Rumors sprung up over the weekend via IGN that reliable sources were pointing to Microsoft picking up the development of Silent Hills. Those, it turns out, were just that: rumors. Straight from the Twitter of the man himself, we have an answer:
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) May 30, 2015
The story on Friday afternoon went something like this… An anonymous source told Rooster Teeth that Microsoft was in talks to purchase the property from Konami. Rooster Teeth’s source said that the game is about 80 percent complete and that Microsoft was ready to spend “billions” to purchase the property before E3.
This follows tons of drama with the property. Silent Hills was initially unveiled in what might be one of the best game marketing campaigns of all time – the playable teaser, P.T.. The tiny game combined some nearly photorealistic graphics and a lot of very unnerving content to create something that really hooked into fans hopes from the long troubled series. Then, rumors started to fly around that something was going on with game producer Hideo Kojima and publisher Konami. While Kojima is still on to finish up Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for its September 1 release, it seems that his relationship with Konami will end there.
P.T. was recently pulled from the PlayStation store where it debuted last year, and is no longer available to be downloaded or re-downloaded. The rumor had Konami taking the demo down as a “show of good faith to Microsoft.” Owners of consoles containing P.T. started putting their systems on eBay at inflated prices, hoping to make a buck off the game’s new-found digital scarcity, but those were taken down shortly after as well, as eBay doesn’t allow electronics with user account information still present to be sold.
As IGN notes, there were some problems with the rumor right from the beginning. Just about every indication with the game was that it was very early on. Star Norman Reedus said that only some basic motion capture had been done, and that the “heavy” mo-cap hadn’t been shot yet. Then there’s the idea that Microsoft was ready to dump billions of dollars on the property. While I adore Silent Hill more than a lot of fans – I’ll even defend the movie – it just isn’t worth that. We haven’t had a great Silent Hill game since the release of Silent Hill 3 in 2003, or even a good one since Silent Hill: Shattered Memories came out on the Nintendo Wii in 2009.
Despite all the fan excitement for the franchise, there wasn’t really any substance to this rumor from the start – it felt more like a GameFAQs message board rumor than something real. Spencer’s statement puts the idea of more Silent Hills to rest pretty thoroughly, though fans of conspiracy theories are going to be crossing their fingers right up until Microsoft’s E3 conference ends on Monday, June 15.