On Wednesday, Konami will officially launch Silent Hill with “the latest updates” on a decade-long dormant series. It’s a moment that content-hungry fans have been waiting for years. But what will be shown?
We actually have a good idea, as the rumor mill has been extremely busy around Silent Hill for almost two years now. So active, in fact, that it’s gotten rather confusing, with multiple projects talked about and multiple developers rumored to be involved – some new to the series, some not.
Here, we do our best to sort through the available reports and compile them into four main perspectives. (Unless it’s three…)
Silent Hill: The Short Message — a playable teaser?
The most concrete sign of Silent Hill activity in the run-up to Konami’s reveal event was the Korean game rating body’s rating of a game called Silent Hill: the short message. The publisher is Uniana, which, as Gematsu notes, regularly publishes Konami titles in South Korea.
The title implies a brief experience and matches reports of a playable teaser in the style of PTKojima Productions’ infamous canceled series reboot demo, silent hills. Video Games Chronicle said this teaser, named Sakura, “is intended to be released as a free-to-play digital title to build anticipation for the greatest [Silent Hill] projects.” It’s unclear if this is a completely standalone experience or a preview of a new Silent Hill game.
VGC also linked the teaser to a series of images purporting to be from a new Silent Hill game that leaked in May 2022. Konami made a copyright claim against the images in an attempt to take them offline ( both of which have failed in their purpose and confirmed their authenticity, as such claims tend to do).
The images are believed to be from 2020 and show a messy, dilapidated room littered with rubbish; a woman’s face drawn as a collage of scraps of paper, some scrawled with messages like “I hate myself”; a screenshot of another messy room with overlaid text; and two images of a hallway plastered with post-it notes, with a flower-covered figure lurking at the end.
One of these final images is signed by Masahiro Ito, the art director and monster designer who worked on the first three games and created the famous Pyramid Head character. Ito said he’s been working on the core development team for a new, unnamed game, and also retweeted Wednesday’s official Silent Hill update announcement.
The art is mysterious and evocative, though it’s important to remember that things may have changed in the past couple of years. That, however, remains the most concrete prospect for Wednesday’s reveal. After the sensation caused by PTrepeating the trick with a new teaser makes sense, and we can even hope for a simultaneous release for The short message this week.
A new Silent Hill main game — made in Japan?
It makes sense that Konami’s efforts to revive the franchise would ultimately end with a continuation or reboot of the mainline Silent Hill series. Several reports suggest this is happening, although it’s not the only Silent Hill project in the works. NateLaHaine, Jeff Grubband VGC are all reporting hearing that a “main entry” is in the works alongside other projects.
That’s about all that’s known about this project…unless the images mentioned above are actually related to the full new game rather than the teaser, or the game and the teaser are closely related . These two possibilities are distinct.
In February 2021, VGC reported that Konami had outsourced a Silent Hill project to “a top Japanese developer”. This most likely appears to be the home of the new main game, although VGC noted that the Japanese project was “something of a departure from previous Silent Hill games”. It would also be a point of interest as Konami turned to a series of Western developers to make Silent Hill games after 2004. Silent Hill 4: The Roomwith mixed results.
In addition to Ito, regular Silent Hill songwriter Akira Yamaoka shared the announcement for Wednesday’s event. In 2021, in a since-deleted video interview, Yamaoka said his next project would be “the one you hope to hear about”. It looks like Konami is trying hard to round up at least a few key members of original developer Team Silent for its new Silent Hill projects.
A remake of Silent Hill 2 — by Bloober Team
Polish developer Bloober Team, the horror specialist who made Layers of fear and The way, has been closely tied to the Silent Hill series since last year. The speculation started when CEO Peter Babieno told GamesIndustry.biz “we’ve been working for over a year on another game project, another horror IP, and we’re doing it with a very famous game publisher. I can’t tell you who, I can’t tell you what the project is about, but I’m sure when people find out that we’re working on it, they’ll be very excited.
That the IP would be Silent Hill was more or less confirmed a few months later when Bloober announced it was entering into a partnership with Konami. Bloober was also known for working with Yamaoka on a new game, after contributing to the soundtrack of The way.
For a time, Bloober was supposed to lead the reboot or continuation of Silent Hill, until reports from NateTheHate, Grubb and VGC in May this year all pegged the developer for a 2001 remake. Silent Hill 2 – which is considered by most fans to be the best game in the series. If reports are correct, it will be a complete overhaul of the game, with several new endings and overhauled AI, animations, and puzzles. Some reports suggest the game will be a timed PlayStation exclusive.
Some very poor quality images claiming to be from Silent Hill 2 remake appeared on Twitter in September. Peering through the darkness, they seemed to match various details in the game. Apparently, they’re taken from a pitch demo Bloober did before the project was even greenlit, and don’t reflect its final quality.
An episodic series of “news”
There’s a third or fourth Silent Hill project that may or may not be in production, but the evidence for this one is lighter.
Leaking Twilight Golem – responsible for the major teaser or main game image leak in May – said he heard as far back as 2018 that Konami had solicited Silent Hill pitches from studios for two projects. One was a “reboot”, the other an “episodic game”. In May this year, NateTheHate mentioned “‘side stories'” as a project in development, and VGC referred to “a smaller episodic series of ‘short stories'”.
It has been reported that Until dawn and Dark pictures Developer Supermassive Games participated in this pitching process, but was ultimately rejected. Another name linked to the episodic series by VGC sources was boutique publisher Annapurna Interactive.
This is the most vague prospect – and it goes without saying that none of these projects are confirmed, and they all could have been canceled or changed, even if they are real. One thing is certain though. With so many rumors and reported activity, there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes of Silent Hill for quite some time. Konami seems determined to bring the series back in a big way, working with both external studios and some of the talent behind the series. Here’s hoping he has something substantial to show for his efforts this week.
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