'Dead by Daylight' X 'Ringu' Crossover: Release Date, Killer and Survivor Revealed

As revealed in a brand new trailer, the next Dead by Daylight chapter, titled "Sadako Rising", finally has an official release date. It will also be launching soon in the game's Public Test Build (PTB) environment.

Based on the Japanese Ring films —known oversees as the Ringu series — this piece of Downloadable Content (DLC) has been a joint effort between the Canadian developers over at Behaviour Interactive and the media powerhouse that is Kadokawa.

If you are not familiar with the latter, it is a heavily diversified conglomerate based in Asia. Kadokawa is involved in everything from the publishing of books to the distribution of manga, film production and software development. It even prints its own industry magazine, Famitsu, which is one of the most widely consumed video game publications in all of Japan.

The company is responsible for a lot of famous pop-culture touchstones (especially for anime and manga fans) but one of its most iconic exports is surely the Ringu franchise. Kadokawa published the original novel and was involved in the famous 1998 cinematic adaptation, which was itself remade as The Ring for English Language audiences in 2002 (in a film starring Naomi Watts).

Even if you have not seen any of the Ringu films before, you will immediately recognize a lot of its narrative beats. The creepy videotape, ominous "Seven Days" phone call and uncanny onryō ghost crawling out the television set are all firmly ingrained in the minds of moviegoers everywhere.

It's a legendary franchise that has spawned over 10 installments, with multiple different timelines, a made-for-TV movie, a little-known Korean remake, three Hollywood interpretations and a crossover with The Grudge.

As such, Behaviour Interactive had a lot of material to work with when coming up with their DLC chapter for Dead by Daylight. Here is everything you need to know about this upcoming collaboration.

'Dead by Daylight: Sadako Rising' Chapter 23 Release Date

The Sadako Rising DLC (aka Chapter 23) for Dead by Daylight will be released on Tuesday, March 8.

Fans can preview the Ringu content ahead of time via the game's PTB, where it will go live at 11 a.m. ET on February 15.

What Story Is the 'Dead by Daylight' x 'Ring' Chapter Based On?

Dead by Daylight Sadako Rising Key Art
Image shows the key art for the upcoming "Sadako Rising" chapter of "Dead by Daylight". This will be based on the Japanese "Ringu" films. Behaviour Interactive

Dedicated Ringu fans (or "Ringworms" as they inexplicably like to be called) will tell you that the series' lore is very intricate.

There are various timelines, retconned events, and nagging inconsistencies with the overarching storyline. For instance, the original book doesn't even have the famous revenant crawling out the TV, as people are instead killed off by a deadly strain of smallpox that is contracted after watching the cursed videotape.

This was all changed for the Japanese movie to give it a more satisfying and indelible ending. The idea of having a clear horror antagonist, in the form of the vengeful Sadako, has since been worked into every other cinematic adaptation of Ringu, apart from Korea's The Ring Virus (which adheres closer to the source material).

You might be surprised to learn that there are also two unconnected follow-ups to the first Ringu, one of which is based on the second book, while the other is a direct continuation of the film. Complicating matters further, both continuities have been rebooted on several occasions, to the point where there are now a few versions of each character.

To clarify then, the Dead by Daylight collaboration is not inspired by any of the American Ring films, nor is it based on the book. Instead, it's set within the universe of the 1998 Japanese debut movie and its mainline sequels.

Generally speaking, when it comes to licensed characters, the team at Behaviour Interactive prefer to adapt the originals wherever possible. When they incorporated Michael Myers into Dead by Daylight it was the version from his first appearance in the 1978 Halloween movie, and their controversial take on Leatherface is not taken from any of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes.

What's unique about the Sadako Rising chapter is that it not only ties into the Japanese movies, but that it's also a canonical follow-up to them. It will pick up many dangling threads that have been puzzling Ringworms for years, including the fate of Sadako and what happened to Yoichi after Ringu 2.

Newsweek has interviewed Dead by Daylight's creative director, Dave Richard, to learn more about how Kadokawa handed him the keys to the franchise's narrative and let him decide where to take the story next.

New Killer: Sadako Story and Gameplay Details

Sadako Dead by Daylight Character Model
Image shows the character model for Sadako in "Dead by Daylight". This new killer will be unique, in the sense that she is ghostly apparition and cannot touch survivors. Behaviour Interactive

Sadako is the latest killer to enter the fog in Dead by Daylight, although she is not your typical slasher. Unlike those who are currently featured in the game's roster (Pyramid Head notwithstanding), she does not originate from western culture and is instead a J-horror archetype.

This means that she does not go around butchering people with knives or slicing them up with a chainsaw and that she is more of an insidious psychological threat.

In terms of backstory, Sadako is the ghost of a young psychic girl who was ruthlessly persecuted by society and pushed down a well by her very own stepfather. She is drenched head-to-toe in murky water, soggy black hair conceals the majority of her face, and she has clawed out her fingernails while trying to escape from that cobblestone prison.

Seeking retribution against the world for her untimely death, Sadako used her supernatural power of "nensha" (whereby a psychic can burn paranormal images onto film) to project hate and evil onto a VHS tape. Anyone who watches this surreal video then receives an ominous phone call, informing them that they are doomed to die in seven days. Once that deadline has elapsed, Sadako then crawls through the nearest TV screen and kills her prey via telepathy.

What makes Sadako a unique killer for Dead by Daylight is that she cannot physically touch her victims. Every other hunter in the game must chase down survivors, hit them with a melee weapon and then carry them over to a sacrificial hook.

Sadako is unable to do any of these things, however, and so players will have to learn an entirely new strategy. In our exclusive interview, Richard confirmed that Sadako's telepathic abilities will substitute for a traditional weapon and that she will have a unique alternative to hooking survivors as well.

He also mentioned that Sadako will be able to crawl out of the TV, as a homage to the most famous scene from the 1998 movie, and that she can inflict the dreaded countdown curse onto players.

In short, Sadako promises to be a totally unique killer who is unlike anyone else in the current Dead by Daylight line-up. Rather than engaging in blunt cat-and-mouse chases, those who are controlling the spirit will need to use their wits and operate in the shadows.

New Survivor: Yoichi Asakawa Story and Gameplay Details

Yoichi Asakawa Character Model Dead by Daylight
Image shows the Yoichi Asakawa character model in "Dead by Daylight". The last time this psychic appeared on screen, he was only a child. Behaviour Interactive have been given permission by Kadokawa to continue his story. Behaviour Interactive

In addition to Sadako, players will also have a new survivor to master in the upcoming Dead by Deadlight chapter.

Yoichi Asakawa is the only prominent character to have outlived the Ring curse in the movie franchise and so fans have been speculating about his fate for a while. The last time we saw him he was only a young child, but that's obviously not appropriate for matches in Dead by Daylight, given that he could potentially be placed on a sacrificial hook or have a reverse bear trap wired to his jaw.

For this reason, the developers at Behaviour Interactive have decided to age Yoichi up by a couple of decades, so that he is in his thirties (making his gruesome death animations far more palatable).

Given that he is now a fully-grown adult, players will be able to catch up on what Yoichi has been up to since his last cinematic appearance. As per his in-game bio, it turns out that he overcame his trauma associated with Sadako and became a university professor, having graduated with top honors in marine biology.

Unfortunately, he later became obsessed with The Entity (the unseen villain that is pulling the strings in the Dead By Daylight multiverse) and went down a rabbit hole trying to understand it and how it connects to his own ESP abilities. He subsequently gained a reputation for being unhinged and borderline delusional, losing his teaching job in the process.

Disgraced, Yoichi continued his desperate search for the truth and went to Scotland to pursue a lead that concerned a string of inexplicable disappearances. During this investigation, he took a boat out to sea and was engulfed by a mysterious black wave. This transported him to the realm of the Entity, alongside his old nemesis Sadako.

The interesting thing about Yoichi as a survivor is that he actively sought out the entity and wants to know more about it. He has also inherited his father's ESP talents, which will manifest themselves in gameplay and in Yoichi's perks.

His full stats and Bloodweb upgrades will be revealed closer to the launch of Sadako Rising on March 8.

Correction 2/16/22, 08.20 a.m. ET: This article originally misspelled the developer "Behaviour Interactive" as "Behavior Interactive". This has now been updated throughout.

Editor's Picks

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts