it’s been a while since developer Illfonic’s camp slasher sim, Friday the 13th: The Game, has seen any updates — and there are still several problems that need fixing. This made players angry enough, but when they heard Illfonic had a new game coming out soon, they cried “abandonment.”
The game in question is Dead Alliance, a zombie shooter due out in a few days. After the game’s Reddit page filled up with accusations, Illfonic’s CEO Chuck Brungardt had to personally post a message explaining what was going on.
“We assure you, continued support for Friday the 13th: The Game has not been abandoned,” Brungardt started by saying. “In fact, it’s quite the opposite.” Illfonic actually began work on Dead Alliance long before they started Friday the 13th, and as he explained, it would be bad business to put all their eggs in one basket. “Most major and independent studios have multiple teams working on multiple projects at the same time. This is critical for the survival of the studio, especially with the ups and downs with the game industry. Dead Alliance was started way before Friday the 13th: the Game.”
What’s more, the profits Illfonic has earned on Friday the 13th has allowed them to expand their studio, meaning speedier updates could be in the near future. “We also have opened a second office [whose] sole purpose is to support development of Friday the 13th: The Game,” said Brungardt. “We are continuing to staff up more team members for continued support of the game.”
Illfonic was previously made up of 20 people. Now it’s made up of 30 people. Here lies the real problem: you can’t expect the kind of instant gratification you’d get from EA or Activision from a team that small, even one slightly bigger. It’s getting more common these days for big hits to come from small studios that are ill-equipped to handle the traffic.