Unlike Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhis, Dead by Daylight features a whole roster of 'killers' to pick from. Like the different survivors, the player's favorite killer can also be personalized with several cosmetic types of equipment. However, one of these had recently started ballooning into a PR disaster for the developers.
Other than Friday the 13th, Dead by Daylight is the biggest title in the 5v1 asymmetrical horror game genre. With its frequent sales and limited-time free-to-claim programs in the weekly Epic Games vault, Dead by Daylight often stops just short of going f2p.
For a long time, Dead by Daylight publishers Behaviour Interactive have looked for an alternate monetization channel by keeping its player base consistent. One of the incentives Dead by Daylight offers is unlockable cosmetics.
Dead by Daylight cosmetic removed for racial harassment
The cosmetic in question, to be specific, pertains to Leatherface, a.k.a 'The Cannibal.' Leatherface as a killer in Dead by Daylight hunts by isolating survivors from one another and even slashing items off survivors' inventories with basic attacks.
In the 1974 horror flick "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," where he is derived from, Leatherface has a penchant for wearing his victims' faces as masks. Dead by Daylight alludes to this directly with cosmetics. In one of the most interactive in-game ways to unlock cosmetics, a player can unlock the faces of the original survivor quartet once he sacrifices them 25 times.
The four original survivors contain Claudette Morel, the game's first African-American survivor character. Some players reportedly abused Claudette Morel's mask as a blackface, pinning it as the center of racist taunting and harassment.
Behaviour Interactive addressed this issue by removing Leatherface masks in a recent mid-Chapter update. With the departure of the infamous 'Blackface Bubba' on January 4, 2022, players who previously owned any of Leatherface's masks will be compensated with 6,000 Iridescent Shards - the game's primary currency for unlockables.
In addition to this cosmetic removal, the developer update also included a host of accessibility changes, including a 'Toggle Interactions' feature for scenarios requiring sustained button-pressing and an update to the wiggle feature introduced last year.