Dead by Daylight models are being sold as NFTs, no one is pleased

Dead By Daylight Pinhead NFT
(Image credit: Behaviour)

Non-fungible tokens are basically digital items that use blockchain technology to grant "ownership" to those who pay for them. Ownership is in scare quotes, because you really only own a sort of receipt that says a non-unique digital file is yours. It's an extremely divisive phenomenon, partly because creating NFTs requires environmentally damaging, energy-intensive blockchain mining, and partly because the scene is rife with scams. That hasn't stopped their proliferation, and it hasn't stopped Dead By Daylight studio Behaviour from licensing its in-game models for NFTs. Specifically: You can now buy a Pinhead NFT.

Not film Pinhead or anything: Dead by Daylight Pinhead. It's the character model that you can interact with in the actual game, and which is viewable via thousands of images found on Google. The innovation here is that now you can pay for it and in theory own it, which you could have done anyway, using your imagination. Buying the NFT does not give you any kind of copyright claim after all, which would be a more convincing indication of ownership. Not only that, but the Pinhead NFT grants "a chance" to access the Hellraiser chapter of Dead by Daylight—though it's not guaranteed, which is bizarre. Possibly because this NFT just isn't actually worth shit.

In the relevant FAQ, Boss Protocol quietly strips away any sensible reason to buy this NFT, assuring that no game content will be locked behind it (or any other Boss Protocol NFTs), though "certain Pinhead NFTs will unlock access to Hellraiser collectibles and all of them will entitle their owners (on a future date) to additional NFTs… at no cost." So the NFT is good for granting you access to possible other NFTs.

Boss Protocol is the company responsible for the NFTs' creation, and while it is a separate entity from Boss Team Games—which manages game rights to Hellraiser, and licenses it to Behaviour—they're closely related: They share the same logo and address. Boss Protocol is working on other NFTs in "other properties in film, gaming, music and traditional media."

Dead by Daylight fans aren't pleased, because most people agree—including Valve, seemingly—that NFTs are extremely prone to scam operations. A former programmer on the game has announced his opposition to the move. 

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.