You’ve no doubt heard the rumors and rumblings of Silent Hill being reborn with a new title, some have been quick to wave it away, others still have held on to each new scrap of potential information with hopeful anxiety. I’ve decided to gather that information in one convenient little spot, starting from the beginning and going all the way to the ‘now’. At the time of this writing, all of this is still rumor and speculation — nothing has been revealed one way or another, and Konami’s only response to the rumors thus far has been to deny them. Regardless of that denial, something is happening with Silent Hill. Take all of this information any way you like, the point here isn’t to convince you of anything; I only want to put all the pieces on the table. You can be the judge of whether or not it makes a picture.
Where exactly to start is a bit hard to tell, as a lot of little things happened before the ball really started to get rolling. Obviously, the very beginning is really just the end of the previous generation of the series — P.T./Silent Hills. That’s a bit too far back though, and it’s been talked about to death. Following that event, Konami went into somewhat of a hibernation regarding games in general.
In early 2017 Konami began marketing that they were seeking developers to join their team, specifically noting the need for ‘Game Programmers, Designers, Planners, Network Engineers, Server Programmers, Scenario Writers, and developers with either home console or mobile experience’. While it may have been the very first glimmer of hope, I should point out that Silent Hill is noticeably absent from all of this ‘now hiring’ marketing. A few months later, however, Super Bomberman R released a Pyramid Head costume for the player character. Chibi and smol, it was remarkable in that it was the first time Konami had publicly acknowledged Silent Hill (outside of Pachinko machines) since P.T. was taken down off of the PlayStation Store — two whole years after.
A year later, Konami filed new trademarks for Silent Hill in the US and another in Canada a year after that. Some got hopeful, but it ultimately turned out to be for a second gambling machine. That said, almost immediately before that machine’s reveal, Konami’s European president Masami Saso gave an interview with gamesindustry.biz about the future of the company as a whole. It’s a mostly uninteresting read, generally talking about mobile markets and the success of the PES series, but at one point Saso talks about the ‘third pillar’ of Konami’s entertainment structure — console games. He didn’t talk about it much, but it piqued my interest:
“Even with new platforms coming out, we believe high-end console games are the most important. We challenge for innovative ideas and technology within our console games and apply them to other devices, so we will continue to put effort into our console games. We also plan to increase our portfolio. In addition to the multi-device titles for PES and Yu-Gi-Oh, we plan to work on projects with other globally known IPs in the near future.”
It struck me as funny timing that this statement followed closely behind the announcement that the Japanese government was going to crack down hard on Pachinko machine regulation — which would be very damaging for one of Konami’s three pillars. But that hope wasn’t to last — what looked to be the final nail in a coffin that appeared to be made entirely out of nails appeared out of nowhere. Konami allowed the SilentHill.com web domain to default, and for weeks the webpage was available for purchase. It later appeared to be confirmed that some plucky fan with an extra 10k laying around snapped it up, and has been using it to host memes since. Doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot, especially as the page had essentially been parked for a decade before that, just acting as a way to search for the series titles.
Generally speaking, things looked grim. Grimmer perhaps than they’d ever been back when Silent Hills had been canceled and the future of the series was merely unknown. All of this seemed to point to a pretty definitive “It’s dead, Jim.” And then the rumors started.
Early this year, Resident Evil leaker AestheticGamer/DuskGolem dropped a bombshell on all of us.
I’ll mention there is a couple new Silent Hill games in the works. Konami about two years ago reached out to various developers to pitch ideas for two Silent Hill games, one a soft-reboot of the franchise, the other an episodic TellTale/Until Dawn-style game to go alongside the reboot. I don’t know anything more than that though, but I sure do hope Konami’s given it the appropriate budget and found the right developer to make those games succeed.
We were particularly excited, as this actually lined up with some rumblings we’d heard through our own channels, but had chosen not to report on for fear of exposing the parties that leaked it to us. It was also interesting timing, lining up the comment that Konami started looking ‘about two years ago’ — which would line up with Konami’s hiring of new developers in 2017. Regardless of our own excitement and AestheticGamer’s track record with Resident Evil (which is damn near impeccable), everyone was assured that salt had to be taken with this information. It just wasn’t worth getting hopes up and a rumor is just a rumor until stated otherwise by Konami proper.
And then Konami proper talked about Silent Hill, saying the name out loud, in public, for the first time in 5 years. PCGames Network reached out to ask about the rumor and a Konami spokesperson responded:
“We cannot share anything at this point, but we are listening to customer feedback and considering ways to provide the next title”
If there was any one thing that truly sparked a turning point in this whole story, it was that. Following up almost immediately was the startling reveal of a third Silent Hill film, which took everyone by total surprise. The director of the first film had been giving a very casual interview with a French film site, Allocine, when he commented briefly on projects he had in the pipeline. He’s been working on a Western Fatal Frame/Project Zero film adaption for ages, which he mentions, but then out of nowhere:
“And we’re also working on a new Silent Hill. The project will always be anchored in this atmosphere of a small American town, ravaged by Puritanism. I think it’s time to make a new one.”
I cannot think of a more inexplicable way to announce the third entry in that franchise, but that’s how it happened, so here we are. About a month later, Pyramid Head (and Silent Hill creatures in general) designer Masahiro Ito made a few weirdly cryptic tweets about his beloved monster. Right before AestheticGamer’s leak, he’d revealed on Twitter that he had been hired on as a “core member” of some unknown project and that he hoped the title “wo[uldn’t] be canceled.” That verbiage caught the attention of a lot of fans, drawing lines between that statement and the cancellation of Silent Hills.
Now to properly explain this next bit, way back in 2017 Ito was asked if he’d consider joining a reborn Team Silent to work on a new game, and his one stipulation was “If it’s not [a] sequel and I don’t have to use Pyramid Head or can kill him in the opening.” Fast forward to February of this year, and Ito made an inexplicable tweet out of nowhere:
Pyramid Head, R.I.P.
— 伊藤暢達/Masahiro Ito (@adsk4) February 28, 2020
Fans immediately drew a connection between that and his early comment about killing Pyramid Head, and it sent fans buzzing with theories and excitement. Following that, we actually entered the ring on our own. In early March, we were able to speak with multiple insider sources about the development of a new Silent Hill game and broke the story. From our report:
We have a trusted source regarding this news, and another source has corroborated with us that Masahiro Ito (creature designer for the first four titles in the series) is indeed working on a Silent Hill game as previously speculated. These same sources name Sony as the driving force behind bringing the series back.
Keiichiro Toyama (director and writer of the original 1999 Silent Hill) and Akira Yamaoka (composer for the majority of the franchise) are also returning alongside Masahiro Ito. The trio will helm a “soft reboot” of the Silent Hill series, possibly just called Silent Hill. SIE Japan Studio, which possibly includes team members from “Project Siren,” the group behind Siren: Blood Curse for the PlayStation 3, will be behind its development in some capacity (either in full or in part). Our source states that this title has been in the works for about a year. Our second source — which has no connection to the first — was aware of Ito’s involvement in a new Silent Hill title and informed us of that information some time ago.
Along with that we also touched on a rumor regarding a revival of Silent Hills, although that had much shakier footing than that of the other leak. Konami denied the contents of our report when we reached out to them for comment, stating:
“We’re aware of all the rumors and reports but can confirm that they are not true. I know it’s not the answer your fans may want to hear. It’s not to say we are completely closing the door on the franchise, just not in the way it is being reported.”
With or without our report, however, the rumors continued to spread. The month following our story, manga artist Suehiro Maruo (known for The Strange Tale of Panorama Island and Ultra Gash Inferno) posted to his Instagram about visiting Konami in order to work on what he pretty blatantly teases as being ‘Silent Hills‘. No subtlety about it.
Perhaps he was just teasing us, no? Fans can often read way too much into stuff, like that time that RE2‘s original director went to Capcom HQ (most likely when he was invited to try out REmake 2). Well, the story doesn’t end there — but we now enter a new stage of this story.
Amidst rumors and questions, it could be argued that the majority of fans still had zero reason to believe any of it was actually happening. And then suddenly, things…started to happen.
In May, asymmetrical multiplayer game Dead by Daylight revealed that their next DLC was to be entirely based on Silent Hill, to the shock of everyone. Heather (renamed to her birth name, Cheryl) Mason, Pyramid Head, Midwhich Elementary, and a bunch of cosmetics based on the first and third games were announced to be joining the game. All playable, and even including a special remix of the Dead by Daylight menu theme by Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka. It was pretty wild, and I can’t really describe just how hyped I was waking up and seeing that in my work inbox. That hype reached a fever pitch the following day when that manga artist, Suehiro Maruo, suddenly turned up again. Once more he took to Instagram, posting an Instagram story that read:
The timing couldn’t have been more impeccable for inciting hype. This wasn’t just a one-off, easy to misinterpret comment like Masahiro Ito’s “RIP Pyramid Head” Tweet. Just like Maruo’s earlier Instagram post, this was being very direct as to what he was talking about. Whatever it was specifically that “we” had just started, it was undoubtedly tied to Silent Hill.
The Dead by Daylight DLC dropped and it was pretty awesome. I loved it personally, and I’ve been rockin’ Survivor’s boats with Pyramid Head like crazy since release. Some fans had hoped that Silent Hill might show up alongside Resident Evil 8: Village during Sony’s E3/Not E3 streaming event in June, but when it skipped the event, fans started to drift back towards disbelief. Maybe there really was nothing going on and our cages all got rattled for nothing.
Just after the Sony event, fans discovered that the Silent Hill Facebook page, which had been idle since November of 2017, was suddenly posting again. It had been doing so since March (long before the Dead by Daylight DLC was announced), with a small post about a new hoodie baring the Halo of the Sun sigil becoming available for sale. When the DLC was announced, the page continued to update fairly regularly up through the 31st of last month, with both marketing for the DLC as well as posting about community events like charity streams.
Following up that interesting development, Konami’s official Twitter account posted a blank video that simply played the Silent Hill 2 air raid siren. Fans went nuts, and the Konami PR person tried to settle everyone down, stating that they were merely “watching streams of Dead By Daylight and thought [they] would share the noise and feel of being hunted.” Oh well, right? Well…not so much. They followed up one last time when the rabble wouldn’t settle down, and it’s… perhaps the lynchpin to any possible belief or doubt in this whole affair.
We are sorry we got people fired up. Anything official would come from first from @SilentHill or an event or something, not from us. We were just being fans and enjoyed the noise/memories. Sorry everyone, did mean to kill your Friday mood.
— Konami (@Konami) July 31, 2020
If you didn’t catch it, and it took a little while for most to do so, that @SilentHill account is…brand new. Opened just two months ago, this apparently official Silent Hill Twitter account has been quietly sitting there, tweeting out ads for merchandise, the Dead by Daylight DLC, and liking/retweeting fan art. Its last tweet was on Aug 21, advertising Pyramid Head’s new costume for Dead by Daylight. This Twitter account’s existence was a sudden surprise to pretty much everyone, especially as it really doesn’t look all that official. Fans have taken note that it’s following streamers along with console manufacturers (and even site contributor Thomas Duff, because he asked nicely).
There has been a Silent Hill Twitter account, still is technically — but only in Japan. The original Japanese Silent Hill Twitter account remains inactive, its final Tweet being sent in 2014, although to be fair, Dead by Daylight might not be big in Japan like it is in the West, at least not enough to be worth firing back up again. As such, it’s truly fascinating to watch multiple English language official Silent Hill social media hubs fire up, all at once. One could easily wave them away as simply being used as an aid for the new Dead by Daylight content but Behavior Interactive presumably can handle their own marketing. As far as I can tell (and correct me if I’m wrong) Twitter accounts for other guest franchises (like SAW and Halloween) have never mentioned Dead by Daylight on their social media platforms. Netflix briefly touched on the Stranger Things DLC, but that was it, and it wasn’t on the Stranger Things Twitter account.
These social media accounts aren’t just being run by some random fan, these are official arms of the Konami marketing branch, and as such must follow directions from Konami’s PR and are run by employees of the company. Simply firing them up for the sake of marketing a DLC that’s about to be made old new in just a few weeks and then going quiet again forever seems like it’d be kind of a waste of money, and time, especially when Behavior can (and has been) handling marketing on their own.
Update 8/31: Earlier today it was discovered that Konami has finally released the entire (excluding a few bonus editions and expanded versions) soundtrack collection for Silent Hill on the Western version of Spotify. Interestingly, this release contains a major surprise for fans that followed the score for Book of Memories since its release. The final track on the album, Love Pslam, secretly included Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka on guitar for the piece, and producer Tom Hullet has explained in the past that it was done both without Konami’s permission and that the inclusion was something he wasn’t even sure they were ever aware of. For the first time since its 2012 release, this Spotify version credits Akira Yamaoka as being involved with the track (previously only crediting singer Mary Elizabeth McGlynn).
Update 10/1: Out of nowhere, Silent Hill 4: The Room was released on GOG for PC. While it’s just the original PC version from 2004 (bugs and all), it’s a staggering action from the series, being the first officially released retail game in the series since 2012. Fans are hopeful that this won’t be the last sudden re-release of an old Silent Hill game, especially as there’s been quite a lot of work put into modding Silent Hill 2 into something much more friendly with modern PCs.
Update 10/6: In case there was any doubt left, the @SilentHill Twitter account has now been verified, checkmark and all. It strangely hasn’t updated once since the last Dead by Daylight Pyramid Head costume released back in August, not even tweeting about the Cybil costume or the GOG release of Silent Hill 4. We can only wait and see, I suppose.
Update 12/3: It was announced that Keiichiro Toyama, creator of Silent Hill, Siren, and Gravity Rush, was leaving Sony Interactive Entertainment to found his own studio, Bokeh Game Studios Inc.. Toyama had previously been rumored as heading up the Silent Hill reboot, but this obviously throws a wrench in that possibility. While there is still a chance that he left the project mid-production (which happens constantly, it’s happened to Halo: Infinite multiple times now), that Bokeh will be formally adopting production as its first project, or that his work on the game was finished.
Update 2/4/21: Series composer Akira Yamaoka was interviewed as part of a YouTube podcast, where he commented that he’s working on a new project. Whatever it is, it’s being announced this summer, and it’s “the one you’re kind of hoping to hear about”. UPDATE: The interview has since been taken down at the request of an unknown third party. There are rumors that the YouTube channel explained that it was taken down by “pachinko games company”, but the tweet that information was supposedly in has since been deleted. UPDATE: It appears Yamaoka was referring to his work on the recently announced Slitterhead, from Bokeh Games Studio.
Update 2/18/21: Earlier this morning, the CEO of Bloober team conducted an interview with GamesIndustry.Biz, where he explained that the studio was working with a “famous publisher” on a horror IP. Many fans have jumped on the idea that the title may be the rumored Silent Hill ‘Tell Tale’ style game that was rumored along with the reboot entry.
Update 6/19/21: This isn’t exactly substantial enough to warrant a full article, but it did catch my interest never the less. Spotted by Redditer u/Lolhithere, the official Konami Shop Twitter account, which is operated by Konami, inexplicably followed a small Silent Hill revival Twitter account. The account only has 55 followers at the time of writing (including Aesthetic Gamer, who’s been dancing around leaks for this game for years), and it seems remarkable that the Konami Store account would even find it, let alone follow it.
Update 6/30/21: Out of nowhere, Bloober Team and Konami have announced a “strategic partnership” that will involve “cooperation in the development of contents and the exchange of know-how”. This follows up on the 2/18 update that the studio confirmed it was working with “a very famous gaming publisher” on a horror IP.
Update 10/1/21: Multiple sources have reported that Konami is working on bringing back three of their biggest franchises, with Silent Hill being one of them. The rumor is more or less the same as everything that’s been stated previously, however the Gematsu article surprisingly re-confirms the original rumor that Kojima Productions is working on a Sony-backed Silent Hills revival.
Update 3/15/22: Not necessarily unexpected, but Konami re-upped their trademark on the Silent Hill IP in Japan, filing for the usual sorts of arts and entertainment-type content the series would be categorized under. This isn’t necessarily anything too crazy, as Konami has re-upped the trademark multiple times since abandoning the franchise, but this time one of the things the series was categorized under was virtual reality, which is completely out of left field. This doesn’t necessarily mean a home-console VR experience of course, Resident Evil for instance has had multiple arcade VR games, but it is remarkable nevertheless.
Update 5/13/22: DuskGolem, one of the leakers who have been the most persistent about the series revival, revealed a set of supposed screenshots from at least one of the rumored new games. Immediately after uploading one more image, a piece of concept art supposedly produced by Pyramid Head designer Masahiro Ito, Dusk was hit with a DMCA copyright strike by (according to him) Konami. The images have since been removed from Dusk’s Twitter account, but the images themselves have begun to circulate the internet and shouldn’t be hard to find for anyone interested.
Update 5/15/22: Following up on DuskGolem’s leak, eagle-eyed fans caught a striking similarity between one of the screenshots and a very old set of Tweets from Silent Hill creature designer, Masahiro Ito. The tweets are from 2018, but the artist expressed interest in trying to create a horror visual that incorporated cherry blossom trees. Low and behold, this creature (and environment) design in a piece of concept art attributed to Ito from DuskGolem’s leak appears to show just that, a mysterious creature with a cloud of pink/red post-it notes for a head, very similar to the look of a cherry blossom tree.
Update 5/16/22: Another massive explosion of leaks from multiple sources all over the internet, including from Twitter and respected sites like VGC, point to the fabled “multiple Silent Hill titles in development” as a PS5 exclusive Silent Hill 2 remake developed by Bloober Team, and possibly a smaller, episodic game developed by Annapurna Interactive (Outer Wilds, The Artful Escape), along with a new mainline Silent Hill game. VGC also indicates that the screenshots leaked by DuskGolem the other day are in fact from a small P.T.-style teaser game. All of this was meant to be announced last year, as per multiple sources having stated in the past that Silent Hill would have a big reveal last E3, but Konami backed out at the last second for unknown reasons.
It should also be noted that PlayStation Lifestyle has also reported that Bloober Team has signed a “significant license and distribution agreement” with Sony, which they speculated may be tied to either their Silent Hill title, or to a PlayStation+ deal. Given that Sony announced their new PlayStation Plus upgrade’s title lineup and it didn’t include a single Bloober Team title… well, I guess we have our answer.
Update 9/5/22: A number of new screenshots have leaked, both from Bloober Team’s Silent Hill 2 Remake‘s “pitch concept” (see: not the final game in any way shape or form) as well as one of the other titles in development, something that is called “Silent Hill Playable Concept: Sakura“, which appears to be the source of the Masahiro Ito cherry blossom (Sakura is also another word for cherry blossom) monster design as well as the other previously leaked imagery and screenshots.
Update 9/26/22: A new Korean rating certification for a game titled Silent Hill: The Short Message has been filed by Konami (through their Korean publisher UNIANA). While there isn’t much to go on just yet, the certification is for console games specifically (CC-NV, as opposed to CC-OM), so it’s for sure not a mobile game. It’s also worth remembering the aforementioned Silent Hill Playable Concept: Sakura, with a title like The Short Message, it seems very likely that these two are one and the same. With Sakura’s theming being around post-it notes and “short messages”, it’s not a huge leap to make.
Update 10/7/22: The apparently loose-lipped Silent Hill film director, Christophe Gans, yet again casually dropped major information regarding the series during an interview. Speaking with French website Movie and Game, Gans talks about working with Konami on his upcoming Silent Hill film sequel, and how he’s been working with the developers in order to get the film right. While doing so, he comments that Konami is indeed making multiple Silent Hill games with various developers, confirms that the Silent Hill 2 Remake is real, and capped it off by seeming to say that members of the original developer, Team Silent, are involved with these new games in some regard. So that happened.
Update 10/16/22: Konami has officially announced that a Silent Hill Transmission is coming 10/19/22, containing “The latest updates on the Silent Hill series”, complete with an all-new web portal and logo. To follow this up, creature designer Masahiro Ito also shared the announcement, cementing his involvement as speculated. We may, after two years, finally be looking at the end to this article. We’ll see you in three days.
Final Update 10/19/22: Silent Hill 2 Remake, developed by Bloober Team (with art design by Masahiro Ito and music by Akira Yamaoka), Silent Hill: Townfall, Silent Hill: Ascension, and Silent Hill F have all been announced during the Silent Hill Transmission video update. Return to Silent Hill, a feature film adaption of Silent Hill 2, was also announced with Christophe Gans returning to produce and direct. Thank you for following along my two years of reporting on this developing story, I’m happy to have finally reached the end of this long road together.
For now, that’s where the story ends. AestheticGamer recently commented on Silent Hill once more, simply commenting that it was ‘still in dev‘ when talking about several future releases he’s privy to. From the lowest of lows to (while perhaps not the highest possible) highs, the winding road on the way to a new entry in this series has been quite the adventure to follow. Could it be possible that after so long lost in the fog, the series could finally be reemerging? Anything’s possible, and I actually have hope in my heart for the first time in a good long while. There’s still plenty of reason to doubt though.
While all of this went on, there were plenty of other, some very convincing, theories and threads on the subject. From the Black Hound incident to the Never Be Game Over subreddit, there were many scrutinizing gazes at ‘evidence’ that was very convincing. Some of it even became straight-up conspiracy theories after a certain point, and as each possibility was laid to rest, it seemed that there was simply no chance of resurrection. That’s part of why I find all of this so interesting — these are not putting together random, unrelated pieces together, or reading in between lines that were never really there. The evidence collected here (besides rumors and our own sources, which you’re welcome to take or leave) relates directly to the actions of Konami and other industry professionals and studios.
There’s no telling what exactly is in store for the future of this beloved series. The point of this article, as stated before, is not to try and convince you — rather, let you come to your own conclusions. New game, new pachislot machine, just a new line of T-shirts, who knows. This is everything we’ve collected over the course of these past two years, and we’re about to find out where it has lead.