Last year was significant for many reasons, but the revival of Silent Hill is perhaps one of the more important. After near-endless rumors, Konami announced several new projects like Bloober Team’s Silent Hill 2 remake, Silent Hill: Townfall from No Code and Annapurna Interactive, and NeoBards Entertainment’s Silent Hill f, the next mainline title that’s written by acclaimed visual novel author Ryukishi07.
How did all of this come about, though? Speaking to IGN Japan, series producer Motoi Okamoto said, “The Silent Hill series had been dormant for quite a while. Konami, as a company, wanted to bring it back, and lots of people working here wanted to make Silent Hill games. The only thing was that everyone had different ideas of what Silent Hill is and why they loved it, making it difficult to coalesce around a single direction.
“I joined Konami during this time and was asked if I could make something work. I agreed to bring everything together and took charge of the project, eventually getting everyone to go in the same direction.
As for the decision to remake Silent Hill 2 instead of the first game, Okamoto added, “During that period of dormancy, though, lots of indie horror games had come out, some of which were influenced by Silent Hill. If we wanted to revive Silent Hill in that environment, we needed to firmly redefine its identity as a brand, sharpening it and differentiating it so that it stood out.
“When we thought about what Silent Hill’s identity is, we concluded that it’s the true psychological horror of the series. And when you ask people what true psychological horror is, just about everyone will tell you Silent Hill 2.
“We decided that if the brand’s identity is true psychological horror, we needed to start by remaking Silent Hill 2. There were, of course, some people inside the company who thought it would be better to start with 1, but I wanted to start this project with something that symbolizes this identity.”
Okamoto also discussed the decision to work with multiple external developers, primarily indie studios. “There’s only so much we can do ourselves, which means we need to work with lots of different indie creators if we want to make lots of different Silent Hills. That’s why we made moves to work together with people around the world who want to make Silent Hill games and approached Bloober Team, as well as Annapurna Interactive and No Code.
“Unfortunately, there are some projects that never actually got off the ground. Still, I think the number of projects we have will only continue to grow. The fact we were reviving Silent Hill was a secret until now, so we couldn’t exactly go out and yell, ‘Hey, everyone! Bring us your Silent Hill projects!’ We can do that now, so if creators from around the world who love Silent Hill bring us their pitches, I promise to look through every one of them. We’re all ears.”
This is in line with Okamoto’s statements last year about creating new games in the series and taking it to new heights. Konami even called for “high-end game creators,” to work on projects like Silent Hill with rumors claiming three unannounced projects in the works (not including Silent Hill: The Short Message). Of course, this could also apply to the rumored Metal Gear Solid and Castlevania revivals that are supposedly in the works, including the oft-rumored Metal Gear Solid 3 remake from Virtuos.
Stay tuned for more details on upcoming Silent Hill projects, and check out our interview with Bloober Team about Silent Hill 2’s remake here.