Yesterday, Hideo Kojima went on his Spotify podcast to talk about the controversy surrounding Blue Box Game Studios. He said that fans were still harassing him over the unfounded rumors that he was working on a new Silent Hill game, and that he had no involvement with the studio. Today, the developers thanked Kojima for publicly dismissing the rumors, probably because they too have received their share of death threats from angry fans. It turns out, not all publicity is good publicity.
It all started last year when Blue Box Game Studios tweeted a teaser of their current game project Abandoned, a horror game for the PlayStation 5. It was so cryptic it led many fans to believe that they were working on the next Silent Hill game. The Kojima connection came later, when fans realized that he shared the same initials as the game director, Hasan Kahraman. This coincidence, combined with a Kojima tweet that included the words “silent” and “hill,” led some to conclude that the two directors were one and the same. It didn’t help that Kojima had previously invented a fake studio in order to prank the Metal Gear Solid community. The public anticipation for this rumor grew so out of control that Kahraman had to show his face to prove that he wasn’t Kojima. Still, that didn’t prevent people from sending death threats to Blue Box Game Studios. Kotaku reached out to ask if the studio was still fielding death threats, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
Although Kojima wasn’t responsible for what happened, he’s still incurring some blowback from the incident. “Users just kept sending me pictures of this Hasan. They still send me collages and deep fake images. Like 20 a day. It’s really quite a nuisance,” he told Geoff Keighley on the Brain Structure podcast. “This has been going on for almost two years [sic] now.”
As frustrating as it may have been for him, Kojima didn’t seem upset at Kahraman for what had happened. “Now that there’s a buzz and things have gone viral, you should take advantage of it. If you create something good and share it with everyone,” he said. “Fake news is a bad thing. But now that we’ve both gained attention from all of this, let’s boost morale and create something good.”
Today, Blue Box Game Studios thanked Kojima for speaking up about the controversy. They also reassured fans that the game was still in development.
The last time we heard about Abandoned, it seemed there was a pretty good chance that the game had been… abandoned. But as long as the game is stuck in publicity limbo, Kojima will likely continue to get weird emails about a guy he’s never met. So for both of their sakes, I hope that Abandoned is coming to the PlayStation soon.