Why I'm still bitter about the Silent Hills cancellation
The cancelation of Silent Hills happened months ago—five months and eight days, to be precise—but who's counting?
Honestly, I have better things to do than be mad at Konami. In fact, I already wrote an article on the topic of Konami's blunders. I think I was fairly objective. But I don't know if objective is the way to go anymore. Konami, you hurt me. As a favor to myself and to all the other Silent Hill fans, I'm calling you out.
They're running their company like a cartoon punchline
It's all about the bottom line. Japan's major magazine publication, Nikkei, disclosed that Konami's business tactics include heavy monitoring and punishment of its employees, sometimes for just taking a scheduled lunch break.
I have worked for a company like this. It makes tons of money, but the money all sits at the top and rarely, if ever, trickles down. The newly-hired employees pretty much have to lick boot and strangle each other just for a few extra crumbs. By keeping these new employees frightened all the time, the company can extract a ton of work out of them in a short amount of time before they have a nervous breakdown or the project ends and they are laid off.
In Japan, it works a little differently in that employees are usually demoted to positions like custodian or security rather than being laid off completely. This could be construed as "merciful," though it's hard to call it that when every person greeting you at the doors in the morning is someone who failed at another job. It's just a daily reminder of what could happen to you if you're not working hard enough.
They chased Guillermo Del Toro away from the video game industry
Hollywood director Del Toro's involvement with the game was exciting, to say the least. But at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, he disclosed that he does not plan on working on any other games.
I joined THQ, and THQ goes broke. I join Kojima, and Kojima leaves Konami. I have decided, in order not to destroy anyone else's life, I will never again get involved in video games. Otherwise, I'll join someone and his house will explode, or something.
So, not only is Del Toro backing away from developing games, but he also has built a personal complex around it. Thanks, Konami!
Junji Ito was working on the game
This is the freshest cut to an old wound. Although it's not certain exactly what Ito's role was in production, Del Toro recently announced on Twitter that legendary horror mangaka Junji Ito was involved in the Silent Hills project.
JUNJI ITO, undisputed master of horror in Japan (along with Hino and Tsubaki) and our collaborator in SILENT HILL (S) pic.twitter.com/D9ypKBhVk5— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) September 27, 2015
Ito followed up with a tweet confirming his involvement but that he did not say much during the meetings. Still, he is the undisputed king of body horror, so it would have been amazing if his influence would have carried into the monster designs.
With so many huge names working on the game, the game itself could have been terrible and it still would have been a huge deal.
P.T. was the absolute scariest experience I've had in recent memory
I hadn't been excited about a Silent Hill game in a long time, but if P.T. was any judge, this was going to be quite the ride. For me, horror is coaxing someone deeper into a dark pit while still promising that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. It's one of the most difficult genres to pull off, especially in an interactive medium where getting players to not just throw the controller away is essential. The first Silent Hill games, especially, did it best. They tugged at our heartstrings before inviting us into Hell.
P.T. was that sense of horror distilled and distilled until the very act of walking down a hallway became nightmare incarnate.
Katlaborde recently wrote an amazing breakdown of P.T. I highly suggest giving it a read.
Konami isn't doing anything with the Silent Hill franchise except making a pachinko game.
And I know. I know gambling's a big money-maker. I get that this is a good, by-the-numbers business decision. But the callousness, the quick chopping block preciseness about it still hurts my heart.
Maybe I have to accept it at some point, but I don't have to like it. There are no heroes to root for anymore, at least not inside the once-hallowed halls of Konami. Silent Hill, perhaps once considered a cursed franchise, is now finally at rest.
Image sources: P.T. via relyonhorror.com; Bojack Horseman via imagine.pics and reddit; AP/Chris Pizzello via salon.com; Souichi's Diary of Curses via pascaleandejournalism.wordpress.com; silenthillparadise.com