Silent Hills is a cancelled survival psychological horror video game that was under development by Kojima Productions for PlayStation 4. Directed by Hideo Kojima, along with Guillermo del Toro, it was to be the ninth main installment in the Silent Hill series.
Kojima was brought onto the project in September 2012 by Konami; the game was announced in August 2014 via P.T., short for Playable Teaser, a critically acclaimed demo that was released as a free download from the PlayStation Store. P.T. revealed the involvement of Del Toro, along with Norman Reedus as the voice and appearance of its protagonist.
The game's development was questioned due to rumors surrounding Kojima's work with the completion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and his eventual exit from Konami. In April 2015, reports surfaced from del Toro that Silent Hills had been cancelled, with Konami officially confirming the cancellation shortly after, a move which was negatively received by critics and fans of the franchise. Kojima, del Toro and Reedus eventually teamed up for the upcoming Death Stranding.
In September 2012, Konami's president asked Hideo Kojima to direct the next Silent Hill installment. He accepted the offer with enthusiasm, and development began shortly thereafter, using Kojima Productions' Fox Engine.
When asked about the project, Kojima stated:
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. 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.
An interactive teaser for Silent Hills was released on August 12, 2014 as P.T. (Playable Teaser), marketed as a demo for a horror game by the non-existent 7780s Studio. Published on the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 4 as a free download, P.T. uses a first-person perspective, in contrast to the usual third-person perspective often found in the Silent Hill series, and centers on an unknown protagonist who awakens in a supposedly haunted house and experiences supernatural occurrences; the only actions available are walking and zooming as the player character explores the continuously looping corridor. After the player solves the final puzzle, a trailer reveals that it is a "playable teaser" for a new Silent Hill title being directed by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro, with the protagonist portrayed by Norman Reedus. On 1 September 2014, Sony revealed during its pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference that P.T. has been downloaded over a million times.
P.T. received praise from video game journalists. GamesRadar's David Houghton praised it as well-executed, immersive horror and wrote: "By spreading out into the real world, by forcing solutions by way of hearsay, internet whispers, and desperate, rumoured logic, it has become its own urban myth." IGN's Marty Sliva ranked it as an honorable mention on his list of the best video game trailers for 2014, and another reviewer for IGN, Lucy O'Brien, described the game as "the most genuinely frightening interactive experience in recent years." Giant Bomb gave the Best Horror Game award to P.T. in 2014. P.T. won "Scariest Game" at Bloody Disgusting's FEAR Awards.
In March 2015, sources reported that due to conflicts with Konami, Kojima and his senior staff planned to leave Konami following the completion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Concurrently, Konami announced a restructuring of its video game business, and removed references to Kojima and Kojima Productions from the promotional materials for its games. A Konami spokesperson denied that Kojima was leaving the company, and stated that he would still be involved with Konami and the Metal Gear franchise.
At a San Francisco Film Society event on April 26, 2015, assistant director Guillermo del Toro reportedly told attendees that Silent Hills had been cancelled. The next day, Norman Reedus also made statements on Twitter stating that the game had been cancelled. The same day, Konami announced that P.T. would be pulled from the PlayStation Store on April 29, 2015, and Polygon reported that an anonymous tip by a person familiar with the game's development had also confirmed the game's cancellation. On April 27, 2015, Konami issued a statement to Kotaku confirming that Silent Hills "would not be continued", but that they planned to continue the Silent Hill franchise. Fans upset by the cancellation later started a petition on Change.org asking for Konami to continue the project; as of 4 March 2016[update], the petition has received 194,279 signatures. In a tweet from Guillermo del Toro, he revealed that horror manga artist Junji Ito would also have been involved with the project. Cliff Bleszinski was also asked to work on the project, but declined, later explaining on Twitter: "I don't like LA, I love new IP, and I woulda fucked up SH".
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