UPDATE: It’s official – Konami has confirmed that Silent Hills is no more.
In a statement issued to Kotaku, a Konami spokesperson has said the following:
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.
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.
ORIGINAL STORY: Silent Hills, the planned survival horror sequel that had been due to be made by Hideo Kojima and film director Guillermo del Toro, has been cancelled.
News of the cancellation came via both del Toro and actor Norman Reedus.
Speaking at a San Francisco Film Society event on Saturday night, and reported by journalist Matt Hackney on Twitter, the acclaimed director of Pan’s Labyrinth said that the game is “not gonna happen”, and that the cancellation “breaks my greasy heart”. Given that the news came via a third party on social media, some were understandably sceptical – but then actor Norman Reedus, who was due to star in the game, confirmed the news.
“Super bummed about this was really looking forward to it,” Reedus said (via Twitter). “Hopefully it’ll come back around. Sorry everyone”.
News that Silent Hills has been cancelled is just the latest development in a high-profile split between publisher Konami and Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima. Last month, Konami took the step of removing Kojima’s name from all marketing material for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, followed soon after by P.T. While a spokesperson for Konami later confirmed that Kojima was still involved with the latest Metal Gear game’s development and release, there was no mention given of the fate of Silent Hills. The game’s fate was cast in further doubt after Konami announced that it will be removing P.T. from the PlayStation Store this coming Wednesday, April 29th.
“The distribution period of “P.T. (Playable Teaser)” on PlayStation Store will expire on Wednesday, April 29, 2015,” read the announcement.
Konami has yet to comment on the news, but with both one of the directors and the star confirming that Silent Hills will no longer see the light of day, it seems unlikely that this all turns out to be just a rumor.
Haven’t played P.T. yet? Take a look at the video below, where our own Kyle Barrows braves its evil corridor.
Opinion: Despite the potential death for what Silent Hills would have been, it’s kind of a shame to see P.T. disappear. Even though it was just a teaser, it was well-received by both fans and critics, and was quite an interesting game in its own right.
More confusing is just what could have led to this rift between Konami and Kojima in the first place. Metal Gear is a huge franchise for the publisher, so much so that the publisher even lists the franchise as a separate revenue stream on its financial reports. Metal Gear Solid isn’t the only big-name IP in the publisher’s stable – Konami also owns Castlevania, Pro Evolution Soccer and Contra – but it’s certainly the series with the most appeal. Given that Konami’s finances haven’t been in particularly rude health in recent years (the company’s profits halved in FY 2013), many would be forgiven for thinking that they might have bitten the hand that feeds.
Metal Gear Solid is more than just a franchise; for many people, Kojima’s involvement with each game is key to their success and appeal. Konami is banking on the series’ name having enough pull whether Kojima’s name is on the box or not; but it may be a gamble that backfires.