The internet is once again awash in rumours, reports, screenshots, and vague Instagram posts pointing to a new upcoming Silent Hill game. Maybe even multiple games, including a remake of Silent Hill 2. So you can bet that fans are losing it, especially after horror devs Bloober Team were suggested to be behind one of the projects. The studio has tried to tip-toe around the speculation, but that hasn’t stopped some players from freaking out about what Silent Hill might be like in the hands of the team that made 2020’s The Medium.
It’s been a decade now since the last new mainline entry in Konami’s Silent Hill series. 2014’s P.T., the Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro demo for the cancelled Silent Hills game, is the last meaningful window anyone’s gotten into that horrorverse, and like diehards of other gaming franchises, Silent Hill fans have been desperate for news of a revival. That dynamic was a key driver of last year’s obsession with believing that a mismanaged indie project called Abandoned was secretly Kojima’s next stab at the series.
Now the rumour mill is spinning again, but this time with a lot more substance to back up the idea that Silent Hill is actually coming back in some way. Here’s a quick rundown of the where the Silent Hill reboot rumours started and why Bloober Team is once again at the centre of them:
- July 6, 2020: Leaker Dusk Golem says a new Silent Hill is in the works at a Japanese developer.
- February 10, 2021: YouTuber TheGrateDebate lays out dozens of developer tweets and reports to make the case that Bloober Team could be working on a new Silent Hill.
- February 18, 2021: Bloober Team CEO Piotr Babieno tells Gamesindustry.biz it’s “been working for more than a year on another gaming project, another horror IP, and we’re doing this with a very famous gaming publisher.”
- February 18, 2021: VGC reports that a Japanese developer is working on a Silent Hill project, but that Konami also shopped around licensing projects out to other studios.
- June 30, 2021: Bloober Team and Konami announce a strategic partnership to make games together.
- October 1, 2021: VGC reports Konami is reviving its classic series, including Metal Gear, Castlevania, and Silent Hill.
- March 14, 2022: Reddit user spots new trademark from Konami for the series.
- May 12, 2022: Dusk Golem shares images allegedly leaked from a 2020 version of a new Silent Hill and claims they were later copyright striked by Konami.
- May 15, 2022: Podcaster and leaker NateTheHate tweets that multiple Silent Hill projects are in development including a new mainline entry, side stories, and a Silent Hill 2 remake by Bloober Team that would be a timed exclusive for PlayStation.
- May 15, 202: VentureBeat reporter Jeff Grubb says his sources corroborate NateTheHate’s tweet, adding that a reveal was originally planned for E3 2021 but later scrapped. According to Eurogamer’s Vikki Blake Bloober Team is definitely working on something Silent Hill related.
- May 16, 2022: VGC reports that in addition to a remake, new mainline game, and episodic stories, according to its sources the images leaked by Dusk Golem were from a P.T.-style teaser codenamed “Sakura.”
Catch all that?
Given the overwhelming evidence that Bloober Team, whose recent psychological horror games include Layers of Fear, Observer, and Blair Witch, is now working on a Silent Hill, IGN asked the studio about the rumours at the Polish games conference Digital Dragons earlier this week.
“We can’t comment on anything we are doing because we appreciate our relationship with our partners, of course,” Babieno said. “So we can’t [say] anything. We will make an announcement about our future projects as soon as we can. So then you will know much more.”
To make this non-denial even weirder, IGN reports Babieno went onto chuckle while adding “officially,” implying the rumours already out there aren’t completely bunk. He continued, “I would say that it’s hard to work with someone who [owns an IP you’re working on], but we are always talking with those licensors, [saying] ‘Guys we would like to use your licence, but we would like to tell our own story.’”
If the Silent Hill rumour is true, it seems unlikely Bloober is working on a remake then, unless the remake will dramatically depart from the original. But any departure from the spirit and vibe of the early Silent Hill games is exactly what fans are afraid of, and why Bloober’s potential involvement has invited a mini-backlash in recent days.
“This horror game is not very spooky, but sometimes very boring,” Zack Zwiezen wrote in Kotaku’s review of The Medium. Bloober’s games have occasionally been criticised for struggling to build tension and falling into cliche. “bloober team remaking silent hill 2 is like a student in maths class who failed every exam suddenly became the teacher,” podcaster Bobsvids tweeted recently. “The phrase ‘Bloober Team Silent Hill 2 remake’ evokes the same feelings that ‘Quantic Dream Star Wars’ does,” read another tweet that gained traction.
whenever people are like "bloober team aren't that bad, they understand horror" i think of this clip of jerma playing 'layers of fear' pic.twitter.com/BIYJ1FBHXX— 🐢 bob 📼 (@bobvids) May 16, 2022
Some people’s disappointment with Bloober’s approach to horror was summed up in a clip of YouTuber Jerma playing Layers of Fear and breaking down cackling as a ghost child slams into a wall and falls over. The game came out just a year after Bloober released the Bomberman-inspired Basement Crawl, one of the worst-rated PS4 games at the time, and marked the studio’s polarising turn toward first-person horror. Some have found it refreshing. Others have found it extremely meh.
It was followed up by 2017’s cyberpunk-themed Observer which was genuinely excellent and more widely praised, but would end up proving the exception rather than the rule. While there are those who loved The Medium, Bloober’s most recent string of projects has left others feeling like its talent has been stifled by an over-reliance on worn out psychological tropes and cheesy jump scares. A perfect recipe, in other words, to completely bungle Silent Hill’s first new outing in over a decade. Of course, no psychological horror game could be greater than the one fans are playing with themselves as they wait to see when and how the series’ future will finally unfold.