New partnership between Konami and Bloober Team sparks ‘Silent Hill’ speculation

Rumours regarding a new Silent Hill game have hit fever pitch after the series’ original developer, Konami, announced a new partnership with Bloober Team (The Medium).

The Silent Hill video games comprise perhaps the most celebrated and iconic survival horror series ever made. Sure, the Resident Evil games might offer some serious competition, but for my money ol’ Pyramid Head provides the knockout blow. The fact that we haven’t had a new entry in the series in almost a decade is staggering.

This isn’t to say that people haven’t tried. In 2014 a playable demo was shown off at Gamescon, originally referred to as P.T. (playable teaser), that was later revealed to be a high profile Silent Hill collaboration between Metal Gear Solid mastermind Hideo Kojima and acclaimed fantasy/horror film director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water).

silent hill p.t.
Image: P.T. / Konami

This highly promising game, now confined to the scrapheap of legendarily hyped titles that will never be completed, was cancelled in 2015 after Kojima left Konami to start his own development studio. Silent Hills, as it was officially titled, was cancelled shortly after this departure, with Konami stating they were still open to continuing the Silent Hill series at a later date.

The backlash was swift and brutal. Konami bore the majority of the blame, with disappointed fans going as far to create an online petition that quickly amassed close to 200,000 signatures in an attempt to pressure the studio into finishing the game.

It didn’t work, and the once-proud AAA video game studio announced that they would be pivoting to pay-as-you-play mobile phone content. Talk about a heel turn.

However, in the time that’s passed since this whole clusterfuck, the legend of Silent Hill has only grown. While many gamers are too young to have played the original games, a number of indie studios have continued the tradition of creating Silent Hill-inspired horror games.

One such developer is the Poland-based Bloober Team who have developed a stellar reputation of their own with a string of successful horror titles; including Layers of Fear, Observer and, most recently, The Medium.

silent hill
Image: Silent Hill: Downpour / Konami

Building on this, Konami have just announced that they have entered a strategic partnership with Bloober Team, which really only makes sense in the context of a new Silent Hill game being made. Essentially, Konami own the intellectual property and Bloober Team have the passion and ability to execute the project.

It should be noted that this announcement doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Bloober Team have been teasing their interest in the Silent Hill series for some time now, and their CEO Piotr Babieno even went on the record saying:

“In fact, we’ve 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. I can’t tell you who. I can’t tell you what the project is, but I’m pretty sure when people realise we’re working on it, they will be very excited.”

So that’s that it seems. Everything but official confirmation that Bloober Team will be making the new Silent Hill game.

The Medium, which in hindsight plays like a pitch to make a Silent Hill game, was an intriguing title that just about delivered on its narrative and technological promise. However, it wasn’t all that scary, and the action-orientated gameplay passages were pretty forgettable.

If Team Bloober can correct these shortcomings, then their Silent Hill game might just about be able to live up to what promises to be big expectations.