The popular asymmetrical killer versus survivor game Dead By Daylight will definitely have more diverse characters in the future.
Behaviour recently announced that in the name of diversity and inclusion, they would be more conscious of the game’s lore going forward.
In a statement posted to the official Dead by Daylight Twitter, the developers explained, “In the past, we’ve mentioned that we didn’t aim to give a sexual orientation to our characters. The idea was to let players create their own narrative and identify themselves to the character they most related to.”
It continued, “Now that Dead by Daylight’s lore is getting more and more detailed, we realized that we didn’t stay true to this vision. We did set our character’s preferences in the past, notably in heterosexual relationships.”
“We recognize that this no longer reflects our original positions. The game continues to evolve, and thanks to your precious feedback and questions regarding our character’s diversity, we have reviewed our plans and position,” they added.
The statement concluded, “We see Dead by Daylight as an inclusive game and we’re always looking to improve the way we reflect those values in our game. We are now better equipped to integrate diversified identities to the game and into the lore in the future.”
A message from the Dev team pic.twitter.com/B1Hiy2jEGb
— Dead by Daylight (@DeadByBHVR) June 12, 2020
Since the game launched in 2016, Dead By Daylight has always had backstories for its characters, but they were often brief and very vague.
For example, in The Last Breath they introduced The Nurse and Nea Karlsson.
Here’s how they describe The Nurse, “A new varmint has entered the arena. I spotted her as she, somehow, moved through a wall. Clad in bandages that tell an untold tale of something horrid. This…nurse as it seems, brings me new angst during my lonely nights, as my mind runs amok.”
And here’s their description of Nea Karlsson, “At first sight I thought it was a cat that passed me by, just a few meters behind me. A shadow that moved without sound. But yelling is not wise in this place. I have spotted her more times, but just in the peripheral. I still don’t know her name, but she evades the monsters with a certain grace.”
As you can see there is no indication of their sexual orientation. This trend would continue in Spark of Madness where they introduced The Doctor and Feng Min.
Here’s their description of The Doctor, ” have difficulty keeping my sanity. Each day, this altering world provides me with new trials. A man wearing the robes of a doctor crossed my path. From afar, I witness him walk around, searching.. But he was not…normal. Eyes and mouth pried open, in a painful and disturbing way. Where do these fiends stem from? I do not trust him, he looks like he wants to bring pain, not healing? I will stay away, it is the wisest thing to do.”
And here’s their description for Feng Min, “A young woman surprised me the other day. She is another guest in this nightmare I can not seem to wake up from. She came running, passed by a wounded girl and didn’t stop. Just a glance behind her, and she was off again. With a determined look on her face, like she had something important to do. A lone wolf maybe? I am not sure what I should call this new person.”
The descriptions would get more in detail with Chains of Hate, but there was still no indication of sexual orientation.
The description for The Deathslinger begins, “A brilliant and fiery-tempered engineer, Caleb Quinn made a career out of revenge. When his wealthy employer, Henry Bayshore, stole the patents to his inventions, he broke into a violent, bloody rage. For fifteen years, Caleb languished in Hellshire Penitentiary, paying for his crimes.”
It continues, ” While doing his time, the warden asked him for a favor—fill the private prison with inmates. In return, the warden would use his political connections to imprison Bayshore for life. Caleb agreed. He returned to his workshop and created a pressure-based spear gun that allowed him to capture fugitives alive.”
“With a gang of released inmates in his employ, Caleb hunted the countryside as a brutally efficient bounty hunter. But for all he did, he was just a pawn in a rich man’s game. The warden betrayed him, selling Hellshire Penitentiary to Bayshore,” it adds.
The description concludes, “In a fury, Caleb stormed Hellshire with his gang, killing anyone who stood in his way. The massacre ended with Bayshore and the warden bloody and dying, left for the inmates to finish off.”
There was also no indication of Zerina Kassir’s sexual orientation in her description.
It begins, “A daring, modern, workaholic filmmaker, Zarina strove to reveal the truth. Growing up in a Lebanese household in Brooklyn, she struggled with two unique cultural identities. With time she learned to embrace the different layers of her identity and roots and borrowed her father’s digital camera to interview members of her community in Bay Ridge. Posting her content online, she slowly built a loyal following.”
Kassir’s description continues, “The sudden death of her father sent a shockwave of anger and pain that left Zarina in pieces. She became obsessed with his murderer—Clark Stevenson—his gang “IR-28,” and his short prison sentence. With the last of her inheritance she bought a new camera and a plane ticket to Nebraska and bribed the warden at Hellshire Penitentiary to let her interview Clark.”
“Filming their first meeting, she asked him about his gang and his violent tendencies. Clark refused to talk; but in the weeks that followed, she used her research to push his buttons and finally got a confession of a pre-meditated crime. Zarina’s film became a tribute to her father and the trail of blood left by gang violence,” it adds.
The description concludes, “Inspired by Hellshire’s “Mad Mick Massacre” story, her next project was based on the Irish outlaw who had heartlessly slaughtered the warden and his guards. Joining the historical walking tour, she infiltrated the prison and reached Mick’s dilapidated cell; but venturing inside, Zarina found more than she’d bargained for.”
While the descriptions and back stories of their characters had been relatively short and have gradually increased over time, the release of The Archives significantly expanded these back stories.
The Archives are broken up into Tomes, in-game challenges that allow players to unlock more information about Dead By Daylight (DBD) lore and characters.
With expanded lore in the game, the announcement is somewhat understandable. However, it raises the question as to just how many players care either way?
In the three years that I have been a DBD player, my focus has always been on the multiplayer experience itself. The same goes for many of the other Dead By Daylight players I know.
We play either to stream our gameplay, get together to have fun with some friends, or just level up various killers or survivors. A particular character’s sexual orientation isn’t in the forefront of our minds.
In gathering information for this article, it seems there wasn’t any pressure for DBD to be more inclusive. Rather, this appears to be a preemptive self-policing move to be more inclusive, and stay on the right side of diversity culture.
We’ll see how this turns out for Behaviour and DBD in the long term. In an industry that is rife with virtue signaling and bending the knee to woke culture, this appears to be more of the same.
What do you think? Is this announcement a big virtue signal or is it forward thinking?
Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.