Today’s the day. I didn’t want it to be, and I’m sure you didn’t either, but none of that matters anymore. This is the day when you and I were suddenly, cruelly and unceremoniously separated from tomorrow’s generation of gamers.
Last month, Konami effectively shuttered Metal Gear developer Kojima Productions and announced they’d soon be parting ways with one of its top designers, Hideo Kojima. The house that Metal Gear built may be no more, but the man who helped mold its legacy will be sticking with its killer long enough to wrap up development of The Phantom Pain.
After leaving us to simmer in our own frothy mixture of frustration and anxiety regarding the fate of Silent Hills, Konami finally got around to letting us know they’ve officially pulled the plug on a dream project that would’ve brought together Hideo Kojima — one of this industry’s greatest and strangest minds — and director Guillermo Del Toro.
Guillermo is an undeniably brilliant director and storyteller who also happens to be uniquely skilled at breaking my heart. Between InSane and Silent Hills — not to mention the numerous canned film projects he’s been involved in — this wonderful man is racking up quite the body count of slain dreams and unfulfilled promises. I still love him, but goddamn if this relationship doesn’t feel one-sided sometimes.
Before we get too deep, I’d like to warn you of what’s to come.
Our music editor, Jon, recently dedicated a piece to explaining how nonsensical it was to cancel Silent Hills. It’s a good read that you may want to keep in mind, if only so you’ll have something to use as a chaser for what I’m about to add to the conversation.
This will almost certainly be a bummer of an article. I’m upset, and since I’m not that interested in counting my blessings or observing silver linings — I’ve already tried being optimistic — the next best thing I could think of was a tribute. This may even qualify as group therapy.
I was away this weekend, sweetly unaware of the fact that Konami had made the bizarre decision to kill a series that’s had a monumental impact on this industry, the horror genre, and me. Especially me. There’s a solid chance I wouldn’t be writing this story now if it weren’t for how deeply Silent Hill 2 resonated with me so many years ago. It might not seem like much, video games get cancelled all the time, but few have this much potential, and fewer still are burdened by the future of a storied franchise like Silent Hill.
As disappointing as this news was to many of us, the worst part of all of it lies with what it means for Silent Hill. It’s disappointing that I won’t be able to play this game, but that’s not the reason why this is upsetting. We gamers have a tendency to feel more entitled than we actually are. Konami was fully within their right to do what they did, and we too have the right to say their decision sucks.
This series deserved this rare chance to be relevant again. It deserved to have two of the most creative minds in entertainment working to make it glorious again. It deserved so much, and while there may very well be a future after this, it won’t be able to regain that momentum. The P.T. demo wasn’t just clever, it was also ridiculously effective, but even it will soon be scrubbed away by the empty husk that now calls itself Konami.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen to them. It’s no longer listed on the New York stock exchange, but many of the claims that the publisher is doomed tend not to take into account their many projects that aren’t related to console gaming. So while I don’t think that Konami, as a company, is dead, I do think that Konami, as a presence in this industry, is just about there.
Let’s say Konami decides to pursue another Silent Hill game. After all this, it’d be an understatement to say that my confidence in the company has diminished significantly. That leaves us with one option I can think of. Konami doesn’t owe us a thing, but if they’re at all interested in making a good decision amid all these horrible ones, they should sell the IP to a more capable publisher.
This leads me to my big question: Which publisher do you trust with the future of Silent Hill?