Over the last few months, gamers have theorized that Blue Box Game Studios and its upcoming horror game Abandoned are somehow connected to or directly affiliated with Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima and or Konami, the publisher behind Silent Hill and MGS. And even though the studio has directly addressed these claims and clearly stated that the conspiracy theories have no basis, that hasn’t stopped some from attacking Blue Box Studios. Now it’s gotten to the point that the company felt the need to release a statement asking people to stop sending death threats, warning of police intervention should they continue.
Blue Box posted its statement on Twitter yesterday, explaining that the studio has been receiving threats both online and “physically” for months now, and in recent days they’ve gotten worse.
“We want to work in a safe environment,” Blue Box said in its statement, “and with job openings upcoming in the future, we want to offer a safe work environment for future colleague’s aswell [sic]. We won’t tollerate [sic] this and we will take action by providing authorities IP addresses, logs and camera footages [sic].”
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The statement acknowledges that Blue Box is aware of how frustrated some players may feel, but it doesn’t understand why it is receiving death threats.
“We understand and appreciate your interest for Abandoned, we are working hard on Abandoned. We will start a regular blog on our website that you can follow and we will post any news on Abandoned on our Twitter. But all we ask until then, is just to give us space and to let us work on Abandoned.”
Before June of last year, most folks didn’t know that Abandoned even existed. It was first announced in April, via a little-noticed post on the PlayStation Blog.
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But on June 15 a now-deleted tweet teased folks with this message: “Guess the name: Abandoned = (First letter S, Last letter L). Reveal closing in... #PS5 #Exclusive.” People immediately filled in the blanks to mean “Silent Hill,” and so began a popular conspiracy theory that featured fans digging around for any clues they could find—including a random tweet from Kojima that just so happened to include “silent” and “hill” in it—all in the effort to connect the dots and prove that Blue Box was either Kojima himself or connected to his company or Konami.
On a few occasions, Blue Box seemed to actually lean into the supposed conspiracy in subsequent marketing communications, but valid criticism and death threats are worlds apart. And Blue Box stated multiple times, as far back as April of this year, that this wasn’t the case.
As the studio’s new statement points out, they are human beings. They have families. Questionable marketing decisions or no, any sort of threats are beyond the pale. Blue Box is ultimately a small team of human beings trying to make something. No one’s obligated to like them, their game, or how they announce it, but if we could drop the death threats, that’d be swell.