Here’s the past, present, and future of the Silent Hill series

Steven Rondina • May 26, 2022 2:03 am

Alongside Resident Evil, the Silent Hill series helped to define the horror genre in video games. But what happened to it?

Silent Hill was a hit in 1999, and its sequel is regarded as one of the best games of its generation. But alongside Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, and Suikoden, the series was left in limbo when Konami stopped developing console games.

But how did things end up this way? And are Silent Hill games going to be made once again? Here’s what’s known about the series.

What is Silent Hill?

Silent Hill is a horror franchise that includes video games, movies, comics, and novels. It’s primarily known for the original title on PlayStation and its sequel on PlayStation 2.

The series is named for the fictional American city of the same name. A central theme in every part of the franchise is the protagonist arriving in the city under mysterious or vague circumstances. Something forces them to go deeper into the city and confront the dangers therein.

Each installment of the series forces the protagonist to deal with a traumatic event in their past. This trauma plays a part in what dangers Silent Hill throws at them.

It’s implied that “Silent Hill” isn’t an actual location at all, but is instead a sort of mental space where people are forced to wrestle with events from their past. However, some games directly reference events from other parts of the series. The exact nature of the city ultimately varies between each piece of media.

What happened to Silent Hill?

Konami stopped development of new console games after canceling Silent Hills in 2015. 

New games in the series were launched regularly from 1999 to 2012, with eight mainline games coming out in the series. Though 2012 was a big year for the brand with three major releases all arriving that year, things dried up from there.

The final installment in the series came in 2014 with P.T., a demo that dropped on the PlayStation Store that served as the reveal for a new game named Silent Hills. Silent Hills was set to be arguably the biggest game in the series. Silent Hills was planned to be a first-person reboot of the series directed by Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima. The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus was set to star, with director Guillermo del Toro and famed horror manga writer Junji Ito set to contribute.

The game was abruptly canceled in April 2015 with Konami stating that it was set to cease development of console games entirely. The move was met with intense criticism from fans.

Are they still making Silent Hill games?

Konami’s reaction to purported leaked artwork suggests that a new Silent Hill game is in development.

In May 2022, more than 10 years after the release of the last installment in the series, a number of pieces of art leaked to the internet. These pieces were supposedly concept art for a new Silent Hill game. Corroborating this is that some pieces had the signature of Masahiro Ito, who worked on the first five games in the series and served as art director for two of them.

One of the pieces of leaked concept art.

There were long-standing rumors and reports of a partnership between Konami and Bloober Team, a Polish development studio that has made multiple horror games. It is unknown if Konami and Bloober are partnered for this game or a different project.

Konami issued DMCA takedowns on the art, which may confirm their legitimacy.  This has led to speculation that Konami is set to revive the Silent Hill series. There are no details on the game or games at this time, including what platform they may release on. Depending on the potential release date, PlayStation and Xbox consoles are likely while a PC release is also possible. A Nintendo Switch release is less likely.

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