Was there anything sadder in the minds of horror games fans back in April than when it was officially announced that Guillermo del Toro's Silent Hills was as dead as the ghostly Lisa that stalked the halls of the demo game? In a move that del Toro himself claimed made "no fucking sense at all", Silent Hills was cancelled when publisher Konami and famed developer Hideo Kojima (of Kojima Productions) parted ways following the completion of Kojima's last Metal Gear project, [Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain](tag:2683985).
The reasons surrounding the Konami/Kojima breakup are still pretty muddled, with Konami maintaining that Kojima is still working for them, he's just taking a long holiday. Whatever the reasons are, though we're thankful that Metal Gear Solid V didn't suffer all that much, Silent Hills took the bullet and sank out of existence but not from fan memory.
Is Konami Losing Grip On The Franchise?
Silent Hills would've been the ninth instalment in the Silent Hill franchise, the first four Team Silent games of which are still held to be masterpieces of the survival horror genre. Sadly the last lot of Playstation and Xbox games were all fairly underwhelming, especially to fans of the originals, and interest in the series has steadily declined over time (the awful feature film sequel box-office bomb didn't do much to help either).
Sure, a few years back we got the Silent Hill HD Collection, including Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 for PS3 and Xbox 360, but it was an utter failure and a huge disappointment to fans. Clunky and ugly, featuring numerous technical issues and aesthetic changes, the HD Collection is still considered one of the worst remasters in the history of video games.
So of course when it was revealed that the wonderfully terrifying and nail bitingly difficult P.T. (playable teaser) demo released mysteriously on the Playstation Network store was in fact a teaser for a brand new Silent Hill game, produced by the legendary Kojima in collaboration with master horror craftsman Guillermo del Toro and starring The Walking Dead fan favourite Norman Reedus, it all sounded far too good to be true.
Unfortunately it was; following comments from del Toro and Reedus the game's cancellation was officially announced by Konami on April 27th 2015.
Will We Ever Get Another Silent Hill Game?
Following the devastating cancellation of what looked to become one of the best horror games ever produced fans are really losing faith in Konami's ability to keep the franchise alive (or is that just me?).
The Silent Hills cancellation doesn't necessarily mean we're never going to get another Silent Hill game, when the death of the Kojima project was announced Konami did say that they still planned to continue the franchise even without the Silent Hills project, which is something I guess.
However at this point it does feel increasingly like Konami are beating a dead Pyramid Head with their failure to deliver any solid results for the franchise over the span of the last decade. The last bunch of console offerings, Homecoming, Shattered Memories and Downpour were all underwhelming; half-decent horror games in themselves but panned by longtime fans of the franchise.
If Silent Hills had turned out half as good as it looked it might've given the franchise the boost it needs to stay on its feet right now, but with that dead in the water and Kojima broken ties with Konami expectations have been set too high and broken right down. It's now been nearly seven months since we learned of P.T.'s cancellation and there's still no news about where Konami are planning to take the franchise next, which doesn't look good.
To save the series it's going to take something even more impressive than a legendary game developer, a hugely influential horror director and a widely loved actor to pull the series together, and I just don't know if that can happen now. What do you think?