After recent talk of a Silent Hill reboot being in the works, fans of the franchise expressed excitement over the possibility of a return to the spooky town. Unfortunately, this excitement was short-lived after the rumours were shown down by a Konami PR rep. The only fans excited now are those who were hoping the rumours were false all along, and there aren’t likely to be many of those.
Financially, it would be a wise move for Konami, as Silent Hill remains a popular franchise, not only as a standalone game for consoles, but also as a slot machine for online casinos. The reports claimed that the reboot would be led by Silent Hill creator Keiichiro Toyama, alongside other veterans of the series including composer Akira Yamaoka and designer Masahiro Ito. Sony Japan Studio was named as the company leading the reboot, and production had been allegedly underway for a year or so. Excitement had received fever pitch, with multiple reports claiming that Konami were in talks to breathe new life into the franchise.
The rumour made some sense. Konami had basically hibernated a number of its key IPs, now only focusing on releasing Yu-Gi-Oh games and its annualised Pro Evolution Soccer sports game.
Konami told Rely Horror, which announced the rumour in the first place, that while they are aware of the rumours, there’s nothing to them. At the same time, the company refused to rule out any addition to the series, but insisted that it wouldn’t take the form of the rumour that had been reported. While that wasn’t the most reassuring response fans could have hoped for, it at least offered some hope.
That’s about as honest and transparent as you could expect from a publisher forced to respond to rumours. And there might just be some solace for PC gamers in their denial. If Sony was involved, it could well be that the game wouldn’t make it to PC (although Horizon: Zero Dawn will be, so you never know- crazier things have happened).
A surprise in store?
Of course, this doesn’t mean that there’s no chance at all that a reboot isn’t on the cards. It could well be the case that Konami wants to squash the rumours in order to introduce the element of surprise if and when an announcement is made in the coming months. It would make sense that if the company was developing a new title that it would want to keep things under wraps for now.
It should also be noted that the source for this update is a US-based rep. Konami US and Konami JP aren’t on the best of terms, and are often developing a project on the quiet before announcing its imminent release. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if the company was unaware that a Silent Hill game is being worked on. Part of the rumour claimed that Sony was mediating between the two parties.
The initial rumour, however, wasn’t the most realistic of scenarios. Konami may not be in the business of making many traditional view games at this stage, but there is little cause for it to sell off a major IP like Silent Hill. Despite what gamers believe, pachinko machines enjoy immense popularity with older audiences in Japan. And while Canadians may be gaining a reputation for being book lovers of late, they still crave for popular gaming franchises.
It would be a treat for all Silent Hill fans if they could get their hands on a new entry in the series, but Konami are very much in the driving seat here. Could an animated show be in the world? Konami seemed very welcome to an idea from Frederator Studios. For now, any official works or a new Silent Hill is yet to be announced…at least publicly.