Is 'Abandoned' A New Hideo Kojima Silent Hills Game In Disguise?
The spiritual successor to Silent Hill and P.T. perhaps? Or just smoke and mirrors? Let's hop down this rabbit hole, shall we?
Is Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima up to something?
There’s a very long, detailed reddit thread with lots of links pointing to what may or may not be clues about a mysterious upcoming game called Abandoned from a little-known game developer called Blue Box Studios that may or may not be a secret Hideo Kojima project in disguise. If this feels like de ja vu all over again, you may be having flashbacks to 2012.
This isn’t the first time Kojima has played this game—toying with our emotions while teasing a secretive new project. Kojima is known for his theatrics, and it’s entirely possible that he’s up to old tricks.
Then again, maybe not.
Moby Dick Studios
Before Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was revealed, we were given a trailer for a game simply titled The Phantom Pain which was apparently being made by Moby Dick Studios, a company nobody had ever heard of until that moment. The original teaser trailer, posted to the account of fictional Moby Dick Studios boss Joakim Mogren, included a final title card with the words The Phantom Pain. Curiously, gamers noticed strange lines cutting across the the lettering. Tracing these lines revealed hidden words spelling out Metal Gear Solid V.
The pretense continued for months. Mogren appeared on video, his face wrapped in bandages. Speculation and hype were positively effervescent and the marketing campaign was, by all accounts, a runaway success. E
At GDC 2013, Hideo Kojima appeared at a presentation ostensibly for a Fox Engine demo (though nobody believed this) wearing the same bandages we’d seen in Mogren wearing.. I was there, actually, when he unwrapped his head and revealed himself to the world before showing off the first official Metal Gear Solid trailer.
P.T. and Silent Hills
It’s no wonder people are latching onto the Abandoned trailer and the rest of the clues and breadcrumbs, hoping that we’re about to see a new Kojima title. Kojima, along with film director Guillermo del Toro, was working on Silent Hills—a sequel to the classic Silent Hill games of a bygone era—before Konami cut ties over creative differences, bringing an end to Kojima Studios work on Metal Gear and cancelling Silent Hills. All we got was the excellent, very frightening P.T. demo before the project was . . .
. . . abandoned.
Death Stranding came out not long after, but the only thread that tied it to the Silent Hills project was its star, Norman Reedus. P.T. is gone now, no longer available to download from Sony’s digital shop, though the nightmares remain. Konami and Kojima have parted ways. Silent Hills remains silent.
Could Blue Box Studios be another fake game developer and Abandoned be another fake game or, rather, another real game masquerading as something else? I’m not convinced, though the deeper I delve into these rabbit holes, the more I want to believe. I’m a Mulder deep down.
Blue Box Studios has been teasing various links to Silent Hill on Twitter, and hinting at some hidden meaning in the word Blue.
Another red flag is the teasing itself which comes off rather strong—less like the theatrical teasers of a man who relishes his notoriety, and more like a lesser-known dev who has struck upon a clever marketing scheme and a bit of viral attention. The lady doth protest too much and what have you. Promises of access to the game’s Alpha for anyone who guesses what B.L.U.E. stand for have been made. It all feels like someone is trying too hard.
Then again, Kojima himself has been tweeting out Silent Hills references:
Still, it is curious that Kojima tweets this (which has the Silent Wife and Joe Hill’s in the text) and Blue Box Studios appears to have various connections to Kojima, Death Stranding and PT. The head of BBS is apparently Hasan Kahraman—same initials as Hideo Kojima. Kahraman translates to “hero” in English. What else translates to “hero”? Hideo. And it seems that Blue Box Studios has some kind of tie to Sony. It’s entirely possible Sony purchased the rights to Silent Hills from Konami, or struck some kind of deal. The composer on Silent Hill teased a summer announcement in an interview that was later taken down.
The trailer itself has a moment at the 49 second mark where the letters “P” and “T” are covered by trees but—and I want to emphasize that this is a Very Big But—the trailer is . . . not great. Not great at all.
That voice-over in this trailer is jarring in a bad way. The trees are spooky enough, I suppose, but that last bit with the gun throws me off. The graphics are bad, especially the hand. None of this screams Kojima to me. Kojima is obsessed with graphics. A teaser trailer from Kojima would be tantalizing in ways this one is not. Even the video’s description on the PlayStation YouTube page reads a bit amateurish:
“Abandoned is an cinematic horror survival shooter that emulates realistic survival in first person perspective set in an massive detailed open world environment.”
“an cinematic” is a pretty blatant typo. Again, I feel like Kojima is too meticulous for this and, more importantly, too concerned with quality to release a trailer that’s this cringe.
So yeah, the red flags start to pile up. Then again, it could also be a trick. The trailer itself could be a head-fake. Who knows what dimension Kojima plays his chess in—three? Four?? 1238???
Abandoned is slated for a Q4 2021 release. In the meantime, I should probably go play some Metal Gear Solid games. It’s been a while. And there’s always those damn cargo crates to deliver in Death Stranding (which is getting a bizarre director’s cut despite Kojima having total creative control).
I have to admit, Death Stranding didn’t really click for me. It was certainly like nothing else I’ve ever played, but I found it frustrating and tedious and I keep meaning to give it another chance now that it’s been out for a while, but I’m not sure I have it in me. Not even Norman Reedus and Monster Energy drinks could reel me in the first time and I think I gave up when my truck filled with precious cargo got stuck between a rock and a hard place. Literally.
So what do you make of all this? Is there more to Abandoned than meets the eye? Could Kojima be the merry trickster behind Blue Box Studios? Or is this just a red herring? Oh, and should I give Death Stranding another chance? And what’s your favorite Metal Gear game?
Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading and subscribing to fantastical! If you don’t already, be sure to check out my other newsletter—diabolical—as well. Thanks for reading!