I say this with the utmost respect to what could be a really small studio making a game for Sony. Abandoned (now Survival) could be one of the biggest reveals in recent years for gaming, or it could be a total mess similar to the scale of NoMansSky disappointment or Cyberpunk destruction. I don’t think there is any safe in between anymore.
For those that don’t know…. Abandoned is a horror title that was teased by Sony back when PS5 was first revealed. Sony then made a blog post with a trailer that showed environments of the game and said more details would come later. The interesting thing about the game was the fact it was by an unknown studio, an unknown developer, and had almost no real details to go about it. Conspiracies started kicking in when people simply wanted more information, yet they were met with extremely vague details on everything from the developer to the studio.
People quickly started making connections that this new studio was just another bluff by Kojima to announce a new game. Quickly going over the main details: the developer (Kahraman ) shares the same initials Kojima, the developer site (Blue Box) has been “under construction” since people discovered it, and many people have tried to dive into the details of employees at the company with no luck. The initials, the lack of a website, the lack of employees, everything was leading to Kojima. Then things opened further when people started making Silent Hill references including a Youtube page that only has a picture of hills, the studio countless times egging people on, and of course a cryptic “the game starts with S and ends with L” tweet to top it all off.
The important thing to remember here is that the attempts to discourage the connections have been rather poor attempts. Yes the studio has blatantly stated on Twitter “we have no connection with Kojima or Konami” but word choice is rather interesting. It seems rather intentional at this point with how vague their responses have been in terms of shutting down the Silent Hill rumors, and rather horrible planning to avoid it all together. In several interviews the interviewers have noted they signed agreements and refuse to state if Kojima is a part of the process or not with statements such as “He is developing the game, but I cannot confirm if Kojima is involved.” Blue Box has also been vague on every aspect of the process with statements regarding being unable to talk about who invested in them (besides Sony), which studios are helping develop their game, who their employees are, what their plans are, and many other details that are rather easily found when games are near launch.
However, moving past the conspiracy, “Abandoned” is set to be somewhat revealed tomorrow. Originally set to release Tuesday, but moved to Friday, is a “live trailer” app that was developed specifically for this game. What that entails we don’t know yet, but supposedly it utilizes assets from the game to slowly showcase a trailer. Or maybe it is like P.T….. a playable trailer? Who knows. What we do know is that it’s an app on PlayStation and releasing this week.
Now the question stands. Why did Sony invest in a small unknown studio to not only make a game, but go as far as developing a virtual app to reveal said game? When the Silent Hill rumors really started to get out of hand, why didn’t Sony step in to shut it down? I mean lets look at the big picture, let’s say Blue Box is literally a small unknown dev that is entirely new to the game. Perhaps they really are inept to what they have done, and are blindly digging themselves a hole. Perhaps they don’t have the talent to make a website, talk about their team, or update social channels properly. So why wouldn’t Sony want to protect this potential asset and clear the road for them? It seems logical to protect them and utilize that partnership a little more to keep steering them in the right direction, or even potentially cut off ties all together. Right?
Plus at no point has Kojima Studios or Konami done anything to step in and deny anything. Every tweet by either of them has been hit with Blue Box rumors, and the above article is showing that the rumor is getting pretty out of hand. Konami alone would want this shut down, right? But then again when a fake fan page started heavily hinting some Metal Gear news, Konami sat by and watched him fan the flames, so who knows. Plus, as a Metal Gear fan, Konami pages often get us really hyped up for a new announcement only to reveal an overpriced T-shirt or some merchandise nobody wants, so it’s nothing new that they got all this excitement together for some random skateboards.
This is where things get odd for me. Sony recently did an interview where they stated they want to work with developers that have a strong history or strong presence in gaming. They were talking about this when mentioning their partnership with ex-Treyarch devs on their new studio. So the idea isn’t that a studio has a long track record, just good ideas and the experience to back it up. Now we look at Blue Box and they have no history, no track record, and no games to their name. They have a few failed projects in the past and that’s about it.Blue Box stated Sony picked them up “due to their failed kickstarter attracting attention.”
We got a random video of the developer trying to say he isn’t part of the conspiracy, and a Q and A announcement, but once again this Q and A announcement has no date, and no details.
Which leads me to believe this will be a boom or bust reveal.
Here’s my main thing, the game wont be officially revealed this Friday. The developer already stated it will be a “series of live trailers.” So regardless of what it is I don’t think it’ll be fully revealed Friday. Instead Sony will either do their rumored summer event in a few weeks to show it off, or announce another “State of Play” to really dive into it, or simply the “live trailers” will slowly reveal the game over a few months.
This leads to stage 1: The rumors of it secretly being Silent Hill will just intensify. Honestly if some type of viral “secretive” marketing was the plan for the game, it needs to end here. If the game truly isn’t Silent Hill, it needs to be fully squashed by the developers and Sony themselves on Friday. If they don’t then itll just keep leading people on.
Which is stage 2 Option A: The game ends up not being Silent Hill and instead is some truly indie “open world” horror game. And if the studio is this thin right now to where they are unable to build a website to show off their staff or previous work, and utlize a stock photo on Youtube with no videos, then being entirely blunt there is no way this game could live up to the level of hype generated by misleading fans. If it was a rather large studio behind it I’d have some faith that we could say “okay, it isn’t Silent Hill, but what we will get can still be cool.” I’ve fallen in the trap of horror games looking amazing leading up to release, then bam the game looks and plays nothing like you expected. Anyone remember Amy?
Plus the video game community is pretty toxic in this day of age, so leading people on this long and then abruptly trying to shut it down just a week before the “official reveal” and being something totally new is not good news. People are going to be mad, and the toxic community is already raging with news that it may not even be Silent Hill already.
Option B: The game does end up being Silent Hill and Kojima is linked to it in some regard. He doesn’t need to be the director or main developer behind it, as he has done before with other titles, just simply a part of the team. This leads to the biggest reveal in recent years and probably eruptions of excitement for PlayStation fans (and PC fans) that the franchise is returning, but also P.T. finally gets its chance. Depending on where Kojima sits at this table could also lead to further speculation that Metal Gear will be returning as well, so it’s double whammy of excitement.
Option 2 gets more likely as days pass because the studio is simply refusing to stop being so vague about everything. We even got a Death Stranding trailer during E3 that had Sam wearing a blue suit toying with a box. Konami also randomly started pumping out some new Silent Hill merchandise this past week, seems odd.
Adding to the potential backing of this is that a few years ago it was rumored that Konami was starting to license out IP’s, one of them being Silent Hill. How these terms are is beyond me, but clearly Sony needed to spend some money and get a few headline games under their belt with how Microsoft was buying up studios left and right. So maybe this is what they did? It would make sense
However the twitter page of Blue Box has been in full force this past week trying to deny the rumors and shutting everything down. As someone that wants to see Silent Hill it’s real easy to point fingers and connect dots that may not even exist, so perhaps this is all in our heads? Yet, if it is, why hasn’t anyone done anything to really prove it?
Tomorrow will be interesting, that’s for sure.