Through Silent Hills on Allison Road – Indie vs AAA (1)

The argument between the two forms of game development has been going on for quite some time. While it is true that there are pros and cons to both small house indie development teams and big name AAA companies, there has been a noticeable trend of the games they have been producing. Though it is quite often that the big name developers have stomped the indie game competition, the opposite has also been very true. Then there are times when both types of game developers have dropped the ball for one reason or another.

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A very infamous example of when both types of developers failed to produce a single promised product was the game demo simply known as P.T. (or Playable Teaser). Konami was in the works for the new project of the franchise Silent Hill, titled Silent Hills. The hype train was so huge for this game that many were already calling it the ultimate in survival horror without even knowing the actual core game mechanics. However, the P.T. was so innovative and so amazingly detailed in its tone, atmosphere, storytelling and graphics that no one could possibly blame them. It was a horror experience that did not rely on jump scares to creep a player out. Both Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro were matched up to produce this game themselves, and what they were planning was seemingly made of pure awesome sauce.

However, as many of you know, what the fans got was a big goose egg. Without warning or explanation, Silent Hills was cancelled and the fans were not happy in the least. Another party that was not happy about this was their shareholders, as Konami’s stocks plummeted as a result. Soon after, Hideo Kojima was fired from Konami… more or less sealing themselves to a fate of their own making. While they did survive the backlash from that decision, it was not a fun day for anyone.

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But alas! A ray of hope came about gamers in the form of a group called Team17 and their upcoming project, Allison Road. Gamers were treated to a brand new spectacle of survival horror very similar to P.T., in fact so similar to P.T. it was very quickly called the spiritual successor to the non-game Silent Hills. For an indie game, the preview looked amazing, creepy, and surprisingly well detailed. Beyond anything, Allison Road gave Silent Hill fans some solace from the heartbreak of Konami’s screw-up. After scaring the pants off of onlookers and showing us that we may still get a swell consolation prize, once again, fans were completely shot down by disappointment. Team17 cancelled production of Allison Road. Once again, fans’ faces hit the dirt with an audible THWACK.

Now there is something of a happy ending to that tale, as the project Allison Road was picked back up soon after its cancellation by another group called Far From Home. However, with very little to no updates on the production’s progress as of January 2018, it is clear that we will not be seeing Allison Road anytime soon.

The good news, though, is that after two complete failures by both an AAA Gaming Company and Indie Game group, a third and successful attempt was already in the works. The P.T. style of survival horror was noticed by yet another AAA Gaming company. Capcom took notice of P.T.’s success, and since Konami pulled the plug on their game, they decided to pick up the slack and produce one of the best games of 2017, Resident Evil 7.

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So, in the end, yes, it was an AAA Gaming company that saved fans from a completely dismal experience, but what a bumpy ride! You would think that such a focused concept would have been handled a little better, especially with such an enormous fan feedback. It got to the point where people started to suspect the whole concept was cursed; doomed to failure before its own inception. While the whole story is still fraught with unanswered questions, in the end, we got a game of the year out of the deal and the Resident Evil series has had a soft reboot to a seemingly much brighter style of gameplay. Let’s hope they can keep the ball rolling.

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