Konami has issued a statement that Silent Hills has been officially cancelled.
The statement says that "Konami is committed to new Silent Hill titles, however the embryonic ‘Silent Hills’ project developed with Guillermo del Toro and featuring the likeness of Norman Reedus will not be continued".
Speculation began after Kojima's future at Konami came into question, and the company announced that P.T. would be removed from the PlayStation Store.
There was also a story here on IGN yesterday where Guillermo Del Toro said that his collaboration with Hideo Kojima on Silent Hills was "not gonna happen".
With the recent announcement that Hideo Kojima’ s tenure with Konami has ended (his first day was back in 1986), fans were rightfully curious what this would mean for the current games he has been developing for the publisher.
First and foremost, Kojima wanted to assure players that he will remain 100% involved in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Moreover, Kojima promises that Metal Gear Solid V will be his “greatest game” to date.
But amid the press releases, assurances, and discussions with fans, neither Kojima nor Konmai have mentioned the status of Silent Hills. Silent Hills, a play on Silent Hill 5, was first announced when players completed the PT (playable teaser) demo, which was a brief aside during Sony’s 2014 Gamescom press conference.
By completing PT, the last portion of the demo revealed that Silent Hills would star Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead and that Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro were on-board as directors for the next installment within the franchise. It was a brilliant marketing maneuver that resonated well with fans. Unfortunately, since the initial reveal, no release window or additional details have been provided.
With the break up between Kojima and Konami, Del Toro could find himself the creator of another canceled project through no fault of his own. Previously, Del Toro collaborated with THQ to create the horror trilogy inSANE; however, the only released footage for inSANE was a reveal trailer that featured eerie screaming and visuals that showed off a Pan’s Labyrinth-esque approach. But, due to the financial woes of THQ, inSANE was cancelled before it even entered early development.
So, with Kojima leaving Konami, the same fate could befall Del Toro’s latest attempt to create a video game, an entertainment medium which the famed movie director defended as art and is passionate about.
However, Konami does own the rights to Silent Hill and could continue development of the game with Del Toro remaining as sole director. They could also bring on new talent to help bring Silent Hills to market. Konami already stated that the Metal Gear franchise would continue when Kojima leaves, so there’s no reason this Silent Hill sequel might also continue.
In many ways, Konami might benefit from Del Toro staying onboard Silent Hills. For example, Konami’s library of games is not as strong as it was during the NES era and their console releases for 2014 and 2015 will only include Metal Gear, Castlevania and Pro-Evolution Soccer.
With this sparse lineup and the loss of Kojima, the company will need to show stability to players and investors moving forward, which makes keeping Del Toro aligned and involved with the production of Silent Hills a necessity. Silent Hills would have been Kojima’s first time involved with the franchise, so his loss isn’t as pivotal as it is with Metal Gear Solid.
Regardless of Konami’s decision to continue with the current team and direction for Silent Hills, Kojima’s departure will cause the title to be delayed. But with the positive reception from journalists, support of fans and unique marketing strategy behind PT, it would make sense for Konami to remain on course with the production of Silent Hills.
Do you want Del Toro to continue working on Silent Hills? With Kojima leaving Konami, do you think Silent Hills should be cancelled?
By Rafaella Theodorou