Drowning didn't kill him. Machetes, axes, toxic waste, and Freddy Krueger didn't kill him. But the legal battle over creator rights might spell the end of Jason Voorhees.
There is currently an unsettled case between Victor Miller, who wrote the original Friday the 13th screenplay, and Horror, Inc., who own the rights. Miller wrote the script under "work for hire" laws, but there were aspects of the contract that might grant him access to the millions of dollars that the franchise has made since. In the meantime, future films have been delayed and Gun Media, the makers of the very popular Friday the 13th multiplayer game, has announced that they can no longer release updates for the game. This is a blow to the games many fans (myself included) who were looking forward to playing on the Grendel as Uber-Jason from Jason X.
The full statement is available on their website. Here it is in its entirety.
Friday the 13th: The Game has established a loyal and excited fan base over the last year. As publisher/developer, Gun and Illfonic have made every effort to provide our fans with an authentic and great gaming experience.
As many in our community may be aware, a legal claim has been made which could affect all future Friday the 13th intellectual property. Although in the past the game has not been subject to any such claim, new content and material going forward will be affected. An initial decision in this case was expected in October 2017, but no decision has yet been issued. The court review of the legal rights is in process, but final resolution may take some time. Until the claim rights can be dismissed or resolved, no new content can be released.
When we originally learned that the game fell within the crosshairs of this legal dispute, we tried to balance the creation of new content requested by our fans against the maintenance and bug fixing that our community expects and deserves. We attempted to do both within the limits of the legal case.
We’ve now been forced to accept that the lawsuit makes future content for the game, including alternate play modes, new playable Jasons and Counselors, and new maps, unfeasible now or in the future. Although the listed content types will be affected, we remain committed to launching dedicated servers on our console platforms and providing the continued maintenance and bug fixing important to supporting our fan base.
So what does this mean exactly? There will be no additional content added to Friday the 13th: The Game. This includes “Uber Jason”, The Grendel Map, Jason Kill Packs, Clothing, Emotes and new Counselors.
Bummer, right? In the meantime, check out this fan-made music video that beautifully captures the gory exuberance of the game as set to Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now." I like to think Jason has Freddy Mercury's voice cheering him on as he goes to town on a bunch of idiot counselors.