Gaming

People are losing their minds over the 'Silent Hill,' Blue Box conspiracy

Famed creator, Hideo Kojima, a game called 'Abandoned,' and online harassment are all wrapped up in the Blue Box Conspiracy.

What if a game isn’t a game, it’s actually a piece of covert marketing created to stoke interest in another, more real game — say, for example, a brand new installment of the famous survival horror series, Silent Hill?

Let us explain...

The Blue Box Conspiracy

The aforementioned hypothetical isn’t just a thought exercise, it’s a real, ongoing conspiracy being espoused by super fans of Metal Gear mastermind, Hideo Kojima, many of whom are convinced that an upcoming PlayStation 5 title called, Abandoned, is actually a front for the famed game director’s next project.

What’s ‘Abandoned’?

In the Blue Box conspiracy, everything revolves around a game called Abandoned — a survival horror title from Dutch indie developers, Blue Box Game Studios. Abandoned was initially announced by Sony (via a fairly bizarre trailer) in April of this year and is being billed as, ‘[a] cinematic horror survival shooter that emulates realistic survival in first-person perspective set in a massive detailed open world environment...

Or at least that’s what Hideo Kojima wants you to think according to an emerging group of Redditors.

The teaser for Abandoned released in April.

Recently, a subreddit with thousands of followers has begun connecting the dots between Abandoned, its apparent developers, Blue Box Game Studios, and Hideo Kojima in a conspiracy that alleges that Blue Box is actually a front for marketing misdirection orchestrated by Kojima himself.

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According to Blue Box theorists, Abandoned is actually a publicity stunt for a new installment of Silent Hill — a franchise that Kojima has, in the past, been involved with, before splitting with Konami over creative differences.

As wild as it sounds, the Blue Box conspiracy isn’t pulled entirely from the ether, there’s actually some precedent for Kojima engaging in misdirection in the past. For example, around 2015, Kojima created a fake game studio, with a fake director played by a very real actor to promote a game that was revealed later revealed to be Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

An actor hired by Kojima even went as far as to give an interview about the fugazi game using the pseudonym, Joakim Mogren — an anagram for Hideo Kojima.

📷: fake developer, Joakim Mogren

Okay, so what about Abandoned?

Given Kojima’s penchant for subversive marketing in the past, super fans of the game designer have latched onto Abandoned for several inconclusive, but admittedly strange connections.

For instance:

- A now-deleted tweet from Blue Box said that Abandoned was actually a codename for a game that would start with an S and end in an L (i.e. Silent Hill)

- Kojima recently posted a tweet discussing two books that used both the words “Silent” and “Hill”

- Blue Box, a relative unknown in the game world, claims to have a staff of more than 50, yet its LinkedIn page lists only the company’s director

- Konami — publishers of Silent Hill — recently teased new merchandise for the franchise

- Hideo Kojima and Blue Box director, Hasan Kahraman, share the same initials

You get the point...

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There’s also the fact that Geoff Keighley, a video game journalist and commentator, hinted at being involved in Abandoned’s unveiling, though later clarified, saying, “I honestly don’t think this is what you guys think it is.”

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There’s one big problem in the theory

Blue Box, and its director, Hasan Kahraman, have flat out denied having anything to do with Kojima, Silent Hill, or any covert marketing gimmick — a denial that hasn’t prevented believers in the conspiracy from continuing to investigate.

In fact, the fervor over the alleged Blue Box conspiracy has already escalated to the point of harassment. According to a note from moderators of r/TheBlueBoxConspiracy, the subreddit was temporarily paused after some particularly zealous members attempted to doxx Kahraman, who in their estimation, might not be a real person.

Here’s a video of Kahraman attempting to prove to Twitter that he’s real.

Kahraman has also repeatedly failed to put speculation to rest in an interview with Bloomberg, during which the director refused to make other Blue Box employees available for comment and declined to talk about the terms of the company’s deal with Sony.

So what is actually going on?

It’s hard to say. Kahraman said he’s going to give a Q&A this week, and Kojima has been mum on the whole affair so far. Maybe Abandoned is actually a front for something else; maybe Blue Box just got caught up in trying to ride off of some unexpected publicity; maybe this whole thing was just a fever dream and the world actually ended in 2020.

We’re just gonna have to buckle up and see where this one goes.

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