GDC Preview: Hideo Kojima to reboot Silent Hill series (April Fools!)

In what has to be the biggest and most desired announcement by Silent Hill fans, Konami’s Hideo Kojima of Metal Gear Solid fame has officially announced his next project: Silent Hill.

Kojima expressed interest in the Silent Hill series some month ago and even the president of Konami, Tomoyuki Tsuboi asked him to make a Silent Hill game. It looks like those conversations have gone further than expected and a new entry in the series is in development. Kojima announced this project at a hotel in Maine. A few select gaming journalist were invited for the reveal. I was luckily one of them.

Simply titled Silent Hill, Hideo Kojima’s take on the series involves a game developer with a dark past. Frank Westinghouse, voiced and physically modeled after David Hayter, former-Solid Snake voice actor in the Metal Gear Solid series, will be protagonist of this reboot. Silent Hill marks the series return to Japanese development–something that fans have deemed necessary for years. Silent Hill will run on the FOX engine and feature key members from the series’ past, such as Masahiro Ito for art and design and Hiroyuki Owaku as co-writer (Team Silentious was used to name the group). The game is said to be a next-gen title that will return the series to its roots. A-list celebrities such as Christian Slater, Tara Reid, Tori Spelling, and Sally Field will star as a supporting cast.

The story of the game is said to be one of social commentary and the state of the game industry. Due to selling only a handful of millions of copies, the protagonist loses his job and seeks a new calling. After a failed Kickstarter, Frank wanders the East coast in search of a new, innovative way to capture the attention of gamers. Frank’s journey leads him to Silent Hill where figments of his imagination of ghosts of his past haunt him. In typical Silent Hill fashion, his journey is said to be terrifying and filled with figurative and literal demons. The announcement of the project was appropriately disturbing.

Within the hotel room where the reveal occurred, several gaming journalists including myself were told to sit on the bed and wait for the secretive Konami announcement. Some 30 minutes later Tomm Hulett, former Konami employee and Silent Hill series producer crawled out from under the bed–much to our terror–and screamed. Except this wasn’t that Tomm Hulett that I had knew, something about his appearance was off. He did not blink and his voice was different. He then spoke in an off-American accent about how Konami has asked him to revive Silent Hill. Of course we were all confused as Hulett had left Konami in favor of employment at WarForward. With unblinking eyes, fake-Hulett sat down across from the bed in which us journalists sat with unease.

After 60 quiet seconds that felt like minutes, the perplexing figure spoke: “Silent Hill”. He then removed his face, revealing the smiling father of the Metal Gear series–my stomach turned as I noted the material of his mask did not resemble rubber. Hideo Kojima slowly looked toward the ceiling and laughed.

Some time later a television was brought into the room with the familiar Silent Hill logo. A man came along with the television and he began the demonstration as Kojima sat in his chair, unwavering and with the focus of a tiger approaching its prey. The presentation revealed that the Silent Hill game Kojima was showing was a reboot of the series, a fresh start. The presenter spoke to use with a paced speech as though he was translating the Japanese developer’s words. But Kojima did not speak. It was an odd way to announce a game but so is Kojima’s method.

Despite the confusing announcement, what I saw of Silent Hill looks amazing. That 1 minute of gameplay changed my life. Finally Silent Hill is back in Japan where it belongs. With Hideo Kojima directing and writing the game, Silent Hill is surely saved. Sadly, no digital screenshots were given to the press as Kojima wanted to release them by mailing printouts to the press. They only content given to us was a picture David Hayter, the star of the game. Expect Silent Hill to release in early 2014, after Metal Gear Solid 5.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dimitri.theodosakis Dimitri Theodosakis

    This is a April Fool Joke Don’t Belive Till April 2 12am

  • Sterlin Ruther

    If this is an April Fools joke, I swear to god…

  • http://twitter.com/tearsofafeather Allen Phoenix E.

    Happy april fools everybody!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rtimmers89 Rick Timmers

    There was a Silent Hill April fools joke last year so I do not believe this article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/felipe.almeida.12576 Felipe Almeida

    April fool’s day!

  • ebolasupermonky

    I honestly can’t tell if this is an April Fools joke or not. I was believing it until Kojima was wearing Tom Hulletts face….

  • Spike32

    Definitely April Fool’s Day joke, I got so excited until I saw all star cast.

  • suicidalclockchime

    Did you guys look at a TV to come up with that name? My TV is a Westinghouse. XP

  • handsomejack47

    Dude, it’s 8:50 here in AZ. You should have waited until the morning to put this thing up.
    0/10 failed joke.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MLTalbert Michael Talbert

    Despite it being April Fools, I’d be all for a game starring David Hayter. And since he isn’t doing the voice of Snake for the upcoming games, I could totally see Kojima having another project lined-up that would make use of Hayter’s talent and/or likeness.

    • suicidalclockchime

      is it officially confirmed he’ll never be voicing in the games again, or was it just for MGS5?

      • http://www.facebook.com/MLTalbert Michael Talbert

        Not sure about future games, but he did say they never contacted him for Phantom Pain (and I want to say Ground Zeroes, but I’m not certain).

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Keys/501348683 Ryan Keys

          He could still very possibly be in Ground Zeroes. I mean we haven’t seen any footage from Ground Zeroes in English yet and besides, I think they left the English voice actors for Rising out in the cold until the last minute as well.

          Personally I’m okay with someone else taking over Big Boss in Phantom Pain but not so much with Ground Zeroes if it takes place just after Peace Walker like Kojima says.

          • VGAce

            Considering the two are companion games that will likely be released around the same time, I highly doubt he’ll be involved with Ground Zeroes. Wouldn’t make much sense to have him voicing Big Boss in one game but not the other.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Keys/501348683 Ryan Keys

            Well if Ground Zeroes takes place right after Peace Walker, you can’t explain him practically changing his voice overnight. Having another actor (hopefully Richard Doyle) take over in Phantom Pain would work, by using the coma as a flimsy (however entirely suspend-able) explanation for the voice change.

            Also if Kojima was as serious about the whole “it’s a new kind of Metal Gear” for being the reason Hayter isn’t coming back then Akio Otsuka wouldn’t be returning in the Japanese version either but he is. That coupled with Hayter’s posting his thank you on April 1st, when he clearly knows the implication of news going up on that date.

            I mean you can write off Robin Atkin Downes returning as Kaz because Peace Walker is the only game he’s done for the series, but I wouldn’t at all be surprised if this is some sort of viral marketing idea to make the announcement that Hayter is passing off the torch to the new actor a bigger deal.

            I get that’s kind of flimsy but I’m not taking anything at face value here until we see some footage of Ground Zeroes in English.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.campbell.73113 Kyle Campbell

    “They’ve come to witness the beginning, the rebirth of war, despoiled by the Patriots”

  • http://twitter.com/gvirus_ Guilherme Teruya

    I was happy for a second :(

  • http://twitter.com/OVERLORD_RAHL Ross Ingram

    I was waiting for this excellent April Fool :) Very well written as usual CJ.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rtimmers89 Rick Timmers

    Where’s the source?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.le.391 Chris Le

    Goddammit, got genuinely excited there for a second when they said
    protagonist Hayter and old Team Silent members. Then I caught on with
    the video game developer story, silly me.

    Honestly its gotten topoint with SH, that after the atrocious Book of Memories and the abhorrently abysmal HD Collection, this can only go two ways: Either
    Konami gets its shit together and finally puts the effort into finding creative, TRUE artists with a uniquely detailed, original, and disturbing vision to bring SH back to what it was meant to be…or shut it down for good. SH has been
    dying since 4: The Room. If they don’t fix it by this point, they never
    will and likely don’t care.

  • Legs Anderson

    I wonder how many people are going to forget it’s April Fool’s Day. Anyway, I can’t fathom why anybody would want him near the franchise. He has all the subtlety of a rock and his writing is embarrassing. Why would anyone want him to helm Silent Hill after the disastrous MGS4?

    Like David Cage, he desperately wants to be able to make movies, but doesn’t have the talent to do so. So he makes games he passes off as quote unquote experiences. He’s only regarded as as cinematic master in the game industrt because the bar for storytelling in games is so low compared to film and books that his work seems amazing when compared to other games out there.

    Unleash him in the film industry? He’ll be regarded as a hack.

    • http://twitter.com/Andy_MPHC Andy Butternubs

      I think it’s probably because he’s proven he can do really good “trippy” horror. You can’t fault the man for a lack of imagination, and many sequences in the MGS series have been genuinely spooky. The sequence with that ghost dude in Snake Eater?

      Honestly, Kojima is the kind of person that would understand not to overwrite Silent Hill. He’s proven that his brain has a lot of… pretty fucked up gunk in it. He’s the kind of creative madman that could get away with doing a Silent Hill.

      I actually like the idea of having a new “star” developer each new installment. First game, Kojima. Second, Hideki Kamiya. Third… oh, I dunno, Richard Garriot or something. That’d be pretty neat, I say!

  • http://www.facebook.com/MadPuppeteer Pekka Sorri

    could you had not waited until the morning.

  • http://kurenai-tenka.tumblr.com/ Kurenai Tenka

    Gdi, you got me. I should have read far enough along to the ‘A List cast’ before I got excited, that’d have tipped me off. :(

  • Bulbatron

    I think I’ll just save time by assuming this is an April Fool. :-)

  • Xander

    The character’s story sounds a bit like something out of Hellraiser.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ahmad-Al-Hamily/1234508805 Ahmad Al-Hamily

    Oh I wish it wasn’t April’s fool XD

  • petrol

    ” A few select gaming journalist were invited for the reveal. I was luckily one of them.” is where I knew it was an Apirl Fools joke

    • http://relyonhorror.com/ CJ Melendez

      ;)

  • katarokinimoto

    posting before April fools is cheating :(

  • akaziuki

    ok i unliked this page enough is enough

  • cam

    1. Not funny
    2. April Fools fail. Published on March 31st.

  • VGAce

    If you’re going to pull an April Fool’s joke, you might want to actually wait until April 1st. I saw the 3/31 on this article and got genuinely excited for a moment. It’s not really in good taste to make a joke about something people are legitimately clamoring for. Disappointment is not humorous.

  • VGAce

    If you’re going to pull an April Fool’s joke, you might want to actually
    wait until April 1st. I saw the 3/31 on this article and got genuinely
    excited for a moment until I got about a paragraph in. It’s not really in good taste to make a joke about something people are legitimately clamoring for. Disappointment is not humor.

  • ZenTzen

    Hideo kojima actually making Silent hill, P.T on psn look it up

    • http://relyonhorror.com/ CJ Melendez

      I’m a prophet

      • Big_Boss88

        Lol yeah you are ;D. Although I wonder if the story of Silent Hills will be similar to what you posted lol.