We all remember Slender Man right? A big, tall, lanky fella with no face and a bunch of tentacles? Yeah, him! Today we’ll explore the question of whether Slender Man could come to Dead by Daylight.
The idea comes from the same poll that told us just how much Dead by Daylight fans wanted Five Nights at Freddy’s to join the licensing party. Slender Man is among the community’s most-requested IPs to be added to Dead by Daylight. It got me thinking, could BHVR actually incorporate Ol’ Slendy into DbD? Could it work, and if so, how would it work?
Now let me start off by disclosing that I was a weirdly big fan of the Slender Man way back in 2012 at his peak popularity. Well, maybe not a “fan” per se, but I kind of made him my personality for a while, if that makes sense? You really didn’t need to know that.
A brief history of a tall dude with no face
The Slender Man was a really big trend 10 years ago thanks to Erik Knudsen – who actually birthed him – creatively speaking – in June of 2009. A whole generation of internet creepypasta lovers was introduced to the big, tall, uh, slender man – for better or worse. After a while, the hype died down, with only a small spike again in 2014 due to a horrible real-life incident. Then in 2018, Sony – out of the blue – announced a Slender Man movie. Which is for one, a little callous, and two, just really weird timing?
And in the four years since then, we have (thankfully) had nothing – which means it’s time for a comeback baby! Slender Man still belongs to Knudsen, and his whole mythos lends itself to Dead by Daylight quite nicely. If developer Behaviour Interactive tried to add him into the game, it could go in one of two ways. Knudsen could be on board, Slender Man gets added into the game and Slendy gets another taste of the spotlight. The alternative is that Knudsen just wants Slender Man to stay dead after the ups and downs he has been through in the 13 years since his debut. Either option is valid, but if I am being honest, some small part of me would still love to see Slender Man added into the game.
Tall, pale, and efficient
So how would Behaviour incorporate him into the game? Well, I was thinking about it, and while it would have been difficult to put him into some of the darker levels, we literally have Ghostface who has the same colour scheme. Slendy is pretty tall, clocking in at over 15 feet tall – depending on who you ask. This plays really well in the actual Slender Man game and would work in Dead by Daylight as well with him just… being able to hide behind a tree. Yes, I know I’m still partially describing Ghostface – just hold on.
Weapon-wise, Slendy is sometimes known as having tentacles growing out of his back. This could make him similar to Nemesis – rather than a whip, he could use a tentacle to extend his reach. This could be useful for just barely catching a survivor through a window vault or pulling them off an objective for a short time. Perhaps he could have a rare add-on that lets him briefly teleport near an objective and pull a survivor off it, or force them to mend.
The static he’s known to cause in electronic devices is also a necessary inclusion. Perhaps it would replace his terror radius, or maybe it could be something like The Doctor’s Static Blast, but with a different effect.
Perk-wise, Behaviour could lean into the canonical aspect of Slender Man being lethal to behold; looking directly at him is a good way to get got. Normally you’re looking out for the killer, trying to keep an eye on them in order to avoid them – but what if that’s what gets you killed? That way, you can really incorporate the static in the same way that it works in the game.
As far as licensing goes, I imagine Slender Man could turn out well – after a bit of convincing perhaps. His heyday in the creepypasta spotlight ended a long time ago. However, I believe his gameplay would work well and I think the Dead by Daylight team could give Slender Man some good bits of new lore while incorporating his established backstory. As far as characters go, he strikes an interesting balance between the supernatural, mythical, and creature-like killers. Think about him like a character-mix between the Nurse, Ghostface, and the Demogorgon (in that they are both humanoids.)
Slender Man has had a sad, checkered history unfold in the years since his genesis. After the long rest, maybe it is time for him to come back, and join Dead by Daylight’s growing roster, for better or worse.