Konami’s Patchy History May Doom Bloober Team’s New Game

It appears that the rumors were true. Bloober Staff, the indie studio that started off making horrible Bomberman clones earlier than progressing into well-received atmospheric horror video games, have managed to barter a strategic partnership with writer Konami to develop video games primarily based on their mental property. Whereas none of those initiatives have been formally introduced, followers have assumed {that a} new recreation must be a brand new installment within the Silent Hill sequence. Bloober Staff have formally come out and denied this, however which may change as time goes on. However no matter it’s that they are engaged on, I am unable to assist however discover it inevitable that writer Konami will discover a solution to break it.

It isn’t precisely a sizzling take to say that Konami’s mismanagement is the stuff of business legend at this level. Plainly, except we’re speaking about Yu-Gi-Oh!, a whole lot of their enterprise choices come off as both shortsighted, petty, ill-advised, or simply plain complicated. That hasn’t modified in any respect lately, and it does not paint a fairly image for individuals who have labored with them up to now.

Firstly, that it doesn’t matter what Bloober Staff produces, it would all the time be in comparison with what may have been. The now notorious PT, which regardless of it being erased from storefronts has gone on to affect a lot trendy horror, was a tantalizing tease of what would come later. Its last second promoted a significant big-budget revival of Silent Hill with the inventive powerhouses of Hideo Kojima, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, and critically acclaimed horror creator Junji Ito behind the helm. However as a result of a falling out with Kojima coupled with the executives on the firm desirous to pivot from big-budget productions to cheaper and extra profitable cellular video games and playing machines, Konami simply cancelled the sport outright and pressured Kojima and his group to give up. Earlier than we even get an announcement of no matter it’s Bloober Staff is engaged on, individuals are inevitably going to carry it up in opposition to all of that misplaced potential.

A screenshot of the ghost from the Silent Hills teaser, PT
This scared the shit out of me, and it’s successfully an city legend now. Thanks Konami!

That bullheaded tunnel imaginative and prescient has all the time characterised Konami’s enterprise choices, and it has all the time been one thing that has hampered Silent Hill. Regardless of the extremely contentious reception of the Western developed entries within the horror sequence, if it wasn’t for producer Tomm Hulett pushing again in opposition to government calls for by Konami, they may have been lots worse. Talking on the Voices in the Static podcast, Hulett opened up about how he needed to combat tooth and nail to overrule and compromise on ridiculous instructions the productions took. For instance, Silent Hill: Homecoming was initially deliberate to be the beginning of a trilogy with a number of characters from the franchise returning earlier than ending in a bombastic psychic battle for who would management the titular haunted city. It is a sequence characterised by refined, moody ambiance and stars grounded, psychologically scarred people combating for his or her lives in opposition to inhuman monsters. To say this is able to have been tonal and thematic whiplash laborious sufficient to snap your entire sequence’ neck could be an understatement.

This is not the one incident both. Silent Hill: Origins was initially imagined to be a dark slapstick comedy, citing the 2000s sitcom Scrubs as an inspiration. For all the nice and dangerous present in these entries, they occurred regardless of Konami’s influences.

Along with producing Silent Hill-themed pachislot machines in an act of such tone-deaf model administration followers are enraged at to at the present time, there have been their efforts in making Castlevania enchantment to cellular and informal players. Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls was launched on good units in Japan and Canada as a free-to-play recreation with microtransactions and it made a stir for being a surprisingly stable entry within the sequence. However a big chunk of the sport’s monetization revolved round a multiplayer mode that nobody had any incentive to play, which implies it wasn’t making sufficient money. However reasonably than simply take away this monetization, lower out the multiplayer, and port it to different platforms, Konami just shut down Grimoire of Souls lower than a 12 months later earlier than it may launch in different areas.

A burned down building as seen in the game The Medium
There is a metaphor in right here someplace for the mission Bloober Staff has forward of themselves.

Each of those incidents are necessary because it exhibits two completely different extremes of Konami’s publishing practices. Both Bloober Staff will probably be pressured to hearken to enter for sustaining their contract with the corporate, resulting in a complicated and dreadful recreation, or they’re going to divert power and sources rebuking them, resulting in one thing mediocre. Even considering the studio’s expertise with each main productions equivalent to with The Medium and licensed titles like their Blair Witch recreation, there’s solely a lot you possibly can stop.

In equity, Konami has turn out to be extra hands-off in terms of leveraging their IP. The inclusion of Silent Hill content material within the aggressive horror recreation Useless By Daylight and dealing with producer Adi Shankar for the massively in style Castlevania animated sequence on Netflix has finished an incredible job of retaining each sequence related within the public eye. However given the corporate’s huge historical past of mismanagement, these really feel extra like exceptions reasonably than the norm.

Naturally, I would be the first one to eat crow if Bloober Staff’s mission seems to be good. Whereas horror video games have continued to push the envelope in each scares and sophisticated storytelling, The truth that so many individuals are hoping it is a new installment in a beloved sequence like Silent Hill is a testomony to how beloved Konami’s IP is and the way a lot potential that’s there for Bloober Staff to make use of for their very own inventive ambitions. I simply know that it doesn’t matter what occurs, it’s going to be an uphill battle for them in additional methods than one.



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