There’s a strategy taking shape at Konami: Take an old, faded franchise and bring it to Hideo Kojima to fix it. It worked with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, and according to Kojima, Konami wants it to work with Silent Hill.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Kojima said that Konami’s president came to him with the series after he’d mentioned an interest in it on Twitter. “In the past I’ve mentioned Silent Hill in interviews, and as a result of that the president of Konami rung me up and said he’d like me to make the next Silent Hill,” said the Metal Gear Solid creator, “Honestly, I’m kind of a scaredy-cat when it comes to horror movies, so I’m not confident I can do it. At the same time, there’s a certain type of horror that only people who are scared of can create, so maybe it’s something I can do.”
“That said, I think Silent Hill has a certain atmosphere. I think it has to continue, and I’d love to help it continue, and if I can help by supervising or lending the technology of the FOX Engine, then I’d love to participate in that respect.”
The FOX Engine is the new multiplatform engine Kojima is using to create Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes.
Although it was created as a rival to Capcom’s Resident Evil series, Konami’s Silent Hill has never been the cash cow that the publisher seemed to think it could be. Silent Hill 1 through 4 were made by a dedicated team of peculiar designers, concerned with making psychologically disturbing, smart horror video games, not mega blockbusters. The series was never going to be Saw or Paranormal Activity. It was intended to be video games’ Jacob’s Ladder. Team Silent actually wanted to end the series with Silent Hill 3 in 2003, and began working on a new type of horror game that Konami eventually insisted on calling Silent Hill 4: The Room.
The team was then disbanded and Konami embarked on eight years of hiring western studios to make action-based entries in the series. Games like Silent Hill: Homecoming, Silent Hill Origins, and this year’s Silent Hill: Downpour have all failed to make an impact with players, selling poorly and getting poor review scores on average.
Konami is trying to rehabilitate the brand as a film franchise again this fall. It’s been years since the first Silent Hill movie hit theaters, and the sequel has been repeatedly delayed in production.