Silent Hills Dead in the Water

Silent HillsSilent Hills, the return of Konami’s iconic horror franchise is not going to happen. According to a quote from film director and producer/creative director Guillermo Del Toro, Silent Hills is not happening. The cancellation follows in the wake of the news that of Del Toro’s collaborator and Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima and Konami are going through a rough split.

The news broke when Del Toro was asked about it during a speaking event with the San Francisco Film Society last night.

Silent Hills would have been the first new Silent Hill game since 2012, which saw the release of Silent Hill: Downpour on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and Silent Hill: Book of Memories on the PlayStation Vita. The mega collaboration between Del Toro and Kojima was punctuated by the starring role of the very popular Norman Reedus (The Boondock Saints, The Walking Dead). At Gamescom 2014, PT (Playable Teaser) was released as a demo on the PlayStation 4 using Kojima Productions’ Fox Engine. While no longer than a single sit-down, PT turned heads with its lighting technology and sheer eeriness factor that ultimately led to the announcement of the Silent Hills mega-collaboration.

The news is slightly unsurprising given the unannounced rumor of Kojima and Konami parting ways at the end of the year. Konami has refused to comment and Kojima has been surprisingly quiet on his social media channels. The Kojima Productions Los Angeles studios were renamed to Konami LA and all KojiPro related social media channels were migrated to Konami centralized accounts. Even the much talked about PT was announced to be nearing its end of availability on the PlayStation Store, with its removal suddenly flagged for Wednesday, April 29.

If the rumors are true, its a shame that such a major project fell victim of what seems to be egos clashing. Kojima’s presence at Konami was certainly becoming a whale in the executive room as the company has struggled to find an identity in recent years. I rarely play horror games but all the tech and creative minds behind Silent Hills made the project sound mind boggling.

At least we’ll always have that hallway.

Game Informer – Rumor “It’s Not Gonna Happen” Says Guillermo Del Toro On Silent Hills

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Hideo Kojima and Konami to Part Ways

Hideo KojimaRumors are swirling around Konami and veteran game designer Hideo Kojima that the two parties will be parting ways following the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Gamespot broke the story and cited an internal source that claimed Konami had restructured in a way that made senior staff at Kojima Productions, including Kojima, independent contractors. Their contracts are reportedly set to expire in December, after MGSV’s launch in September.

When I first heard the story I had to wonder if it was another form of misdirection, as Kojima has gained a reputation for enjoying the chaos that ensues through public relations stunts. Prior to MGSV’s official announcement, Kojima Productions created a fake designer named Joakim Mogren that teased the existence of the game that would eventually reveal itself to be MGSV. The ruse was designed to create groundswell and speculation with just enough breadcrumbs to point in the direction of Kojima and his team.

Alas, it seems that this time the writing is in fact on the wall for Kojima and his studio as Kojima Productions’ branding has been removed from the official Twitter account, the official website and its Los Angeles office has been renamed to Konami Los Angeles Studio.

The Metal Gear creator had expressed his desire to leave the Metal Gear franchise in the hands of development staff at Konami in the past but was constantly reeled back in. Of all video games, Metal Gear Solid has earned a reputation for being truly cinematic and very evident of a single person’s vision. Kojima’s vision for the series has evolved greatly in the near 30 years since the original Metal Gear and it is difficult to disassociate the franchise from his direction.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainWhat this means for the Metal Gear franchise remains to be seen. I doubt that Konami would let such a standout franchise walk out the door with Kojima so there is almost zero chance that they give up the creative rights to the series.

Similarly, Kojima was set to be heavily involved in the next Silent Hill game, Silent Hills. A teaser demo was released showing off the tech under Kojima’s direction named P2 and was incredibly well received. Kojima was slated to direct and produce along side famed film director Guillermo del Toro and actor Norman Reedus.

Much of Konami’s modern success is owed to the franchises that Kojima has been involved in. Whether Konami can sustain his departure remains to be seen, but his absence will certainly be felt. I consider him in the upper echelon of Japanese developers, possibly the best short of Shigeru Miyamoto.

Who knows, maybe he’ll find a second career in taking photos of food. He sure does love to do that.

GameSpot – Kojima Expected to Leave Konami After MGS5, Inside Source Confirms

Metal Gear!? Classic Snake a PS3/PS4 Exclusive

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, the prologue to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain which takes place somewhere in the middle of the Metal Gear timeline, is getting some really clever PS4 exclusive DLC. Announced at last night’s PlayStation 4 launch event in New York City, “Déjà Vu” will put players in the polygonal shoes of a classic Solid Snake, ripped straight from the black CDs of the original PlayStation. While the game is releasing across both the PS3/PS4 and Xbox 360/Xbox One, “Déjà Vu” will be exclusive to Sony consoles.

Just seeing that Solid Snake again, in all his PSX glory, gets me excited. I’m curious to see how or if Konami will intertwine the stories of Big Boss and Solid Snake. Hopefully it will be more than just a costume. Hell, I’d love it if they brought David Hayter back, just so he can exclaim “Metal Gear!?” one last time.

Konami throwing exclusive Metal Gear content in Sony’s direction should be no surprise especially with the amount of success the series has received on Sony consoles. But missing additional content from major releases, even in a delayed fashion has got to hurt Microsoft’s odds. Already Xbox is missing out the exclusive Aveline DLC to Assassin’s Creed IV, is set to have a lengthy six month delay on Watch_Dogs DLC and even Bungie’s Destiny will have their beta on Sony consoles first. I know the exclusive extra content is swaying my developing opinion away from Microsoft, despite my past support of the Xbox.

Destructoid – Play as Classic Snake in Metal Gear Solid V on PS4

Konami Slashes Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, Includes DLC

Metal Gear Rising Revengeance

One of the hotly anticipated titles of the early year, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance is getting a price cut to $29.99. Widely revered by fans of character action games, the Platinum Games / Kojima Productions / Konami game centered around the slightly ambiguous but general badass Raiden is certainly worth the low cost of entry.

Sweetening the pot, Konami also saw to include the two DLC packages Jetstream and Blade Wolf. The two DLC packs if purchased at full price would sell for $9.99 and $6.99 respectively.

As much as I want to dive into Revengeance and slice up watermelons and robots (mostly watermelons), I refuse to play it until after I complete Metal Gear Solid 4. I’ve managed to go six years without spoiling too much of the game, might as well ride it out a bit longer.

Metal Gear Rising Revengeance