When Konami announced a remake of Silent Hill 2, I didn’t think it could get any better, but there was still 45 minutes left on the clock. The publisher then gave a detailed explanation of how it would expand the series, revealing new games and a movie.
After two decades of waiting, Konami’s extensive roadmap for Silent Hill is a big swing. There’s the mysterious Silent Hill Townfall, a strange game made by the developer of Stories Untold No Code, and a tease of a Japanese horror game called Silent Hill F. But why do publishers feel the need to chart the future of their great series publicly? ?
Well, the MCU is to blame.
When I stopped to think about it, this kind of large-scale script ad wasn’t the first I’ve seen recently. Before Konami broke its silence, Ubisoft and CD Projekt made similar announcements for Assassin’s Creed, The Witcher, and Cyberpunk 2077. Ubisoft revealed Assassin’s Creed Mirage, along with new details about Assassin’s Creed Infinity, and teased games with simple codenames, Red , Jade, and Hex. We don’t know much about the games, just that we’ll have Assassin’s Creed content for a long, long time.
It’s one thing to have a good idea of where your franchise is going, but it’s another to have publicly planned step-by-step where it’s going and what it’s going to do in the future. All this micromanagement and corporate marketing is something we’ve seen before, but not in games: in movies.
The games are taking a page out of Marvel comics as they chart their own version of the cinematic universe.
Game publishers and developers are likely following Marvel’s (and Disney’s) lead for similar reasons. It encourages investment from both fans and shareholders.
By introducing a decade of games in the same series, you are telling fans that time spent on a game is not wasted, and the lore and world will continue to expand. We won’t go into whether time spent on a game is more valuable if it’s part of a series in development, there are too many examples of excellent standalone and unique games to make this argument too watery. But there are active communities around series like The Elder Scrolls and Mass Effect, precisely because they want to see the world grow with new games and stories.
To shareholders, the publisher is saying, “Look, this hit series that our fans enjoy, we’re returning to it over the next decade. We are planning to turn a hit into a hit series. If you invest your money in us, it will grow.”
However, the MCU has affected what and how much fans expect from their favorite series. Many seek reassurance from game developers and publishers that the series will not end, characters will return, and stories will have sequels, prequels, and spinoffs.
This guarantee may be necessary for certain games to keep fans (and shareholders) on board. For example, it was important for CD Projekt Red to make clear their plans to fix Cyberpunk and continue the series, to show that the game was worth buying even after the bad reviews. While Silent Hill fans haven’t heard anything in such a long time, it was crucial for Konami to reassure them that this time around Silent Hill is here to stay.