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It seems we can't go a year without new rumors of Konami resurrecting the Silent Hill franchise. Frankly, I'm getting really weary of it all.

Last year, Kojima rumors resurfaced (despite seeming exceedingly far-fetched), and the rumor-mill also postulated that Konami was bringing back some of the original game's creative team for a reboot or remake. Well over a year later, there hasn't been any formal announcement on either of those rumors, so I'm assuming that they were never more than rumors.

This Tweet activated the rumor mill.

However, the rumor mill has been churning once again this year. A cryptic trailer and social media post last month for a game called Abandoned made people speculate that Abandoned might be a codename for a new Silent Hill project, and that its developer, Blue Box Game Studio might be another fake Kojima studio (because the internet just won't let the Kojima-Silent Hill rumors die). Remember that Metal Gear Solid V and P.T. were original teased as being indie games from Moby Dick Studios and 7780s, respectively.

But no, Blue Box is a real indie game studio, headed by a real developer named Hasan Kahraman, who is not Hideo Kojima. So no, Blue Box's PS5-exclusive Abandoned is almost certainly not a Silent Hill game in disguise. At least, not an official one with the support of Konami.

So that's it, right? This year's Silent Hill rumor has been squashed, right?

Apparently not.

Konami and Bloober are working together.

In just a matter of days after the Blue Box rumors were debunked, Konami went and announced a "strategic partnership" with Bloober Team. Bloober Team is, of course, the studio behind some of the most popular indie horror games of recent memory, including the Layers Of Fear games, Observer_, and Blair Witch. But it was their most recent game, The Medium, that caught the attention of Silent Hill fans. The Medium features a novel split-screen mechanic in which the player character can be navigating and solving puzzles in two parallel realities at the same time. One reality is a decaying, nightmarish version of the other abandoned and decrepit "real world". And just like with Stranger Things, the mere existence of a nightmarish alternate version of the same place made people start saying that "it's exactly like Silent Hill" (even though it isn't), and got fanboys insisting that Bloober Team should be contracted by Konami to develop a Silent Hill game.

The announced partnership already has everyone assuming that Bloober will be making a Silent Hill game. Even though the Silent Hill rumor is still just a rumor, this is the first time in all these years since Kojima's ousting from Konami and Silent Hills' cancellation, that the rumor actually seems credible. After all, there was an official announcement from Konami and Bloober this time around. And what other famous horror IP does Konami have, other than Silent Hill?

Is Bloober the best developer for Silent Hill?

I have positive, but somewhat-mixed, feelings about Bloober making a Silent Hill game. On the one hand, I'm happy that Konami is giving the IP to a proven company with a track record of making successful games -- heck, even innovative games. I'm just not a big fan of Bloober's catalogue. Their games are fine; just not great.

I don't dislike walking sims, but I don't think Bloober's are particularly great.

Personally, I think Frictional's games stand head and shoulders above anything that Bloober has done. Not that Bloober's games are bad, but they do tend to lean a bit too heavily into the boring side of "Walking Simulator" territory, and I've just never found any of their games to be particularly scary. Frictional's games, on the other hand, have tended to be much more mechanically complex, while also presenting genuinely disturbing or terrifying situations or themes. The hide-and-seek cycle of Amnesia basically inspired every horror game of the past decade, and the metaphysical plot and themes of Soma generated some of the best existential dread of any game I've ever played.

That being said, Bloober does have a few things going for it. >Observer_ has much more player-driven exploration, mystery, and intrigue in its first half, and is by far my favorite game from Bloober. Both Blair Witch and The Medium have shown that Bloober is capable of creating more robust mechanics beyond just walking through shape-shifting hallways. And in general, all of Bloober's games have shown some impressive technical accomplishments. So Konami certainly could have done worse than working with Bloober.

I just hope that Bloober doesn't go the route of making yet another Silent Hill game about the protagonist's repressed guilt. That particular cliche has been driven into the ground by the post-Team Silent Silent Hill games, as well as by other horror developers.

There's also still rumors of a Japanese studio (possibly an internal Konami studio) also working on a Silent Hill game. So maybe we're going to get multiple Silent Hill games. Maybe one will be a new entry in the series, and the other will be a remake of the original? That would be my guess. And maybe Akira Yamaoka will be composing the music for one or both titles?

The Medium is an impressive technical accomplishment, but I wasn't impressed by the actual game.

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