Although this has been a problem for a long time, but especially as of recent a lot of misinformation, and in some cases outright lies, have been spreading like wildfire. So to try and help stomp out this fire to the best of my ability I’m going to give you all as much information about the state the game is in and it’s unreleased content. I might not be a developer, but I can still show a good chunk of evidence against some of the things people have been saying for a long, long time now. I will warn you, a good chunk of this information is taken from Wes Keltner, the co-creator of F13, and the boss of Gun Media. If you have a problem with that, and prefer to get your information from something other than the horse's mouth, I cannot help you with that.
So let's start with something simple, what and who is causing the game to not have content?
The what is very straightforward and I feel common knowledge at this point, the Victor Miller vs Horror Inc. and Sean Cunningham is making it so the game cannot make content. If you wish to read up a bit more on the details, I recommend this article, which is an interview with Victor Miller.
As for who told them to stop releasing content, that would be Horror Inc and The Judge of the case. To quote Wes “Horror Inc (the rights holder) told us to stop making new content...The JUDGE in the Horror, Inc Vs Miller case stated that nothing NEW could be created under the F13 License. When Horror, Inc asked if that includes our game, the response was “correct, nothing new could be added to the game henceforth from the ruling”.
Unlike what many people seem to think, Gun Media did not know in advance that they were going to have to stop production. To quote Wes “We read it in the press release and then asked the rights holder what was going on.”
Now for everyone's favorite talking point: Jason X, Grendel and KM-14: How finished are they actually.
I’m going to start with KM-14 and the Grendel, as they are a lot clearer to show their state of “finish” compared to Jason X. Here is a screenshot of KM-14's model with textures, which was given to me by a leaker sometime ago. By KM-14’s model, I mean the broken and jankey model that I had to make 3 variants of to show off how broken the textures on her were because she was unfinished by the time they had to cut making content. She is also missing something very important, her eyes. As far as the leaker could find, she had no eye models at all. Her entire body was also in 3 pieces, separated by clothing, arms, hand and upper torso, and hair, which is how all of the F13 counselor models work, except her hair was on the floor instead of on her head, and was pointing towards her right, instead of straight up. You can also find this image of KM-14 floating around, which looks a lot better than the ones I have shown. The thing is, I was the one that put together that KM a while ago, and had gone about fixing most of the textures to make it look better and have a better idea of what she would look at.
Now for Grendel. Here is a collection of screenshots of the map, some being of better quality than others. As I hope you will be able to tell from these screenshots, although Grendel has a lot of work put into it, it’s nowhere close to being done as a map alone. We have no clue how close the objectives were to being done. There are some animations that can be found, giving hints at how it could have worked, but as far as I’m aware there has never been any evidence of any of the objectives working within the Grendel map.
Finally, Uber Jason. Everyone knows that he is playable, and that he has working kills in the game. What is preventing him from being added to the game if they were for whatever reason allowed to add something. There’s quite a few things, surprisingly. He lacks an actual icon for the Jason Selection menu, he doesn’t have his own music, if and when his mask gets knocked off, it’s Part 8’s mask, his kills lack audio in both the music and the screams/slashing sense, and most likely contained bugs that we are aware of. People seem to have forgotten that it wasn’t too long ago that Uber Jason didn’t even have a melee hit box when he was first Hex coded in, meaning you could only stun him via flare guns, shotguns, pocket knives, bear traps, the sweater (but only the Pamela monologue part) and ramming him with the car. He only got a hitbox after the engine update when some people accidentally gained access to him. It wouldn’t surprise me if they gave him a hitbox for when people did hack him in, so the counselors still had a fighting chance.
Some of you might be saying “So what? He’s playable, that means he can be counted as finished”. Well, that’s not how things work at Gun, and most likely a lot of other companies, not just game developers. From how Wes had explained it, goals for a final product are set in parts. These parts need to be reached for the final product to be done and for it to be allowed to be released.
Here are Wes’ own words on both Uber Jason and Grendel, but I feel mostly towards Uber Jason.
What about other content, like the unreleased kills (both weapon and non-weapon) or the Counselor clothing packs?
Although we were never given an exact about the Clothing pack, Wes had talked about the unreleased kills. To quote him “They weren’t ‘finished’ kills. We did not have the animations synced to the victims rig, nor was the music finished by Manfredini. And the calls to what the music that was done, was not done. I asked if we could get this done since it was close to the stop date. I was told NO.” If I were to take a guess the clothing packs are in a similar place. That is ME saying that, not Wes, so do not take that as fact.
How was F13: Killer Puzzle able to release unreleased content, but not F13: The Game?
Again, Wes had answered this, with saying “The F13 puzzle game put (unfinished) content into the game. They buried it in code. It was a smart play and easier to do with a mobile game. Since the content was already “in the game” they were clear of the ruling. They released it months later after they finished it.”
What about all the stuff that is going on with the servers?
Wes has talked about it as a generalized idea of how much a server could cost “...multiplayer game, to figure out how much it costs for servers. There is not an exact formula because of how you code the server, and how much data you’re pushing across, how many players have, all of those variables change it. But, if you’re in, to give you a basic idea, if you’re in the like, 5,000 to 10,000 players and you hold that for 30 days, that can be about between $100,00 to $170,000 a month.” Here are his exact words. Of course, F13 has not had those numbers in quite some time, or maybe ever, but you do need to keep in mind, they were running servers for PC, Xbox, Playstation and Switch. For about 3 years, and most of those 3 years I doubt they were getting as much as they would like. Think about it, they have had basically no way to pull in new players besides putting the game on sale for a good amount, and no way to pull in old fans. Take a look at some of the Tweets on the F13: The Game’s Twitter and you’ll see a good amount of them are related to the game being on sale for around 75% off. I find it hard to believe how long they’ve been able to run the servers for already. We all knew this was going to happen eventually.
“The devs were already paid, now they’re just running from this game and using the license lawsuit as an excuse.”
First off, you can’t seriously think of a “small” developer/publisher like Gun. would have a license like F13 fall into their lap, make a game, see that the game is “failing” and decide “well, time to jump ship”. No company would ever just have a license as big as something F13 and just decide to throw it in the garbage like it was a game concept.
Secondly, Wes had talked about this idea a bit. Unlike the previous question, I can’t clip it due to how long he talks about it. However, I have written what he said about that idea. This quote was taken from his livestream where he talked about license deals.
“But they did run off, they went to go make Predator: Hunting Grounds and Layers of Fear 2!”
Only Illfonic, the original developers, went to go work on Predator. Gun Media never went to work on Predator. It was a smart move for Illfonic, as they saw a good opportunity and took it. As for Layers of Fear 2, that seemed more to be an exclusively publisher deal, unlike F13 where Gun. played both developer and publisher.
“Gun should give us Savini Jason and the backer clothes as an apology for all of this!’
You’re a customer, not a king, they do not owe any of us a thing. They have stated multiple times they will not be releasing either of those for the exact same reason. The backers took a chance, and that is what they were rewarded with for giving Gun a chance. Think of it like the backers are investors buying stock from a company, but instead of having to wait to get their money back from said investment, they were instantly paid in something the company saw as valuable. That’s what most backer things are anyway, a type of investment towards a product or project.
I feel at this point I have been able to put a case against every usual argument or question about Friday the 13th: The Game and Gun Media. The one thing I want to end this on is, be respectful to the developers. I get it, it’s frustrating and saddening that all of this is happening, but do not take that out on them. They love the game as much as you do, they didn’t want to see it end up like this. Spouting hatred towards a developer is not going to fix the problem. It astonishes me how entitled some people seem to think they are when it comes to video games in general, not just F13. Do not become the lesser person by brandishing an axe at them because of something they cannot change.