We have seen a report that PlayStation is attempting a “soft reboot” of Silent Hill, along with reviving Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills (also known as the P.T.).
Rely on Horror had previously reported in January that Konami had reached out to developers. Citing a leaker who had been correct before, they claim (in the leaker’s words) “Konami about two years ago reached out to various developers to pitch ideas for two Silent Hill games, one a soft-reboot of the franchise, the other an episodic TellTale/Until Dawn-style game to go alongside the reboot.”
Rely on Horror’s own anonymous source told them a Silent Hill game was in production.
Now, Rely on Horror reports that two independent anonymous sources have confirmed that two Silent Hill games are in the works. A “soft reboot” for the franchise, and attempting to revive Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills.
The first anonymous source (Source One), claims the soft reboot will involve Keiichiro Toyama (director and writer for the original Silent Hill), Akira Yamaoka (music composer for many titles in the franchise), and Masahiro Ito (monster designer).
Development will also involve Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan (SIE Japan), and possibly members of the development team behind Siren: Blood Curse on PlayStation 3 (“Project Siren”). The source also claim the title has been in development for around a year so far.
The second source (Source Two) supported this claim, stating to Rely on Horror that Masahiro was involved in a new Silent Hill title “some time ago.” Rely on Horror also claims the two sources have no connection to one another.
The second game will revive Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills. For those unfamiliar, a demo titled P.T. (Playable Teaser) was added to the PlayStation Network in 2014. The unsettling horror game utilized many cryptic clues to unlock the game’s true ending, revealing it was Silent Hills.
The project would have been designed and directed by Hideo Kojima, in collaboration with Guillermo del Toro, and with the involvement of Norman Reedus.
However, the game was cancelled in 2015 by Konami. Soon after the situation rapidly deteriorated [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] ultimately leading to Kojima leaving Konami, and forming Kojima Productions. Their first title, Death Stranding, featured Normal Reedus and Guillermo del Toro using facial and motion-capture.
Source One claims that Sony is attempting to mend the relationship between Kojima Productions and Konami, seemingly due to the continued support and demand for the game. Source Two allegedly shared similar information with Rely on Horror in the past.
Source One also claimed it would utilize PlayStation VR on PlayStation 5, and that Sony (in Rely on Horror’s words) “pitched the game to Kojima as a title more akin to a TellTale/Supermassive narrative-driven title, which would offer him ‘full creative freedom.’ ” However, only the reboot is currently in development.
Is it True?
With the likes of the Crash Bandicoot Trilogy, Final Fantasy VII: Remake, Resident Evil 2 (2019) and Resident Evil 3 (2020), a lot of classic PlayStation titles are being remade for a new generation. With the horror genre Resident Evil titles, a revival of the Silent Hill franchise would be logical at this time.
Even attempting to court two different styles of game at once is understandable. A business looks into two major projects, and is prepared to scrap one if it shows signs of failure (freeing up more resources for the other).
As both games will likely utilize different gameplay styles, the correct marketing could also help differentiate them. Hopefully something more noticeable than Silent Hills compared to Silent Hill.
Even so, we have our own doubts. Gamers could have two very different styled Silent Hill games within a few years, diluting what the “brand” is supposed to be. Focusing on one title would seem to be the safer choice, especially when the demand is for P.T. to be revived, rather than the original Silent Hill.
Attempting to patch things up between Kojima and Konami also seems very unlikely. Konami banned Kojima from attending the Game Awards in 2015. Likewise, developers of Metal Gear Survive may have left messages of support for Kojima in the game. They also may have mocked Konami higher-ups, with in-game names such as “Bastard Yota,” and “Cunning Yuji”.
If SIE are involved with the Silent Hill soft reboot, Sony has gotten permission to use the IP from Konami. Attempting to even ask them to work with Kojima again could result in them losing that right. Likewise, Kojima could also walk away if he does not wish to work with Konami again, and possibly even refuse to make future titles on PlayStation systems.
It would seem to be more logical to create an original horror IP akin to P.T., along side the Silent Hill soft reboot. Alternatively, they could double down and attempt to revive Silent Hills, with the soft reboot given the green light should Silent Hills hit issues (assuming Konami did not refuse to grant Sony the IP).
We also take issue with the claim that Sony are offering Kojima full creative freedom, while also hoping he would make a TellTale-style game. This seems totally contradictory, as P.T. had little-to-nothing in common with any TellTale Games title in terms of gameplay.
While we could dismiss this as individuals involved in marketing using a buzzword as a synonym for “a branching episodic narrative-focused game”- TellTale games went into liquidation. Using their name as a positive example during a game’s development would not seem conducive, or likely to sell Kojima on straying away from his own vision.
Further, if fans are clamoring for Kojima’s version of P.T.- why would Sony ask for anything else? It is one thing to “dumb down” a style of gameplay for a wider audience; but “reviving” a cancelled game in name alone is sure to be a bad PR move.
Attempting to enforce “executive meddling” on Kojima- after everything with Konami- would also surely backfire and fail. This would leave Sony to (essentially) ask Kojima to merely put his name to the game, while not being anything like the Silent Hills he envisioned.
Kojima is certainly a developer who does things his own way, and would likely refuse such a request in any form. His games have also famous (and to some infamous) for having complex stories (or convoluted). An episodic game feels like a mismatch for how Kojima typically works.
Another issue is PlayStation’s stance on sexual content in games, though this issue is less likely than our other concerns. In 2019, SIE Japan Asia President Atsushi Morita stated the recent spate of censorship of anime-styled sexual content on games on PlayStation 4 had been “to meet global standards.”
While Silent Hill utilizes a realistic art-style, the games tackle sensitive themes such as sexual abuse. We wonder if Sony would kowtow to demands to remove such themes, or they would order no such themes to appear in the game during development.
Then again, the focus on sexual content censorship seems to have been focused on games with anime art-styles (and some western developers allegedly attempting to desexualize how their female characters are designed). As aforementioned, this is our least likely argument against the rumors.
While even the largest publishers and developers have made questionable decisions with major IPs in the past, we wonder why Sony would develop a Silent Hill reboot, and attempt to revive Silent Hills at the same time.
One or the other would be understandable, but pursing both could leave them with none if Konami are insulted by the proposal. Further, an episodic version of Silent Hills would seem to clash with what was shown in P.T.
But, stranger things have happened. Marketing both games the right way could help differentiate them (even if it is just via a subtitle). Konami may also be more interested in what they can gain financially than old grudges, and Kojima could still be itching to tell a new story.
It is also not impossible to imagine a boardroom meeting wherein someone suggested “Why don’t we release multiple P.T. games? Self-contained dungeons linked via an overarching story?”
This would also tie into the title- Silent Hills. Some felt this implied the game was intended to have multiple main characters, as past games have implied different people see different things within Silent Hill (essentially their own personal hell).
Considering that the complex puzzles of P.T. kept people playing the “teaser” for a long time, Sony may be quite happy to sell what Kojima would only consider smaller parts of a much larger game. Similar is already happening with Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Would Kojima be willing to sell the game in an episodic format? If the choice came between “episodic or not at all,” what would he do? How much sway does Kojima have at the negotiation table?
Rely on Horror states “this is all we’re able to report on for now, but more information may become available sometime in the future.” We will also keep you informed, should we learn more.
What do you think? Are these rumors likely to be true? Sound off in the comments below!