Updated to reflect the fact Konami has de-listed itself from the NYSE.
It’s been rumor city ever since Konami pulled and subsequently re-added Hideo Kojima’s name from every bit of Metal Gear Solid material out there. Konami has been incredibly opaque with their inner workings, and the gaming community has largely had to guess at what’s going on behind their closed doors. Did Konami fire Kojima? Is this the end of Metal Gear? What’s going to happen to Silent Hills, that promising survival horror title that was to be a collaboration between Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro?
Heading off. pic.twitter.com/JWyh4DbeIY”
— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) March 16, 2015
Konami releases their first rather cryptic statement about Kojima’s continued involvement in their company soon after.
In accordance with the recent change in production organization of all of Konami, Kojima Productions, as well as other internal production companies, has had its name, etc., changed to move into the corporate headquarters work structure.”
The name and organization has changed, but as before, MGSV: TPP is continuing as a work from director Kojima and the existing team members.
Later, actress, singer and Hideo’s buddy Donna Burke (responsible for many of the Metal Gear Solid theme songs) makes a very bold announcement that Kojima is in fact leaving Konami. However she later back peddles and says she is mistaken.
It all sounds fishy of course. Many gaming websites speculate MGSV: The Phantom Pain will be Kojima’s last work with Konami, and question where that will leave the project he was directing alongside it, Silent Hills. Enemy Slime has a very strict stance when it comes to rumors, we don’t like reporting things unless we can confirm them beyond a reasonable doubt. That being said from our own internal conversations and speculations we believe Kojima leaving Konami has some kind of weight to it. This article is not meant to be confirmation or denial, only to present the events leading up to the situation with Silent Hills which we can absolutely confirm is cancelled in its current form.
Over the weekend Konami quietly announced they would be pulling Silent Hills P.T. (Playable Teaser) from the Playstation Store on the April 29th, four days time from the announcement. This of course makes everyone sweat because the implications over Kojima’s falling out always meant Silent Hills was at risk.
The distribution period of “P.T. (Playable Teaser)” on PlayStation®Store will expire on Wednesday, April 29, 2015.
On Saturday Night the San Francisco Film Society held an evening with Guillermo Del Toro, and several attendees from the event tweeted their frustration when they heard straight from the lion’s mouth that “Silent Hills is not going to happen.”
— TV's Matt Hackney (@tvsmatthackney) April 26, 2015
Walking Dead actor and the face of the new Silent Hill protagonist Norman Reedus also tweets his disappointment.
Super bummed about this was really looking forward to it. Hopefully it'll come back around. Sorry everyone 🍕 http://t.co/drZJ8tBsSN
— norman reedus (@wwwbigbaldhead) April 26, 2015
The horror, film and video game communities alike share their collective mourning cries as it looks like the quite exciting Silent Hills is dead in the water. Then, Konami being opaque as always, releases this statement that confirms without a doubt the project is no longer happening, but “reassures” fans that the Silent Hill brand isn’t dead.
Konami is committed to new Silent Hill titles, however the embryonic ‘Silent Hills’ project developed with Guillermo del Toro and featuring the likeness of Norman Reedus will not be continued.
In terms of Kojima and Del Toro being involved, discussions on future Silent Hill projects are currently underway, and please stay tuned for further announcements
One has to ask if discussions are still underway, why kill the project entirely? It’s a bit frustrating that Konami hasn’t been more transparent about its inner workings. Instead all we have to go off of is word of mouth, speculation and tidbits leaked from insiders close to Kojima on the matter.
One also has to ask if Silent Hill has a future at all. It’s not secret I’m a big fan of the games and the survival horror genre. Konami has outsourced Silent Hill to several smaller western developers without much of a track record who never really seemed to fully grasp what makes the series special. Meanwhile the demo for Silent Hills P.T. was horrifically promising. Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid are also the closest things Konami has left to hard hitting IPs. Let’s be honest, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Castlevania haven’t been worth talking about in awhile, and I bet you don’t even know what Suikoden is. So without Silent Hill, and without Metal Gear Solid, or rather without a developer worth their salt behind them (as Konami “promises” the series aren’t going away, sorta) the future of Konami looks murky at best.
UPDATE: Konami has voluntarily de-listed itself from the New York Stock Exchange. Konami’s own financial report shows their Digital Entertainment arm, the one responsible for producing video game software, saw a 5.1% decline in their third quarter report. Meanwhile their gambling divisions saw considerable gains, with their pachinko slot machines growing a whopping 99.6%
They are still listed on the London and Tokyo Stock exchanges, but Konami says in their report keeping a US Stock exchange presence just no longer makes financial sense. It could be entirely possible Konami is no longer interested in publishing video game content in favor of focusing in on their more fortuitous divisions. Remember this is all speculation until Konami gives us an official word, which with all the behind the scenes chaos going on with the company may not be for awhile.