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Silent Hill and Siren devs on their return to horror



"We were conscious about being independent at the beginning of last year, which is actually before COVID," explains Bokeh Game Studio co-founder Junya Okura. There were "organisational changes" within Sony says Okura - PlayStation's Japan Studio was effectively wound down earlier this year - and this coupled with Toyama approaching Sato and Okura with the idea of going independent practically sealed the deal for the trio. However, Toyama is swift to mention it "wasn't just a sudden move," for the group. The Silent Hill creator was thinking about going independent ever since The Last Guardian director Fumito Ueda departed Sony to establish Gen Design in 2014, so Bokeh Game Studio is a move that's been just over six years in the making for Toyama.

"There are a lot of areas in the prototype that we need to touch up," director Toyama adds, saying that he feels there's a "core experience" in the prototype which he hasn't seen in other games of late. When I asked him about what that core experience actually is, the veteran director only said that you "can't just put it down to describing it as a horror experience," as there are also "action and speedy" elements that the developers want to express through the new game.

Finally, I had to ask one question that's been on the lips of just about half the industry over the last year: what about that Silent Hill revival? "Strictly speaking, I'm not in a position to answer that," says Toyama, when I asked him if he'd heard whispers about a revival of the series he'd helped create. "But from a personal perspective, seeing how in recent years there was P.T., you can see you don't need to necessarily stick to a specific system or style," the creator adds. "As long as the theme of Silent Hill, of how the inner darkness of people were being embodied, continues, I think anything beyond that is free territory to explore."

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