Rumor has it that Microsoft is in talks with Konami to purchase the cancelled Silent Hills game off of the restructuring publisher. The anonymous industry source comes by way of Rooster Teeth’s The Know program, with reporting done by the Funhaus team.
Lawrence Sonntag, the team’s resident reporter/podcast host, declined to reveal the source’s identity, but cited its past reliability in allowing their team (then Inside Gaming) to report on Microsoft’s plans to sell an Xbox One without the Kinect. The rumor turned out to be true, despite Microsoft trumpeting the Xbox One + Kinect marriage in the months leading up to the release.
As for Silent Hills, Microsoft is hoping to get a deal finalized before E3 so that they can trot it out during their press conference. Microsoft is hungry for exclusives, and rightly so. It is the one area that Microsoft currently has the leg up on against Sony and gaining a storied franchise, especially one with as much drama and clout as Silent Hills, would be a significant gain for the Xbox One. Say what you will about The Master Chief Collection, but the Xbox One’s exclusives have been consistently better and more numerous than Sony’s, which have been marred by mediocrity (The Order: 1886), broken gameplay (Driveclub) and lengthy delays (Uncharted 4).
Even better news is that Silent Hills is rumored to be about 80% complete and would put Microsoft on track to push the game out early in 2016 with a potential March target.
Even further complexing this twisted drama is that the removal of P.T. from the PlayStation store was done as a move of good faith for Konami to Microsoft. By removing the most talked about demo in recent memory from their direct competitor, Microsoft is putting themselves to truly benefit from the acquisition of Silent Hills.
Beyond the rumor, there is no word on how production of Silent Hills will progress moving forward. Whether or not either Guillermo del Toro or Hideo Kojima will be brought on or whether Microsoft will be taking the entire franchise from Konami or just the Silent Hills game. The deal is rumored to be in the billions so odds are that the deal would be for Microsoft to take the entire franchise which is ironic considering the game’s birth on the Sony PlayStation.
If Microsoft does acquire the game from Konami, it will be interesting to see if they are able to convince Kojima to partner up with them for the game’s completion. He is, after all, rumored to be out of a job at the end of the year. It might be a little tight, but he could conceivably be allowed to work as a private contractor if his status at Konami has indeed been changed. Even without Kojima involved, gaining Silent Hills or even the entire franchise would benefit Microsoft significantly. Microsoft is positioning themselves from a software angle to be able to combat Sony’s stronger hardware. It was a strategy that ultimately worked for Sony with the PlayStation 3 lagging behind the Xbox 360.