Steve Harrington, Nancy Wheeler, and the Demogorgon as they appear in the Stranger Things DLC for Dead by Daylight

‘Stranger Things’ Is Back in ‘Dead by Daylight’!

Welcome back to the Fog!

Stranger Things is coming back to the hit asymmetrical horror game Dead by Daylight! But what made Stranger Things leave the game in the first place?

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Dead by Daylight often touts itself as the “Horror Hall of Fame” and boasts licenses from iconic horror franchises including Halloween, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Left4Dead, A Nightmare on Elm Street (the 2010 remake), Saw, The Evil Dead, Ghostface (the costume, not the characters from Scream), Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Hellraiser, The Ring, and Alien.

Stranger Things in Dead by Daylight

The Stranger Things DLC first arrived in 2019 as the 13th “chapter” of the game. It was the first chapter to feature two survivors—Nancy Wheeler and Steve Harrington—and was the first to feature a non-human killer with the Demogorgon.

Originally, it was expected that Stranger Things would be a permanent installation in the game. However, in 2021, fans were informed that after November 19, 2021, they would no longer be able to purchase the characters or cosmetics in Dead by Daylight and that the Hawkins Laboratory Map would no longer be playable.

According to Behaviour Interactive and the developers of DBD, the reason for the break was that Netflix raised the licensing price of Stranger Things. That, combined with the fact that many players had already purchased the characters/cosmetics they wanted, meant that the game could no longer afford the license.

For a long time, fans theorized that the license may return, with some “leaks” showing a reworked version of the Hawkins map and theorizing that the license would return with even more potential characters, including Vecna and Joyce Byers.

However, those leaks were mostly false.

But then Fortnite was announced to be getting characters from Stranger Things and some DBD fans noticed that the game’s code had been changed to re-enable the Hawkins Laboratory map.

Fans’ wildest dreams were confirmed on Stranger Things Day, November 6, 2023, when Dead by Daylight’s official YouTube channel republished the DBD Stranger Things trailer, welcoming them back to the Fog.

For more info about how the chapter is being re-implemented (characters, cosmetics, perks, achievements, etc), DBD has more info on their official website.

Upcoming chapter

Even more intriguing, Dead by Daylight is set to announce its next chapter and Public Test Build tomorrow, which will reportedly feature a licensed killer. The PTB was originally set to debut last week but had been delayed for unknown reasons.

Fans are now wondering if the return of Stranger Things could also bring Vecna into the game as a new killer. It would certainly make sense, given how hard season 4 pushed Vecna as the new main antagonist and how the stage show seems to be built around Vecna’s life as Henry Creel.

However, there are many other contenders for the upcoming licensed chapter. Five Nights at Freddy’s fans have been begging for Springtrap to be a killer in the game for years. Others have wanted to see the Classic Yautja Predator in the game. Others still theorize that Saw might be getting a second chapter due to how much DBD has been using the Pig (Amanda Young) in marketing, more than a month after the latest film, Saw X, hit theaters.

The devs noted that the Stranger Things chapter returning “does not replace” the content they have already planned, meaning the killer will likely not be connected to Stranger Things.

Additionally, some fans are concerned that this announcement will encourage gamers to potentially cross the picket line, especially since SAG-AFTRA may soon be extending its strike to video games and developers that work with the AMPTP.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

(featured image: Netflix / Behaviour Interactive)

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Kimberly Terasaki
Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.