Silent Hill will continue, but is Silent Hills dead?
Konami's official response does not dispel rumours about the demise of the Kojima-del Toro collaboration
The evidence that Konami's Silent Hills has been cancelled is starting to pile up, though the Japanese publisher has now stated that it is still working with the iconic survival horror franchise.
The first waft of smoke emanated from an event at the San Francisco Film Society, where Guillermo del Toro was speaking. Del Toro, a well-known devotee of video games, was supposed to collaborating with Hideo Kojima on the project, but a journalist in attendance quoted the following statement:
"It's not gonna happen and that breaks my greasy heart." -Guillermo del Toro on #SilentHills. #sfff #sffs #sffilmfest #fb— PD’s Matt Hackney (@tvsmatthackney) April 26, 2015
That comment led to a flurry of stories about the apparent death of Silent Hills, though it has since become apparent (per IGN) that del Toro was specifically referring to working with Hideo Kojima, rather than the project as a whole.
Within a day, however, the actor Norman Reedus - whose likeness and performance were due to be used in the game - tweeted his own disappointment at the collapse of the project.
Super bummed about this was really looking forward to it. Hopefully it'll come back around. Sorry everyone 🍕 http://t.co/drZJ8tBsSN— norman reedus (@wwwbigbaldhead) April 26, 2015
Suspicions were raised still further by the fate of PT, a short playable demo that announced the existence of the game to the world when it was released last August. On the day that del Toro made his comment, the official site for PT was updated to say that the demo would no longer be available as of Wednesday April 29.
In isolation, these events would be easier to dismiss as misunderstandings, but this has all happened in the aftermath of a rumoured rift between Hideo Kojima and Konami. The precise nature of the situation still hasn't been confirmed, but Konami has certainly been creating distance between Kojima's projects and his brand and public persona.
Frankly, it doesn't look good for Silent Hills, and if the promise evident in PT is any reasonable indication of the direction of the full game, that will be a great shame.
If Konami wanted to reassure those looking forward to the game, its official response to these events will do little to allay their fears. GamesIndustry.biz was sent a brief Q&A prepared by Konami Japan, which clarified a few minor details but left the big question unanswered.
Specifically, the PT demo is being removed due to its "distribution period" expiring, but Konami said only that it will, "continue to develop the Silent Hill series."
[UPDATE]: Konami has confirmed the cancellation in a statement to Kotaku.
"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," the company said. "In terms of Kojima and Del Toro being involved, discussions on future Silent Hill projects are currently underway, and please stay tuned for further announcements."