Dismayed by the recent cancellation of Silent Hills due to the departure of director Hideo Kojima from Konami, a group of fans has started circulating a petition to Kojima himself to continue the project. Started by Yauheni Zinkevich of Germany the petition at change.org has over 4,200 signatures at the time of this article’s publication.
For those unfamiliar, Silent Hills was to be the next game in the long-running Silent Hill horror series, co-directed by an unusual collaboration between legendary game developer Hideo Kojima and writer and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. The project’s existence was first revealed by P.T., an interactive teaser for the game that scared the hell out of pretty much everybody who played it after it’s release in August 2014 for PlayStation 4. Sadly, much like that horrible talking fetus thing in P.T., Silent Hills’ development came to a premature end when Konami officially canceled the game following the revelation that Kojima would no longer be working for the company after finishing development of Metal Gear Sold V: The Phantom Pain.
Unfortunately, the petition’s chances are very slim. Aside from the usually limited effectiveness of online petitions in general, any attempt by Kojima and del Toro to continue the project would face a number of obstacles, not least of which is the fact that Silent Hill remains the intellectual property of Konami. An independent production would also lack the development resources of a company the size of Konami, so the sort of production values seen in P.T. would no longer be feasible.
The petition suggests that Kojima might fund the project using a crowdsourcing site like Kickstarter, which is actually a rather intriguing idea. Such a game calling itself Silent Hills would be a nonstarter, obviously, but between the hype generated by P.T., the popularity of Silent Hill, and the name recognition and fan bases of Kojima and del Toro it’s not hard to imagine a crowdfunding campaign for them to create a spiritual successor to Silent Hill bringing in a huge amount of money.
(Severing a hypothetical Kojima/del Toro horror game’s connection to the Silent Hill franchise might actually be a good thing, since a common complaint by long-time fans about some of the later Silent Hill games was the decision to shoehorn in popular elements of previous games whether they made sense or not. Remember Pyramid Head? The monstrous supernatural manifestation of a very specific person’s guilt, anger, and sexual frustration? Here he is again for… some reason.)
Of course, that would all depend on Kojima and del Toro still being interested in doing a horror game that isn’t a Silent Hill sequel, made on a significantly smaller budget and without the marketing machinery of a major publisher. Both are sufficiently large names in their industries that they could doubtless be working on bigger things, and probably will be. Still, it’s nice to hope.