Konami Dev Opens Up About P.T. Axe
April 26, 2015... the day that horror games died. We're obviously exaggerating, but when it comes to Konami's Silent Hill series, it might as well have been the day it died. It's been a decade since we last stepped into that tortured town, and while Silent Hills was once billed as the future of the franchise, it's more dead than a Gum Head monster.
A run of increasingly average Silent Hill games rounded off with Silent Hill: Downpour in 2012, and while the name looked like it was going dormant, the legendary Hideo Kojima was asked to direct the next game in September that year. With The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus taking the lead - and the talents of Guillermo del Toro also on board - Silent Hills could've been something special. So, what went wrong?
Why Was P.T. Axed?
Things get a little complicated, because before Silent Hills came out, it had an ambitious marketing campaign that revealed P.T. (Playable Teaser). Effectively being a demo for the full game, P.T. gave us a glimpse of what Silent Hills could be. Sadly, things went awry, Kojima left Konami to form Kojima Productions, and we ended up with the PlayStation-exclusive Death Stranding that retained Reedus and Del Toro, but was nothing like Silent Hills.
Eight years after P.T. was revealed, one Konami dev has explained (via VGC) what really went down. When Kojima celebrated/commiserated the eight-year anniversary of P.T. arriving on the PlayStation Store, Konami dev staffer Pearl L took to Twitter and said, "Fun fact: since I was the 1P lead at the time at Konami, I helped get this product set up on the storefronts, fake publisher and everything. And I was the one who had to call Sony and ask them to take it down and block redownloads. That was a super fun conversation."
Although Pearl L has now taken her Twitter down, she's shouldering the blame as the one who pulled the plug by phoning Sony and having P.T. pulled from the PS Store. In the replies, she added, "Believe me, I wish it had gone differently too. It was definitely really fun to be plotting this secret cool thing for the fans. It was amazing to see everyone come together to try to figure out the experience and seem them come away with so much love for it! I'm super grateful I got to be a part of that in some small way."
Guillermo Del Toro Reacts To P.T. Anniversary
Even eight years later, it's clear things are pretty raw for some. Del Toro shared Konami's tweet and added a defiant F.K. Back when P.T. was canned, "F.K." became a popular abbreviation meaning "f**k Konami." Given that Del Toro went on to work on Death Stranding under the steam of Kojima Productions, it doesn't sound like he has much allegiance to Konami. Others weren't quite as forgiving though, saying that Kojima branching out on his own effectively backed Konami into a corner and forced the developer to pull the plug on the project.
Elsewhere, Kojima admitted that he thought it would take a lot longer for fans to figure out P.T. was a secret setup for Silent Hills, saying that due to the level design, it was supposed to take two months to complete. In reality, it took only a matter of days to decipher it was a secret Silent Hill outing. Sadly, those various reports of Kojima returning to this world, a Silent Hill 2 remake, and the long-rumoured PS5 continuation of the franchise are yet to pass. For the time being, we're trapped in the world of P.T. like Harry Mason himself.