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Why 'Silent Hills' Creator Hideo Kojima is Trending

Newsweek logo Newsweek 6/18/2021 Harrison Abbott
Hideo Kojima wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Hideo Kojima speaks on stage to present his new video game "Death Stranding", during the Tokyo Game Show in September 2019. © CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/Getty Images Hideo Kojima speaks on stage to present his new video game "Death Stranding", during the Tokyo Game Show in September 2019.

Silent Hills creator Hideo Kojima has been trending recently, with gamers speculating that he might be resurrecting his cancelled horror project under a new name. The theory is quite complex and involves a number of far-fetched deductions, but it is nevertheless a fascinating story to explore.

What Is Silent Hills?

Several years ago, it was announced that Hideo Kojima was collaborating with film director Guillermo Del Toro on a new instalment in Konami's legendary horror franchise, Silent Hill. Even back then in 2014, the game was veiled in secrecy, with very little tangible information available to fans.

All we really had to go on was a terrifying proof-of-concept demo, entitled P.T. (short for Playable Teaser), that was suddenly uploaded to the PlayStation store one day in August 2014. At first, there was no indication whatsoever that this was a Silent Hill game in disguise, and it did not even bear Kojima's name anywhere in the marketing. It was only upon completing the harrowing experience that players learnt it was a preview for the then-in-development Silent Hills and that Kojima was the mastermind behind it all.

The hype surrounding P.T. was unprecedented for a horror title, which made it sting even more when publisher Konami unceremoniously pulled the plug on Silent Hills in 2015. For the next few days, gamers optimistically theorized that the cancellation might have been another one of Kojima's elaborate publicity stunts, much like the initial P.T. demo, but it soon became apparent that this wasn't the case.

The developer eventually parted ways with Konami in what was very clearly not an amicable split, and he was forced to rush out his last project for them, resulting in the compromised Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Kojima himself then moved onto other things, including his divisive and highly experimental Death Stranding.

While it has been over 6 years since Silent Hills was officially cancelled, many fans have been unwilling to accept that it is truly gone. Every so often, a new rumor begins circulating online that the game might be making a comeback in some form or another and they always turn out to be unsubstantiated. Most recently the supposedly resurrected title was predicted to appear at this year's E3 conference, but that never happened either.

Yet this time might be a little different, with even reputable journalists, like Bloomberg's Jason Schrier, getting involved in the online conjecture.

Why Is Hideo Kojima Trending?

It's a very long and complicated story, and one that involves a lot of intricate deductions, but essentially gamers are speculating that a developer named Hasan Kahraman might actually be an alias for Hideo Kojima.

Kahraman is credited as the director of Blue Box Game Studios, which is working on an upcoming horror game that is codenamed Abandoned. Much like the original P.T., there is little concrete information about Abandoned at the moment, other than that it is a PS5 exclusive and that it will make use of the DualSense controller's haptic feedback capabilities. Besides that, the title is very much shrouded in mystery, leaving a void for gamers to fill with rampant speculation.

Rumors that Abandoned is actually Silent Hills (or at least its spiritual successor) began earlier this week, when Blue Box Game Studios' official Twitter account asked followers to guess the game's real title. Posting on Tuesday, they wrote: "Guess the name: Abandoned = (First letter S, Last letter L)".

The natural conclusion that many began to draw was that Silent Hills fits that description perfectly and the evidence only piled up further from there.

For example, Reddit sleuth nana_blair has said that there are no saved trademarks for Blue Box Game Studios and that the company's LinkedIn profile comprises only stock photos. Many have inferred from this that the developer is not even real, and that it is basically just a cover for Kojima productions.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg gaming correspondent Jason Schrier has pointed out that industry presenter Geoff Keighley (who is famously good friends with Hideo Kojima) is following the relatively unknown studio on Twitter.

Not only that, but Keighley himself has said in a video post that Hasan Kahraman asked him to reveal more information about the game in the coming weeks. This is something that Keighley has done for Kojima on numerous occasions, including at this year's Summer Games Fest, when he helped announce a Death Stranding director's cut.

Other scraps of evidence that fans are obsessing over include a recent cryptic tweet from Kojima that featured the words "silent" and "hill," the fact that, when translated from the original Turkish to Japanese, "Hasan Kahraman" and "Hideo Kojima" have the same initials, and Blue Box's own announcement that Abandoned would feature "snowflakes of blood". The latter is a very specific term that was used frequently throughout the P.T. demo.

There are countless other examples of people interpreting strange clues about Abandoned's real identity and some of them are quite tenuous. On the other hand, Kojima does have a track record for teasing his projects in these unusual ways and he has even created fake companies in the past to mislead people. Most notably, the non-existent 7780s Studio was originally credited as the developer of P.T.

Blue Box Game Studios has denied that Abandoned is in any way related to Hideo Kojima or Silent Hills. However, as per the "Streisand effect," an attempt to convince people otherwise has just resulted in fans leaning even further into the theory, with many seeing it as a cover-up.

Blue Box has promised to unveil more information about Abandoned later today, at which point we might finally know for sure. If nothing else, the whole thing has been an entertaining detective saga on the internet.

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