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- Friday the 13th: The Game
Glitches in indie games are par-for-the-course. They’re going to happen. The only question is “how will the developers respond to them?” In an age where YouTubers are often under siege for negative videos especially by smaller studios, Gun Media & IllFonic, developers behind the popular asymmetrical horror game Friday the 13th: The Game, are taking the high road.
One very popular Friday the 13th glitch that players can exploit is to reach unintended locations as a counselor. These locations are impossible to reach as Jason, so counselors can sit in these unreachable locations and wait until the 20-minute match timer counts down. This sort of thing is certainly harming Friday the 13th: The Game, as it breaks the whole adversarial aspect of the multiplayer game. But rather than fight back against people who share this bug, Gun Media and IllFonic are taking it on the chin.
One YouTuber apparently accused Friday the 13th devs of issuing a copyright strike against a video that showed how to exploit this glitch, but Gun Media says it wasn’t them. Furthermore, Wes Keltner of Gun Media Tweeted “That’s not how copyright laws work. The glitches/bugs are on us, and we are fixing them.”
That’s not how copyright laws work. The glitches/bugs are on us, and we’re fixing them. 🙂
— F13_Wes (@weskeltner) June 27, 2017
Of course, abuses of YouTube’s copyright claim function have been reported ad nauseum, with the most recent example being Wargaming’s threat to YouTuber SirFoch after he posted a scathing, expletive-laden review of the newest tank in World of Tanks. On the other hand, these videos that showcase glitches in Friday the 13th: The Game, aren’t simply posting something negative about it; they are instructional and even insidious, showing people how to abuse flaws in the game. Indeed, I’m sure many Friday the 13th players would want these videos removed from the internet so people can’t abuse the game further.
If you think this makes no difference, perhaps you’re right, but that didn’t stop Take-Two Interactive from issuing DMCA claims against such instructional glitch videos about GTA Online. It’s a similar scenario (YouTubers post videos showing how to abuse a glitch in an online game), but Gun Media and IllFonic will be taking no such action for Friday the 13th: The Game. Take-Two Interactive even went so far as to have these YouTube channels shut down entirely.
Of course, you have to wonder why someone would take advantage of this Friday the 13th glitch in the first place. If you survive the night by waiting on the timer, you don’t receive any bonus experience the way you would for escaping, so you receive the same reward as if you had just died. If you simply want the satisfaction of toying with an unsuspecting Jason, is that really what you paid $40 for – to run to a spot on a map and sit there for 20 minutes?
That said, the real onus here is on Gun Media and IllFonic to fix these glitches. It’s not on those who exploit them and it’s certainly not on those YouTubers who show how to exploit them. And, Gun Media has acknowledged as much. Better yet, they’ve announced tangible plans to fight these glitches and those who use them. Just today, the game’s official Twitter account announced that they will be updating the game’s Terms of Service and implementing a report system, while attempting to patch the glitches out of the game entirely. This way, exploiting glitches will be a clear violation of the terms of service you agree to when starting the game.
Similar Terms of Service exist in almost every major online game. Last year, many Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare players were hit with punishments for getting infinite keys for supply crates, as this violated the game’s Terms of Service prohibiting the abuse of “an exploit in game code or other established rule of play.” It’s unclear what sort of punishment will be deemed appropriate for this glitch, but Activision’s for Infinite Warfare include a complete stat and inventory wipe in addition to a temporary suspension, something Friday the 13th: The Game could certainly implement, given that each player’s account has a wealth of unlockable kills and counselor perks.