Silent Hill has always had a bit of a contentious past with its developers. Ever since the original Team Silent was dissolved in 2004, it has seemed like no developer could ever truly reach the same heights as the original Team Silent in its initial run. After a few poorly received entries and an eight-year hiatus, Silent Hill is back. However, Konami hasn’t hired the biggest and most prestigious studios to bring back its flagship survival horror franchise.

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The recent Silent Hill Transmission gave fans a look at what’s on the horizon for the series, showcasing two smaller games and two big projects. Indie studio, No Code, is developing Silent Hill Townfall, while the steaming game show Silent Hill Ascension is in development by Genvid. Silent Hill f is presumably the next big entry in the franchise and is being developed by NeoBards, a studio that has done mostly Resident Evil ports and is currently in charge of Re:Verse. Lastly, Bloober Team, of The Medium fame, is currently in charge of the Silent Hill 2 remake. Unproven, small-time, and under scrutiny, Silent Hill’s current set of developers couldn’t be more perfect for the franchise, and fans should look to the past to see why.

RELATED: Silent Hill Townfall Trailer Hides Secret Messages


Silent Hill’s Underdog Origins

The story of the original Silent Hill is also about a group of unproven, small-time developers under scrutiny. Upon seeing the success of Resident Evil in the West, Konami decided to develop its own survival horror franchise on the PS1. However, this would be a project assigned to what Konami had deemed its “reject staff” of developers who had failed multiple projects and were incompatible with other teams. This group would eventually be known as Team Silent, a ragtag underdog set of developers tasked with taking on an established franchise on a tight budget and under the pessimistic eyes of Konami.

Internally, Team Silent didn’t know what to do with the game. Even director Keiichiro Toyama questioned why he was in that role when he had never done anything similar. Due to Konami believing Silent Hill was a lost cause, the developers behind the first game were granted creative freedom and could explore new concepts in survival horror. This resulted in the franchise’s heavy psychological horror themes and became a hit in 1999. Against the odds, Team Silent’s original Silent Hill and its sequels helped define a whole genre.

The Future of Silent Hill Is in the Spirit of the Franchise

Fast-forward to today, and Silent Hill has returned to mixed feelings from fans. Much of the hesitation comes from the unproven nature and small scale of these developers who have been tasked with bringing back an important franchise. Half of these studios have never worked on a survival horror game or haven’t been in a core game development position until now. However, the parallels between the Silent Hill projects of today and Team Silent’s situation in the late 90s runs deep. Of course, one of the most significant points of contempt is the inclusion of Bloober Team in the Silent Hill 2 remake. For many gamers, Silent Hill 2 is considered one of the best games of all time, while Bloober’s track record shows a history of mixed reviews and poor handling of delicate subject matters.

In some ways, Bloober’s position now also mirrors that of Team Silent – a studio whose past has left people with little hope that its upcoming Silent Hill project will be any good. However, this time it could be different. Almost every horror game Bloober made was inspired by the original Silent Hill games in some way, with the team even hiring the original series composer, Akira Yamaoka, for The Medium. Silent Hill 2 is clearly the game Bloober has always wanted to make. If the same spirit, passion, and dedication that the ragtag Team Silent had in the 90s is present with Bloober, then perhaps the team can also overcome its underdog status and make something great the same way those Konami “rejects” did in 1999.

Silent Hill 2 remake is in development for PC and PS5.

MORE: Silent Hill Ascension’s Multiplayer Focus is an Interesting New Direction For The Series

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