gives us the legal ability to replicate how they look in-game. The actor/actress would go through our iterations and requests changes here and there to make sure they look as close to real life as possible. This takes time. Months usually. Next comes their voice.
As people age, so do their voice boxes. Meaning regardless if you are male or female, your voice gets a little deeper as you get older. Vocal cords stretch and you sound deeper and a little raspier. So a 50 year old version of you, doesn’t sound like the 20 year old version did. Think about that. Most of the actors/actresses from the films were around 20 when they filmed. Which means most of them are in their 50’s by now. So putting them in the recording studio doesn’t always get you the result you’re after. Imagine your dad, trying to sound 20. Yeah.
So in theory, it sounds awesome to put Freddy in the game, or try to get your favorite character from the films into the game. But there’s so much more to it than just having the idea. It’s not impossible, it’s just a major time-sync that more often than not, doesn’t pay off in the end. You either get something that feels shoe-horned into the game, or just leaves you feeling underwhelmed.