Perhaps no game in recent memory burned as brightly for so short a time as Silent Hills. The collaborative effort between Guillermo del Toro and Hideo Kojima took the video game world by storm when it was announced just over a year ago, with a demo that shattered expectations and a buzz that had the survival horror crowd shaking with anticipation. Fans of the genre rejoiced, game journalists prepared themselves for a future review week full of wondrous nightmares, and the industry held its breath, waiting for more news about the all-star team behind Silent Hills.
Alas, it wasn’t to be. Kojima and Konami had a dramatic falling out, and Silent Hills was one of the games that ended up a casualty of the bad blood between the two parties. Somehow, though, the game, much like Kojima and del Toro’s malevolent spirit from the trailer, was unwilling to pass on peacefully. Fans still take time to discuss what could have been even a year later, and now, more news has leaked that reaffirms the popular opinion that Silent Hills could have been something truly special.
Today on Twitter, del Toro decided that supporters of Silent Hills hadn’t quite suffered enough, and revealed that Junji Ito was a collaborator on the development team. Ito is primarily known as the creator of the Uzumaki, Gyo, and Tomie mangas, which are all critically-acclaimed Japanese horror classics. Ito is also renowned for being an intensely creative mind, having designed terrifying yet subtle images within his works.
It’s tantalizing just to imagine what the combined genius of Kojima, del Toro, and Ito could have cooked up in the context of a horror game, but unfortunately the gaming world is unlikely to ever see the fruits of that particular collaborative labor. del Toro recently swore off making games altogether, and it’s tough to blame him after the debacle that characterized Silent Hills. It seems that fans will simply have to imagine how the game would have been.
Of course, there are some dedicated fans that have done more than imagining. One talented gamer created a replica of Silent Hills, and there’s an entire team of developers looking to create a spiritual successor to the Silent Hills demo called Allison Road. Although it’s still immensely disappointing that the dream team behind Silent Hills was ultimately unable to develop their pet project, fans can take solace in the fact that there are others doing their best to pick up where they left off.
Are you familiar with Junji Ito’s iconic horror manga stories? Are there any other horror game dream collaborations you’d want to see take a run at developing their own game in lieu of Silent Hills? Let us know in the comments below.