Dead by Daylight is a unique multiplayer game, centered around a cat and mouse mechanic between one killer and four survivors. The killer has to chase the survivors down and kill them, while the survivors attempt to repair generators to escape. Killers and survivors come in a variety of flavors, with their own unique powers and perks that change how the game plays. The gameplay seems simple, but requires a lot of game knowledge and psychology to play at high levels. However, there is a large problem with the monetization of this game; the necessity to buy killers in order to be able to play effectively at higher, competitive ranks.
Perks are unique passive effects for killers and survivors, and these often define how you play. The problem with this lies within how these perks are obtained. A character will have four perks that belong to them, and to be able to use them on other characters, you must unlock them, then level them up sufficiently for their perk to become teachable to others. Simple in concept, but this is where the problem arises. The ‘best’ perks are locked behind characters that must be purchased, some can be purchased with an in-game currency, while some are hard-locked behind real-life currencies. The amount of time it takes to unlock characters through gameplay also makes this incredibly difficult; I have over 130 hours in the game and have reached Killer Rank 1, yet I have only been able to purchase two killers with in-game currency. This is after saving up as much of the currency as I could, yet that could only afford two killers. Most killers have one or two perks at most that are considered good, therefore you need to choose carefully.
Of course, you could always just purchase them with real-life currencies. I have purchased all of the character packs that can only be purchased with real-life currencies, since I felt I was getting my money’s worth with it. However, while they do not cost much, these costs stack up. With Dead by Daylight itself only costing 20 euroes, the cost of the character packs I chose added up to a total of 58 euroes. Since I legitimately enjoyed the gameplay, I did purchase a few more killers who I thought I would enjoy, racking up the total money I have spent to 86 euroes.
Do I regret spending this money? To be honest, no. But I do feel that this system of having to buy characters in order to get their perks is a very unfair experience to those who cannot afford these purchases. It effectively locks the most powerful and useful perks behind a paywall. While it is possible to play without them, this does mean that you are effectively at a disadvantage when everybody else is using the best perks. If I was to suggest a workaround, I would suggest making all perks obtainable without purchasing the characters; you would still need to purchase the killers or survivors to play as them, but you would not feel inclined to purchase them purely because of how powerful their perks are. Otherwise, it creates a situation where power can be purchased, which would fall under the definition of pay to win, especially when earning in-game currency is extremely slow. I still enjoy the game, regardless of these factors. But it’s very hard to justify recommending this game onwards to others due to the monetization.
Publisher: Behaviour Interactive
Developers: Behaviour Interactive
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PS4/5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, Stadia, Xbox Series
Genres: Survival horror
Pictures; screenshots taken by author in-game