Why Was Silent Hills Originally Canceled?
From the moment its PT, or playable teaser was released in 2014, Silent Hills became one of the most anticipated horror games of all time. The game was set to bring the iconic horror franchise to new heights. Both notable video game and movie directors Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro were to lead the project. Silent Hills held the promise of being a masterpiece.
Then it was canceled… Kojima and his studio, Kojima Productions, would depart from Konami after a bitter and messy divorce. The PT was removed from the PlayStation store shortly afterward. Silent Hills, and all it promised, died. But why was Silent Hills canceled? What drove the seemingly unstoppable team of Konami and Kojima apart? And will there ever be a revival?
A Great Amount of Promise
In 2012 Kojima began to hint at his studio’s Fox Engine being used in a new Silent Hill game. While the famed Metal Gear creator had little experience with horror at the time. Kojima was more than happy to try and take on the task. In an interview with Eurogamer in 2014, Kojima highlighted his desire to help on a new Silent Hill project.
“I think it has to continue, and I’d love to help it continue, and if I can help by supervising or lending the technology of the Fox Engine, then I’d love to participate in that respect.“
As development continued new names were dropped. Such as famous film director Guillermo del Toro partnering with Kojima to direct the game. As well as the actor of The Walking Dead fame Norman Reedus, who was to star as the game’s main protagonist.
On August 12, 2014, the PT was released to critical reception. With fans and critics alike praising it and anticipating a full release. Little did they know however that things were shifting within Konami that would stop Silent Hills in its tracks.
The Haunting of Konami House
Beginning in 2010 Konami woke up to the rise of mobile games. Rovio’s Angry Birds was raking in tons of money, and studios and development teams were trying desperately to ride on the game’s coattails. Konami did the same, releasing mobile games that were making money at a very cheap development cost. Compared to Kojima and del Toro’s pricey project, Konami decided that mobile games were to be the company’s priority in the future.
In 2015 Konami announced a restructuring of the company. Kojima wasn’t even mentioned during the announcement. Then his name began to be wiped from his core franchise, Metal Gear. People quickly caught on that Konami and Kojima could be splitting up. And after Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was released, it became inevitable.
Kojima would officially leave Konami on December 15, 2015. Between then and Konami’s announcement Silent Hills was canceled, the PT pulled, the horror franchise set adrift. Today all that remains of the project are the copies of the PT that haven’t been deleted and the YouTube videos of the demo.
Silent Hills was canceled because it simply wasn’t cost-effective. Konami wanted to go in another direction while Kojima wanted to go down another. Metal Gear Solid V was farther along in development compared to Silent Hills. Konami decided to have Kojima finish his final Metal Gear game over a new Silent Hill title.
Since the split Kojima and his studio have gone on to make their own games. With both del Toro and Reedus continuing to work alongside Kojima. But even then the aftermath of Silent Hills looms large. With del Toro and fans still expressing their disappointment with the fate of the canceled project.
Meanwhile, Konami has gone on to try and revive the franchise, which hasn’t been released since 2012, with a remake of the second game as well as a new project that is slated to replace Silent Hills as the ninth official title in the franchise.
Will Silent Hills Ever Scare Again?
Speculation has been abounding for years regarding the possibility of the Silent Hills project being revived. However, Konami’s announcement of a new title, any possibility of Kojima and del Toro’s project coming back is non-existent. It seems the last specters of the project have now been driven away. And only time will tell if this new Silent Hill f will be able to live up to the legacy of its predecessor.
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