I somehow missed this back at the end of September, but apparently, Konami has struck a deal with the Guy Cihi and the original voice actors from Silent Hill 2 in order to be able to re-use their original voice and motion capture performances. Supposedly, both the original voice work and the newly-recorded voice work will be included in the game.
This is great news for fans of Silent Hill, as it makes the HD Collection actually worth a purchase!
As reported months ago, a dispute between Guy Cihi (the actor who recorded voice work for James Sunderland in Silent Hill 2) and Konami over a matter of supposedly-previously-agreed-to residuals was preventing Konami from being able to include the original voice recordings from Silent Hill 2 in the Silent Hill HD Collection. Apparently, that dispute has been resolved.
Dave Schaufele (left) and Guy Cihi (right) sign waivers permitting the use of their voice recordings for the Silent Hill HD Collection.
If Monica Taylor Horgan's statement is to be believed, apparently, Guy Cihi's claims that he deserves to be paid residuals is completely unfounded by U.S. law. Monica is the original voice actor for the character of Maria, and according to the agents that she's spoken to, residual payments simply are not paid out to video game voice actors, and so without a written contract stating otherwise, Cihi's claims are completely unfounded. It seems that she and Konami have finally managed to convince Guy and the other actors that this is true and got them to sign waivers allowing the voices to be re-used.
Hopefully, Konami will provide some compensation to these actors as a gesture of good faith, since this move is likely to make the HD Collection a much more popular purchase for horror fans waiting for the release of Silent Hill Downpour next year.
I'm still unaware of any official statement from Konami on the issue, but I do know that the release of the HD Collection was pushed back earlier this year (from Q4 2011 to Q1 or 2 of 2012), so it is very possible that the delay is so that Konami can enhance and reinstate the original voice work.
As for the version of Silent Hill 3 being included in the collection, I'm currently not aware of any plans to re-record the voicework for that game. So hopefully, this whole crisis has been averted.
UPDATE November 22, 2011 (3:18 PM PST)
According to an article on gamepur, the version of Silent Hill 3 that is included in the Silent Hill HD Collection will not include the original voice work:
"The HD Collection is on schedule for Jan 2012 release. The deadline for releasing the masters to the duplicators is like, this week. All major actors for SH2 have signed releases and so the SH2 game will offer players both voices – original and new. One SH2 actor was unwilling to sign, or had unreasonably delayed signing, but he has only two lines in SH2, so Devin and Tomm decided to use the new voice for those two lines. SH3, however, is a problem. Konami people have been unable to locate/contact Heather Morris so they cannot get her to sign a rights release. I have tried to find Heather but I was unable. If you know her contact information, please tell me ASAP otherwise SH3 will not have the original voices."
Why is this the first I've heard about the HD Collection not containing the original voice work for Silent Hill 3? As far as I was aware, Guy Cihi (from Silent Hill 2) was the only one preventing the original voice work to be included in Silent Hill 2. I had no idea they were having problems with the Silent Hill 3 cast as well.
I don't understand why this is such a problem. Doesn't Konami own the rights to the games and all vocal performances within? Why is it so hard to re-use the original voices?
Unfortunately, this means that I can no longer recommend the Silent Hill HD Collection for purchase by any Silent Hill fan when it is released on January 24th. If you want to play the games, buy the original versions. You can find used copies on ebay or Amazon at fairly reasonable rates.
As for the people who know me personally: if you have any interest in playing Silent Hill 2 or 3 (or any Silent Hill game for that matter), you are welcome to come over and play mine or borrow a copy. I have plenty to go around!
Silent Hill: Downpour, by the way, has been scheduled for release sometime in March, while Book of Lost Memories is due out sometime in February.