Five years ago on August 12, 2014, at Gamescom, Konami released a demo for a mysterious horror game called PT on the PlayStation Store, which it claimed was being developed by a studio called 7780s Studio. 7780s Studio didn't actually exist, and it turned out that PT stood for "Playable Teaser" - and that the teaser was for Silent Hills, an exciting collaboration between Hideo Kojima, Guillermo del Toro, and Norman Reedus. Despite PT's popularity, Konami canceled Silent Hills, canned Hideo Kojima, and even went so far as to pull PT from the PlayStation Store, making it inaccessible to anyone who didn't download it before.
Despite PT being a demo that was only available for a short time, it had a huge impact on the industry, especially the horror genre. It inspired other studios to release their own cryptic demos, like we saw with the Resident Evil 7 Beginning Hour demo, and its first-person horror gameplay was mimicked by a number of copycats. No other video game demo has had quite the impact as PT, with the five following horror games directly inspired by it in one way or another.
5 Allison Road
Shortly after Silent Hills was canceled and PT was removed from the PlayStation Store, indie developer Lilith Ltd. quickly stepped up to offer fans of the game a similar experience. And like Silent Hills, Allison Road has had a tumultuous development cycle to say the least. The game was originally seeking funding on Kickstarter, but when it looked like it was going to fall short of its goal, publishing rights were picked up by Team17. Allison Road was then canceled, but a few months later, it was announced that development on the project had resumed. Unfortunately, we haven't had much in the way of concrete updates on Allison Road since 2016, and it's quite possible that it will never see the light of day. Allison Road showed a great deal of promise and looked to be just as scary as PT, so hopefully the project eventually comes together.
4 The Park
The Park is a first-person psychological horror game that is actually a spinoff of the MMO The Secret World. Clearly inspired by PT's brand of first-person horror, The Park features a widowed mother named Lorraine as she searches for her missing son in a creepy theme park. Like PT, The Park doesn't have any combat to speak of, with players instead just walking around the game world and interacting with various objects. The lack of a HUD, another idea lifted from PT, allows for full immersion as players explore the park, which makes the game even scarier than it would be otherwise.
3 Layers of Fear
Layers of Fear is a first-person horror game that may not have existed if it wasn't for PT. Due to PT's popularity, the Layers of Fear developers at Bloober Team realized that there was a market for horror games that weren't strictly survival-horror titles. The developers also took inspiration from PT's use of "impossible space." While it's still disappointing that Silent Hills was canceled and PT was pulled from the PlayStation Store, one positive is that the game helped create the Layers of Fear franchise, which now has two games in total, and also allowed Bloober Team to make the well-received cyberpunk horror game Observer. Bloober Team is also the studio behind the Blair Witch video game, which itself looks to be taking more than a few pages out of the PT playbook.
Like Allison Road, Visage is a horror game that is looking to fill the gap left by PT, with the developers seeking funding for the project on Kickstarter. However, the difference is that Visage was actually successful in its fundraising efforts, and to that end, the game is available right now through early access. The developers of Visage continue to release updates for the game on a regular basis, and the reviews on Steam are mostly positive, with mainly praising it for its genuine scares and tense atmosphere. When it leaves early access, Visage should be one of the most complete PT-inspired gaming experiences on the market, and could very well be one of the best horror games of the year.
1 Resident Evil 7
Resident Evil 7 producer Masachika Kawata has said that the game was always going to have a first-person viewpoint, even before anyone on the team played PT. However, he also admitted that he "really loved" PT, and it's easy to see how Kojima's project could have influenced RE7's development. Besides the fact that both games are first-person exploratory games with an intense focus on pure horror, the aforementioned Resident Evil 7 Beginning Hour demo was highly reminiscent of PT, filled with cryptic puzzles and secrets.
PT was available on PS4 before it was pulled by Konami.