Silent Hill Artist Claims Konami Disbanded Team Silent

Silent Hill Artist Claims Konami Disbanded Team Silent

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An artist that worked on Silent Hill says that Konami disbanded Team Silent to bring the series in a new direction.

After Konami released Silent Hill 4: The Room, the group known as Team Silent that had worked on every Silent Hill game dissolved. This was somewhat of a mystery, with rumors both saying that the team was disbanded by Konami and that its members had left on their own to work on new projects. Recently uncovered comments by an artist that worked on Silent Hill appear to confirm that Konami took an axe to Team Silent, wanting something new from the series.

Game industry veteran Kenzie LaMar, who worked as an artist on Silent Hill: Homecoming, writes in the comments of his deviantArt page that Konami is to blame for the change in direction of the Silent Hill series. The comments are from 2010, but apparently remained undiscovered until now.

"Just remember and never forget that if you don't like the direction of where Silent Hill went the only people you can blame are Konami themselves," he wrote. "They are the ones who canned team Silent and wanted someone else to make the games."

Due to declining faith in Team Silent, LaMar says that Konami wanted a change for Silent Hill, so it disbanded the group and handed the franchise off to another development team. This resulted in the creation of Silent Hill: Origins by Climax Studios, followed by Silent Hill: Homecoming from Double Helix Games. Climax later returned to the series to develop Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.

LaMar continues: "To further prove what I am saying, they made an arcade style Silent Hill shoot'em'up gun game!! How Silent Hill is that?!"

Whether or not LaMar was actually privy to the decisions of Konami isn't confirmed, but he certainly delivers this information with a forceful tone. If Konami did disband Team Silent, I wonder if that was really the best choice to make, rather than allowing a seasoned survival horror team to continue perfecting its craft. The latest entry in the Silent Hill franchise, Silent Hill: Downpour, is at least looking pretty good.

Source: HellDescent, via Destructoid

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And look how well that turned out...

Seriously, this is the biggest case of foot-bulletism I've seen if correct.

Go fuck yourself Konami!!! That is all!!

Don't kid yourself, Downpour (again, cut out "Silent Hill") is going to suffer. It may be a decent horror game on its own, but attached to the Silent Hill series, it will pale in comparison.

And I'll tell you why Konami axed the Silent Hill Team, its the same reason Square Enix abandoned Front Mission to Double Helix.

It's cheap as hell to do.

Wouldn't it have been a better idea to bring in some new people to the original team, retaining the classic element while adding some fresh and new perspectives?

Silent Hill certainly went into a new direction alright. Straight to Hell!

And not the Hell we all know and love.

By new direction they must mean the same as before, but worse.

Team Silent was disbanded?? Why did we never hear about this?!

Tim Latshaw:
Team Silent was disbanded?? Why did we never hear about this?!

Because, if Konami said that, people would go nuts.

Well, the reply to his comment seemed to imply that he'd been "asked to leave" Double Helix, so it could be a case of "disgruntled employee talks shit about former employer" too.

Why call it silent hill if you remove the whole team that made silent hill to begin with?

And as we all know, that's just about the worst thing they could have done. Whilst I agree that Team Silent couldn't go on with the same formula as the first three games -- they're considered the best, but you don't want another five exactly the same, do you? -- axing the entire team was completely unnecessary. Why not tell them they wanted them to mix things up a bit? Or hire some newbies for fresh opinions? Jeez: on the one hand, Silent Hill as a franchise suffered, but on the other hand, I'm kind of glad that Konami shot themselves in the foot. Only serves them right.

SHAME ON YOU, KONAMI. SHAAAAME.

Unfortunately, this is the way business goes. Nothing lasts forever and after the lukewarm reception of The Room, I can understand why Konami wanted to go in a different direction with a fresh perspective. That being said, WTF Konami? Sure The Room was a sub-par Silent Hill game, but it was still a decent game in it's own right. Origins and Homecoming were just kinda embarrassing in comparison. Team Silent wanted to try something new with The Room. Sure it tanked, but at least it was something different instead of just rehashing elements from Silent Hill's glory days (Silent Hill 2 that is).

Whatever, the franchise isn't dead yet, I still hold out hope that we will get a good Silent Hill game in the future. Downpour looks interesting, and although it's changing some of the core elements of the series, it might still be a great game if properly executed. If I wanted to run around a foggy town facing twisted interpretation of the protagonists personal demons, I'd play Silent Hill 2. It would be nice to see a game that stands on it's own merit while being part of a universe that I have come to adore.

Konami's had a completely trash record this generation. I'm honestly not surprised at all given the choices they made. I mean, look at 6 Days in Fallujah.

I thought Shattered Memories was pretty good. (certainly not as good as it could've been)
But, yeah, Silent Hill certainly hasn't been itself lately.

I think, after the third, I was getting a little bored of the formula that Team Silent was using. I am forced to wonder if this is just somebody raging, because he didn't really seem to present any reasons why Team Silent should've been retained, other than they came up with the idea originally. If they pitched Konami a SH5 that was just more of the same, and then Konami canned them because they didn't like the pitch, then it's their own damn fault.

Remember, we don't know necessarily that a Team Silent post-SH4 would've been better than what we got (not that that would've been that hard). It's efforts could've been bad, too. We'll never know. Personally, I welcomed the change, but as I said above, I got pretty bored during SH3, given that I felt like I was essentially replaying the same story from a different angle, and the Room, while somewhat refreshing, felt very choppy and unpolished.

Regardless, it's all in the past. Here's hoping that the new one will recapture what made SH2 so great. With the fog-monster mentioned above, sounds like they may be on the right track.

R.I.P. Team Silent.

Oh, the bear guy! I was pretty excited when I found him on DA. I don't know if what he's saying is true, but I'm no friend to Konami's recent decisions, let alone their treatment of Team Silent from the beginning. They almost didn't take Silent Hill 1 to the end of development, because they were scared of taking a risk!

They gave a fair deadline for SH2, but then gave them an aggressively short time to finish the third game (repeating textures, same location as SH2 when Heather finally gets there, etc.) and even though they STILL knocked it outta the park, enough of the members of the original Team Silent had had enough and moved on.

I want to be on the team for the next Silent Hill game. I want to be in the same room as people who make these decisions, people who actually know what they're doing and RESPECT and revere Team Silent, but still having their own creative ideas.

Oops. Silent Hill Downpour looks promising indeed, but yeah, those previous games...not so much. I wonder if Konami is banging its head against the wall yet.

JamesBr:
Unfortunately, this is the way business goes. Nothing lasts forever and after the lukewarm reception of The Room, I can understand why Konami wanted to go in a different direction with a fresh perspective.

Silent Hill: The Room wasn't meant to be a SH game to begin with. It was Konami's decision to shoehorn Sh's brand on top of it more than halfway through the project.

And when it turned out bad, they blamed it on the team instead of themselves. That's how bad business goes.

JamesBr:
Whatever, the franchise isn't dead yet, I still hold out hope that we will get a good Silent Hill game in the future.

Oh, yes it is.

The creative team behind its inspired edge is gone. Silent Hill have become just a empty brand now.

Konami dissolved the Silent Hill team so that they could take the series in a new direction, and then made Origins,which just copy/pasted everything from previous games. Something tells me they don't understand what "something new from the series" means.

I, uh. I actually liked Shattered Memories. At least far more than Homecoming, which induced a ragequit of hitherto unknown proportions. Shattered Memories wasn't scary, but it was easily the most mature and thought-provoking title in the series since Silent Hill 2. I initially HATED the ending and loudly proclaimed by disappointment in it when I'd finished, but promptly spent the next three days dissecting the entire experience, every line of dialogue and every bit of symbolism in my head. It was pretty well planned, and I think any game that gets a reaction like that out of me is one I enjoyed.

Fingers crossed for Downpour, but hell, I'm sure I'll be buying it anyway. Like my relationship with Stephen King's books, no matter what happens, for Silent Hill I keep crawling back for more, because maybe, MAYBE, it'll be better this time.

Kenzie LaMar:

"Just remember and never forget that if you don't like the direction of where Silent Hill went the only people you can blame are Konami themselves," he wrote. "They are the ones who canned team Silent and wanted someone else to make the games."

LaMar continues: "To further prove what I am saying, they made an arcade style Silent Hill shoot'em'up gun game!! How Silent Hill is that?!"

No, Kenzie, what we didn't like about the newer Silent Hills were that they played like crap, the plots were cliched and uninspired, and you didn't listen to the fans.

Don't pass the buck because you guys failed at your job.

If this is true... and it most probably is...

then damn you Konami. Waaaaaaaaaaaaay to shoot yourself in the goddamn foot, and considering how Yamaoka left, Team Silent is pretty much dead. Thanks a lot for canning that team, Konami, and butchering a horror franchise many gamers had loved to death. Thanks very much.

I hope Silent Hill Downpour will be good, because if it isnt, my friend that is a Silent Hill fanboy wont shut up about it.

Tom Goldman:
LaMar continues: "To further prove what I am saying, they made an arcade style Silent Hill shoot'em'up gun game!! How Silent Hill is that?!"

I'm not gonna lie, I kinda liked that game even though it has to be the most retarded use of the Silent Hill brand ever. It reminded me of House of the Dead.

I honestly wouldn't mind so much that they got disbanded (still a great loss of course; many brilliant and creative people fell victim to the ineptitude of management), if there hadn't been four more bloody Silent Hill games, of which only one was slightly interesting. Look, disbandening a developer team so that a series can end while it was still good is not really all that tragic. Axing the devs, so that the very same series can be milked dry, then milked some more only to save a few pennies is the sort of arrogant idiocy that makes me hate business people (Aside from them all being retarded and making more money than me, of course).

Konami seems to be TRYING to destroy all their credibility and gaming success. Except for Inafune, they're the POSTER BOY for a Japanese company who seems to hate their own Japanese teams and panders to the West all they can. They only keep Kojima around because of MGS and Iga has been cynically given the shaft.

People seem to really get upset over Silent Hill. Especially over the newer Silent Hills. I fear for my life if people learn that I liked the newer Silent hills... OH SH!T THERE AT MY DOOR! AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaahhhhh~

As a massive Silent Hill fan, I have to say...

Bad for you, Kenzie. Talking shit about your former employee while giving not a single fucking piece of evidence isn't gonna convince me that Konami is stupid. What's annoying, though, is the fact that so many people here just swallow this bit of info and start all this hating on Konami. Seriously, guys, you're not questioning a single thing and want to tell me you can distinguish a good story from a bad one?

PS: Whoever you are who is going to quote me: You're an exception, of course.

yeah taking the franchise in a new direction right down the toilet!

Ericb:

Oh, yes it is.

The creative team behind its inspired edge is gone. Silent Hill have become just a empty brand now.

Considering a dev team is a large group of people, I find it unlikely that the only people who can make a good Silent Hill game is Team Silent. Not to say they've done a good job so far, they haven't, but it's still possible. Just saying. Hell, the first game is an awkward, obtuse mess. The third wasn't that great either (although the fog effects were awesome). Actually, Silent Hill 2 is really the only truly great game in the series. It perfect the plot and the environments that we all love. And it was a sequel. Maybe I'm just an optimist.

Well, considering how awful The Room was, I think I'd understand the decition of disbanding them but I also think that it was way too hasty and stupid, because I still consider the first 3 Silent Hills as the very best on the series, especially 2.

Shame on you Konami.

I, obviously, am very angry at konami.

Angry and disappointed.

And tired.

And hungry....

My understanding on that Silent Hill arcade game, which was released only in Japan, was that it used environments from Silent Hill 2 and 3. From what I understood, it is old enough to have been made by Team Silent, and it had been hinted it was made partly with their support. So I don't know if it's fair to be mad about that thing.

In any case, the thing about horror is you get used to it. No matter how hard Team Silent tried, they would eventually have failed us (The Room and the political wrangling that messed that game up are a hint at that). Change is good. For my part, I think Origins was one of the scariest of the franchise, and fit in quite well, though I have felt disappointments with Homecoming, like most. Shattered Memories was a good re-imagining and a heavy, emotional game, it's just that the game play sucked.

As to the inevitable fanboi reaction which will claim that only the Japanese, thus, only Team Silent, can imagine the types of psychological horrors that came from those first games, let me say that not only is racist, it's patently wrong. Silent Hill is about as Western as a Japanese game can get, from the influences of, and references to American and British authors and artists in the names of streets in the town, to the Freudian and Jungist concepts in the creatures and other horrors, to the Industrial Rock sound of the music, to the unspoken fact that the whole thing is about as Lovecraftian as a game can get without featuring Cthulhu himself.

I love Silent Hill, and I loved Team Silent, but that they never admitted the Lovecraft influence (cults, tentacled things, crossing inter-dimensional barriers, dream-influenced dimensia, dream horrors come to life, etc. - all American, British, and German concepts, by the way) has always been a crime. The closest they came was naming streets after people who carried on from/corresponded with Lovecraft. But he's there, nonetheless, whether they, themselves know it.

What I'm saying is that Western creators (American, Czech, whatever), are fully capable of imagining the same sorts of things. They just need to find the right team for it.

 

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