Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity earns its spot on any ‘best of horror’ list by the sheer power of its scares alone. Its approach to found-footage terror didn’t just rely on jump scares or thundering sounds designed to momentarily unsettle you. It was the naturalistic quality of its paranormal sequences that did it. The demon that haunted Micah and Katie in the movie, for instance, didn’t follow the traditional pattern of scares. It went from subtle to intense and back again throughout its runtime for a finale that wasn’t all that easy to predict. It’s beautifully chaotic. Early on we get a demonic howl that changes the entire tone of the movie, only to then turn the volume down for disturbances that terrify at different registers. Lore is built up around the haunting too, with that same attention to tone, pacing, and sound along with it.

Translating all this to video games can be a daunting task, especially when it comes from a kind of horror that possesses its own signature stylings. This is precisely what publisher DreadXP and creative director Brian Clarke are going to attempt with their stab at the license, titled Paranormal Activity: Found Footage. The game, slated for a 2026 release, will introduce an adaptive “Haunt System” that will tailor scares to the player based on their actions in-game.

Here’s the official blurb:

DreadXP’s Paranormal Activity video game will bring the franchise’s groundbreaking found-footage style to horror enthusiasts in surprising new ways, immersing them in a story that expands upon the lore and world of the films. DreadXP co-director and creative director Brian Clarke (AKA DarkStone Digital), the developer of the acclaimed The Mortuary Assistant, leads the development of Paranormal Activity. The game will feature an advanced ‘Haunt System,’ which will dynamically alter the types and intensity of scares players will encounter based on their actions.

Licensed horror video games are having quite the moment. From the Friday the 13th multiplayer game (controversies and all) to The Blair Witch first-person game and the highly successful Texas Chainsaw Massacre online multiplayer game (which has sold over 1.1 million units), there’s been a concerted effort to bring horror classics into the gaming world with the hopes of tapping into already established fanbases for continued support. A Killer Clowns from Outer Space game is also on the horizon (with a June 2024 release window), and it’s gotten enough attention to suggest it’ll have the necessary player count to sustain itself.

The streaming community has had a lot to do with the current state of horror in gaming, its popularity. From reaction videos to full playthroughs, streamers have taken to getting scared online for the viewing pleasure of digital audiences. Games like Alien: Isolation (2014) and Resident Evil 7 (2017) helped immensely in turning these experiences into community activities that would drive engagement and boost visibility. Horror owes a lot to Twitch in this regard.

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This means that Paranormal Activity: Found Footage is entering into an arena that’s already got a willing audience that’s hungry for more streamers ugly screaming into their microphones after a jump scare. It’s not the first game in the franchise, though. That honor goes to Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul, a VR offering that also came equipped with an adaptive scare system. It got a good reception, with some reviewers lamenting the short run time but praising the free-roam house setting and how it set up intense bouts with the paranormal. Found Footage can certainly build upon that game’s strengths for a shot at becoming the definitive Paranormal Activity video game experience. We’ll know more as it gets closer to its 2026 release date.