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Debatably, Silent Hill: Homecoming was the best chance for SH to become a mainstream IP like Resident Evil, but factors+fanbase killed it.

Jul 24, 2016
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>As you scream after reading the title, I want to mention I am not saying that Homecoming is a good game or not, so let's get that out of the way first.

Resident Evil is the most successful mainstream horror game franchise, and despite it mostly being a shoot bang TPS from the start (and more so after 4) it has become the go to example of a horror video game franchise post death of Alone in the Dark(or phantasmagoria which came out right before RE1). Which is funny because the first few games torn from the Alone in the Dark series, which sold worse and worse as it became more action based in the sequels, which Resident Evils popularity came from in the first place being a more action-based cinematic fast-paced Alone in the dark. Quite the Irony. But in recent years, Silent Hill is usually the first franchise people think of as competing against RE, but it never really competed, at all, except maybe, maybe the first game.

I know what you're thinking? Homecoming? That game is bad for xyz reasons you heard on an internet board but never actually played yourself. Before people come in saying otherwise, I have you covered too, I agree, Homecoming is NOT like Silent Hill 1, 2, and 3, or even 4. I get it, but here's the thing you need to consider, Silent Hill: Home Coming, it's mechanics, it's plot setup, it's world, it's icons and symbolism, it's action, it's bosses, it's pace, it's exactly what was needed for Silent Hill to take off on consoles.......in spite of the fanbase.

Let's be truthful hear because I know the torches are out and you are losing your mind right now but we need to be blunt, outside somewhat the 1st Silent Hill game, SH has never been competitive with RE, or even the western horror games that have done well, which currently are the only ones that have came close to selling like an RE game and still not quite there. After SH2 which wasn't a firecracker, Silent Hill had sold like shit every other entry. Every other entry.

Sales NPD (Silent Hills biggest market and focused market)

  • Silent Hill 2 - 512k
  • Silent Hill 3 - 279k
  • Silent Hill 4 - 209k
  • Silent Hill Origins: 80k (PS2)
  • Silent Hill 5 - 73k (360), 84k (PS3) = 157k

Can't find downpour for some reason but I know it was double digits when I saw it before.

Anyway, here's the thing, the lack of momentum and fanbase hammering most releases including 4 for some time, along with other factors kind of screwed over the series, it just never really evolved beyond an niche of (declining) fans and curious gamers, and that fell per entry. All except for Silent Hill Homecoming, which saved the franchise from falling for a short time. Yes Homecoming did that.

Silent Hill 1 was a success with around 2 million copies sold and that momentum never really happened, one very lazy and poor excuse I keep seeing is that RE sells because it's some action style tps zombie horror game, while Silent Hill is psychological and atmospheric, but we have had those type of games do way better than Silent Hill. This seems like an excuse recycled from 2002 honestly, and it honestly has never really made any sense. It's really just a crazy rapidly declining fanbase over the years, inconsistent game quality, and other factors that really kept the series niche.

But here's the truth, Homecoming may not be your game and you may think it sucks, and that may or may not be true but it was what could have finally brought the series too the mainstream attracting the average gaming audience on consoles. It had all the checklists of RE but kept the unique core characteristics of Silent Hill opposite of RE whether they were good or not. It has the atmosphere, the symbolism, the isolation, the psychological horror, + a great ost, good combat, and great bosses. A perfect combo to attract the masses.

If the fanbase (which also impacted reviews) hadn't beat the shit out of the franchises critical reputation to the ground, which also led to Konami neglect due to lack of sales performance, and didn't freak out on the internet over Homecoming, the series might have ended up being more mainstream. Would it compete with RE? Maybe maybe not, but it would have at least been a solid multi-million selling series. 2 or 3 million here, and million there, not super big but healthy.

There's a reason that Konami for the longest time only decided to put Homecoming on Steam. Literally the one game that didn't have declining sales in the series.

Now with that being said, reminder - please keep in mind I never said Homecoming is a good or bad game just that it may have been the best chance to have finally put Silent Hill on the map which would have been a necessary evil to broaden it's reach on consoles (or good if you thought the game was good).


(Also yes I know that Origins had a PSP game, but I wanted to focus on consoles, especially since that's where the budget and focus of the series is. Plus the PSP had a few factors that were outliers helping it which weren't there for the PS2 version, hence the lower sales on the console version.
 

GHG

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Do you know what ultimately ends up killing a lot of good or promising franchises?

The attempt to "broaden their reach". See:

F.E.A.R --> F.E.A.R 3
Thief ---> Thief 2014
Mirrors Edge ---> Catalyst
Dead Space ---> Dead Space 3
Countless others

The publishers behind these franchises need to recognise and respect the place that the franchise has in the gaming world. Instead of looking at and chasing the Call of Duty money they should seek to further serve the fan-base that have even put them in a position to be able to make a sequel.

Fanbases don't kill franchises like this, greedy developers and publishers do.
 
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Zekra Dezivad

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Aug 22, 2011
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Do you know what ultimately ends up killing a lot of good or promising franchises?

The attempt to "broaden their reach". See:

F.E.A.R --> F.E.A.R 3
Thief ---> Thief 2014
Mirrors Edge ---> Catalyst
Dead Space ---> Dead Space 3
Countless others

The publishers behind these franchises need to recognise and respect the place that the franchise has in the gaming world. Instead of looking at and chasing the Call of Duty money they should seek to further serve the fan-base that have even put them in a position to be able to make a sequel.

Fanbases don't kill franchises like this, greedy developers and publishers do.
And we're done.
Also, actually making good games also helps. Usually these kind of tests by publishers have mediocre results. OP uses RE as an example, then we all know how the RE6 project turned out.
 
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Krappadizzle

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Games all kinda fell out after Team Silent was disbanded. Shattered Memories was actually pretty good if you didn't try to compare it to the OG trilogy too much and most people never gave it a chance. If Shattered Memories couldn't grab the crowd, nothing would. Homecoming felt too by-the-numbers generic horror. Downpour was pretty terrible, even if it had some decent ideas. The series just never got that passion back. P.T. felt like Konami had out together a team that reignited that passion, but we see how that played out.
 
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Jul 24, 2016
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Do you know what ultimately ends up killing a lot of good or promising franchises?

The attempt to "broaden their reach". See:
This lazy cop-out doesn't work for Silent Hill look at the sales. The series could arguably said to be dead after the first game. When you are selling less than 300k per entry or less than 100k per entry these aren't good numbers, this means you you never had much of a brand to ruin in the first place.

We aren't dealing with a franchise that sold 2 or 3 million per entry selling 1 million or less now, and then wondering if the series would be ruined by trying to broaden it inspite of its still decent sized base, we are talking about a franchise that honest, has never really ever taken off, just one somewhat hot game, and an extremely hyped second titles that sold 50% less, followed by games selling less than half a million copies all the way until the 10-thousands.

If people want more Silent Hill games, or to see them with budgets, guess what? They have to broaden it at this point, because there's basically no base.
 

M1chl

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Do you know what ultimately ends up killing a lot of good or promising franchises?

The attempt to "broaden their reach". See:

F.E.A.R --> F.E.A.R 3
Thief ---> Thief 2014
Mirrors Edge ---> Catalyst
Dead Space ---> Dead Space 3
Countless others

The publishers behind these franchises need to recognise and respect the place that the franchise has in the gaming world. Instead of looking at and chasing the Call of Duty money they should seek to further serve the fan-base that have even put them in a position to be able to make a sequel.

Fanbases don't kill franchises like this, greedy developers and publishers do.
I don't really agree about Catalyst, for me it was something which felt like sequel.

However I agree with others, but damn I had fun with them...
 

Keihart

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Looking at those numbers, no wonder the lack of faith in Siren as a franchise , Siren sold like 180k and 100k for the sequel since it was only released in japan and EU.
Anyway, who cares honestly, it's not like there was something like Team Silent Hill after 3, 4 barely had the same staff barren some big names like Yamaoka doing the OST.
I don't really get the obsession with brand names like Silent Hill and Metal Gear when the people that made those games be what they are already moved on, they are never gonna live up to their legacy again, at best they'll be either copies or departures of their original games.
Resident Evil barely resembles what it once was, but it's a good horror game by mostly using the same old ideas again.

People that bitched about SH4 and 5 should've of bought more Siren copies, that was the future, the good future in an alternative timeline.
 
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GHG

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This lazy cop-out doesn't work for Silent Hill look at the sales. The series could arguably said to be dead after the first game. When you are selling less than 300k per entry or less than 100k per entry these aren't good numbers, this means you you never had much of a brand to ruin in the first place.

We aren't dealing with a franchise that sold 2 or 3 million per entry selling 1 million or less now, and then wondering if the series would be ruined by trying to broaden it inspite of its still decent sized base, we are talking about a franchise that honest, has never really ever taken off, just one somewhat hot game, and an extremely hyped second titles that sold 50% less, followed by games selling less than half a million copies all the way until the 10-thousands.

If people want more Silent Hill games, or to see them with budgets, guess what? They have to broaden it at this point, because there's basically no base.

Back then you didn't need to sell millions of copies of a game to break even or succeed. If you budget accordingly and recognise the size of your potential market then you don't need to sell millions either.

There's a right way to try and get a franchise into the hands of more people and a wrong way. The first rule is don't shit on the fans that got you this far.

One of the best selling games in the series and the 5th best selling Capcom game of all time (was 4th before MH World came out)

And yet even with all those sales it still managed to be below expectations as far as Capcom were concerned:

www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-05-08-resident-evil-6-sells-4-9-million-disappoints

5 million sales is disappointing? Seriously, how much were they expecting to make?

Like I said, there always comes a point where these idiots think they can be the next COD, go all in with their budget, shit on fans faces and then wonder why they couldn't turn a profit.
 
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Jul 24, 2016
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Back then you didn't need to sell millions of copies of a game to break even or succeed.
You did depending on the budget, and regardless this doesn't really work as an excuse either, the low performance is why Konami stopped putting much weight behind the franchise and then started outsourcing it.

The first rule is don't shit on the fans that got you this far.
The fans didn't get them far on anything, this is Silent Hill, not Dead Space, or some other series. Each game sold less on consoles each entry until Homecoming. Which all were pretty low in the first place, especially NPD the place the series was designed to appeal to.

And yet even with all those sales it still managed to be below expectations as far as Capcom were concerned:
Which is not relevant to the point and is poor damage control, but this just proves what I said above about differing budgets impacting sales goals. (along with any development issues that may rise the expenses.)
 

Roni

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This lazy cop-out doesn't work for Silent Hill look at the sales. The series could arguably said to be dead after the first game. When you are selling less than 300k per entry or less than 100k per entry these aren't good numbers, this means you you never had much of a brand to ruin in the first place.

We aren't dealing with a franchise that sold 2 or 3 million per entry selling 1 million or less now, and then wondering if the series would be ruined by trying to broaden it inspite of its still decent sized base, we are talking about a franchise that honest, has never really ever taken off, just one somewhat hot game, and an extremely hyped second titles that sold 50% less, followed by games selling less than half a million copies all the way until the 10-thousands.

If people want more Silent Hill games, or to see them with budgets, guess what? They have to broaden it at this point, because there's basically no base.
RE4 made the franchise into the behemoth it is today with no help from its core fanbase. In fact, we hated it because it killed so many things we loved about the original genre formula. RE4 captured an entirely different audience.

Homecoming had to do the same, not get a pass from the fans.
 

Zekra Dezivad

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One of the best selling games in the series and the 5th best selling Capcom game of all time (was 4th before MH World came out)
"Also, actually making good games also helps. Usually these kind of tests by publishers have mediocre results. OP uses RE as an example, then we all know how the RE6 project turned out."
As I said, trying to appeal mass market usually have mediocre results. There are exceptions, but RE6 isn't among those.
You don't need to be a good game to sell, sure, but it's harder. RE series was on fire and RE6 sold well, but wasn't well received at all and Capcom knew it.
 

GHG

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You did depending on the budget, and regardless this doesn't really work as an excuse either, the low performance is why Konami stopped putting much weight behind the franchise and then started outsourcing it.


The fans didn't get them far on anything, this is Silent Hill, not Dead Space, or some other series. Each game sold less on consoles each entry until Homecoming. Which all were pretty low in the first place, especially NPD the place the series was designed to appeal to.


Which is not relevant to the point and is poor damage control, but this just proves what I said above about differing budgets impacting sales goals. (along with any development issues that may rise the expenses.)

So what's your solution then?

For fans of the franchise to just suck it up, buy and praise this shitty game for the "greater good"? How would that send the right message? If people bought and wrongly praised the worst game in the franchise then what's it more likely to result in? More games like the early entries or more crap like Homecoming?

There's always the solution to let the series take a break and then revisit it at a time when the market is more favorable towards those types of games (survival horror in this case). If they released a game similar to the original Silent Hill games now (and it was actually high quality and not full of bugs/glitches) then it would likely do very well. Sometimes you can have a great idea but it's the wrong time for it to reach it's potential. Instead of waiting and doing something else in the meantime they attempted to milk it and got what they deserved.
 
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Aion002

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Do you know what ultimately ends up killing a lot of good or promising franchises?

The attempt to "broaden their reach". See:

F.E.A.R --> F.E.A.R 3
Thief ---> Thief 2014
Mirrors Edge ---> Catalyst
Dead Space ---> Dead Space 3
Countless others

The publishers behind these franchises need to recognise and respect the place that the franchise has in the gaming world. Instead of looking at and chasing the Call of Duty money they should seek to further serve the fan-base that have even put them in a position to be able to make a sequel.

Fanbases don't kill franchises like this, greedy developers and publishers do.
This.

Imagine if Dark Souls had an easy mode and quest markers to reach a bigger market... The Souls genre would probably be dead.

Also, hiring external studios to continue the series after disbanding Team Silent was dumb as fuck.



Konami...

you blew it GIF
 

kiphalfton

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Game ran like ass on PC.

If you make a crappy game, whatever, but it better at least run okay. I mean have SOMETHING going for it.

Silent Hill HC on PC got a 60fps patch and a graphics boost mods too


That mod was a PITA to set up (assuming it's the same one I'm thinking of). Then the game didn't even run with a AMD video card either IIRC.
 
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Jokerevo

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>As you scream after reading the title, I want to mention I am not saying that Homecoming is a good game or not, so let's get that out of the way first.

Resident Evil is the most successful mainstream horror game franchise, and despite it mostly being a shoot bang TPS from the start (and more so after 4) it has become the go to example of a horror video game franchise post death of Alone in the Dark(or phantasmagoria which came out right before RE1). Which is funny because the first few games torn from the Alone in the Dark series, which sold worse and worse as it became more action based in the sequels, which Resident Evils popularity came from in the first place being a more action-based cinematic fast-paced Alone in the dark. Quite the Irony. But in recent years, Silent Hill is usually the first franchise people think of as competing against RE, but it never really competed, at all, except maybe, maybe the first game.

I know what you're thinking? Homecoming? That game is bad for xyz reasons you heard on an internet board but never actually played yourself. Before people come in saying otherwise, I have you covered too, I agree, Homecoming is NOT like Silent Hill 1, 2, and 3, or even 4. I get it, but here's the thing you need to consider, Silent Hill: Home Coming, it's mechanics, it's plot setup, it's world, it's icons and symbolism, it's action, it's bosses, it's pace, it's exactly what was needed for Silent Hill to take off on consoles.......in spite of the fanbase.

Let's be truthful hear because I know the torches are out and you are losing your mind right now but we need to be blunt, outside somewhat the 1st Silent Hill game, SH has never been competitive with RE, or even the western horror games that have done well, which currently are the only ones that have came close to selling like an RE game and still not quite there. After SH2 which wasn't a firecracker, Silent Hill had sold like shit every other entry. Every other entry.

Sales NPD (Silent Hills biggest market and focused market)

  • Silent Hill 2 - 512k
  • Silent Hill 3 - 279k
  • Silent Hill 4 - 209k
  • Silent Hill Origins: 80k (PS2)
  • Silent Hill 5 - 73k (360), 84k (PS3) = 157k

Can't find downpour for some reason but I know it was double digits when I saw it before.

Anyway, here's the thing, the lack of momentum and fanbase hammering most releases including 4 for some time, along with other factors kind of screwed over the series, it just never really evolved beyond an niche of (declining) fans and curious gamers, and that fell per entry. All except for Silent Hill Homecoming, which saved the franchise from falling for a short time. Yes Homecoming did that.

Silent Hill 1 was a success with around 2 million copies sold and that momentum never really happened, one very lazy and poor excuse I keep seeing is that RE sells because it's some action style tps zombie horror game, while Silent Hill is psychological and atmospheric, but we have had those type of games do way better than Silent Hill. This seems like an excuse recycled from 2002 honestly, and it honestly has never really made any sense. It's really just a crazy rapidly declining fanbase over the years, inconsistent game quality, and other factors that really kept the series niche.

But here's the truth, Homecoming may not be your game and you may think it sucks, and that may or may not be true but it was what could have finally brought the series too the mainstream attracting the average gaming audience on consoles. It had all the checklists of RE but kept the unique core characteristics of Silent Hill opposite of RE whether they were good or not. It has the atmosphere, the symbolism, the isolation, the psychological horror, + a great ost, good combat, and great bosses. A perfect combo to attract the masses.

If the fanbase (which also impacted reviews) hadn't beat the shit out of the franchises critical reputation to the ground, which also led to Konami neglect due to lack of sales performance, and didn't freak out on the internet over Homecoming, the series might have ended up being more mainstream. Would it compete with RE? Maybe maybe not, but it would have at least been a solid multi-million selling series. 2 or 3 million here, and million there, not super big but healthy.

There's a reason that Konami for the longest time only decided to put Homecoming on Steam. Literally the one game that didn't have declining sales in the series.

Now with that being said, reminder - please keep in mind I never said Homecoming is a good or bad game just that it may have been the best chance to have finally put Silent Hill on the map which would have been a necessary evil to broaden it's reach on consoles (or good if you thought the game was good).


(Also yes I know that Origins had a PSP game, but I wanted to focus on consoles, especially since that's where the budget and focus of the series is. Plus the PSP had a few factors that were outliers helping it which weren't there for the PS2 version, hence the lower sales on the console version.
Attempting to be mainstream is exactly what wrecks games...see Re5 and 6...they're not so bad but in the context of what came before....they are shit.
 

Neff

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Nah SH1 was

The problem is that SH1 is nowhere near as good as any RE game
 

Azurro

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The problem with Homecoming had all to do with its presentation, it simply looked like shit when it was announced. A game can take risks and fans might be open to some change as long as the presentation is excellent, intriguing and has behind it some very competent people to appease the worries of the fandom. Like you mentioned, RE4 had Shinji Mikami behind it and looked incredible when it was introduced, so people were open minded, even if a few did throw a tantrum about how it moved away from RE1, 2 and 3)

Unfortunately for Homecoming, fans were already weary of this random developer working on SH and when it was announced, it looked arguably worse than the images of Heather and the detective from SH3. I bet if it had had Toyama directing it and had, I don't know, devs of the calibre of Kojima Productions and had incredible visuals in the initial trailer, then this pivot to a more action style would have been received way better.

Edited: had a brain fart and wrote Yamaoka instead of Toyama. :)
 
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Keihart

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Nah SH1 was

The problem is that SH1 is nowhere near as good as any RE game
I prefer Silent Hill 1 to any RE game, your taste is shit.
See? i can do it too.

The problem with Homecoming had all to do with its presentation, it simply looked like shit when it was announced. A game can take risks and fans might be open to some change as long as the presentation is excellent, intriguing and has behind it some very competent people to appease the worries of the fandom. Like you mentioned, RE4 had Shinji Mikami behind it and looked incredible when it was introduced, so people were open minded, even if a few did throw a tantrum about how it moved away from RE1, 2 and 3)

Unfortunately for Homecoming, fans were already weary of this random developer working on SH and when it was announced, it looked arguably worse than the images of Heather and the detective from SH3. I bet if it had had Yamaoka directing it and had, I don't know, devs of the calibre of Kojima Productions and had incredible visuals in the initial trailer, then this pivot to a more action style would have been received way better.
What?
 
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ahmyleg

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If those numbers are accurate, I'm quite surprised SH2 sold 1/4 of SH1. I remember seeing images/videos all the time for SH2 in the early 2000s, and people always refer back to it as an example of how a horror game should be done. I've always seen it as the most popular SH game. 2 questions: Why did SH1 sell 2 million copies, and why did SH2 only sell 500k?
 

TheMay30thMan

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Silent Hill was already mainstream relative to its genre. The attempt to broaden its audience resulted in Homecoming and Downpour. Games that effectively drove away the franchise’s base audience while also gaining no new audience a genre that’s really not meant for everyone.
 

SlimeGooGoo

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You're aware that people couldn't stop talking about the Silent Hills PT demo before it was ultimately cancelled right?

Konami and Kojima were on the right track, but it never saw the light of day.
Pretty sure that game was going to bring Silent Hill back to mainstream, for good or for worse.

And no, shitty games should not be praised.
 
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Dick Jones

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I played SH 1 and 2 and enjoyed them. I watched a let's play of Downpour and Homecoming (or as two best friends play accidentally called it Downcoming). I'm glad SH was not continued with the rubbish games. I'm also glad I didn't have to play them. Silent Hill deserves more than to have awful sequels churned out to keep a once great series on life support.
 

Yoboman

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You're aware that people couldn't stop talking about the Silent Hills PT demo before it was ultimately cancelled right?

Konami and Kojima were on the right track, but it never saw the light of day.
Pretty sure that game was going to bring Silent Hill back to mainstream, for good or for worse.

And not, shitty games should not be praised.
I agree, this was the best shot

Not a guarantee of success though, as Death Stranding kinda proved that Kojima name doesn’t mean instant success. But they had a lot of momentum that could have turned it into a million seller
 
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If those numbers are accurate, I'm quite surprised SH2 sold 1/4 of SH1. I remember seeing images/videos all the time for SH2 in the early 2000s, and people always refer back to it as an example of how a horror game should be done. I've always seen it as the most popular SH game. 2 questions: Why did SH1 sell 2 million copies, and why did SH2 only sell 500k?
2 million for SH1 is worldwide, NPD it sold over 1 million. As the Series sales declined the US share of what sold increased. Though SH was never strong outside the US mostly, and the US was the target market for the games.



You're aware that people couldn't stop talking about the Silent Hills PT demo before it was ultimately cancelled right?

Konami and Kojima were on the right track, but it never saw the light of day.
Pretty sure that game was going to bring Silent Hill back to mainstream, for good or for worse.

And not, shitty games should not be praised.
The general fan reaction of whatever low number still existed was that P.T. was nothing like Silent Hill despite the preceived quality and hype.

But a good chunk of the hype was fake and was mostly generated by Kojimas name, but I'm not entirely sure that would have done much for SH in the end.

Not to mention this was before Kojima left Konami and put out Death Stranding, so people we're still confused about Kojima being the mastermind behind Metal Gears quality and ideas, when it was really other staffers reviewing the games and adding to and removing the crazies kojima ideas to balance things out that actually produced those games. Not just MGS either.

One has to wonder that if momentum from the first game couldnt carry and broaden the audience into a highly anticipated sequel that hit it out the park, then you have to consider what areas need to be changed.

Homecoming had elements RE had that attracted a broad base but still had core elements expected from a Silent Hill game.
 
Jul 24, 2016
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I played SH 1 and 2 and enjoyed them. I watched a let's play of Downpour and Homecoming (or as two best friends play accidentally called it Downcoming). I'm glad SH was not continued with the rubbish games. I'm also glad I didn't have to play them. Silent Hill deserves more than to have awful sequels churned out to keep a once great series on life support.
Pat set the negativity too hard from the start even before the first video came out. There were parts Matt thought were good or nonconsequential that he had panic attacks over.
 

kikii

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You're aware that people couldn't stop talking about the Silent Hills PT demo before it was ultimately cancelled right?

Konami and Kojima were on the right track, but it never saw the light of day.
Pretty sure that game was going to bring Silent Hill back to mainstream, for good or for worse.

And not, shitty games should not be praised.
still have P.T on my ps4pro :p
 
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The biggest mistake was to give it to a western derveloper. Japanese and American horror is very different and the Switch us what killed it. Sure there are also good Western horror games/movies, but I think Silent Hill only works with a Japanese developer.
 

Keihart

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The biggest mistake was to give it to a western derveloper. Japanese and American horror is very different and the Switch us what killed it. Sure there are also good Western horror games/movies, but I think Silent Hill only works with a Japanese developer.
Ironically heavily based on American horror movies, but yeah i agree, at the time at least there was no dev that proved capable or willing of doing something similar.
 
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Azurro

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I prefer Silent Hill 1 to any RE game, your taste is shit.
See? i can do it too.


What?

I had a brain fart, I meant to type Toyama. Still, the point stands, I remember this forum even when the first images came out of Homecoming. Visually it was just lacking, comparing unfavourably to a PS2 game.
 

Shut0wen

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>As you scream after reading the title, I want to mention I am not saying that Homecoming is a good game or not, so let's get that out of the way first.

Resident Evil is the most successful mainstream horror game franchise, and despite it mostly being a shoot bang TPS from the start (and more so after 4) it has become the go to example of a horror video game franchise post death of Alone in the Dark(or phantasmagoria which came out right before RE1). Which is funny because the first few games torn from the Alone in the Dark series, which sold worse and worse as it became more action based in the sequels, which Resident Evils popularity came from in the first place being a more action-based cinematic fast-paced Alone in the dark. Quite the Irony. But in recent years, Silent Hill is usually the first franchise people think of as competing against RE, but it never really competed, at all, except maybe, maybe the first game.

I know what you're thinking? Homecoming? That game is bad for xyz reasons you heard on an internet board but never actually played yourself. Before people come in saying otherwise, I have you covered too, I agree, Homecoming is NOT like Silent Hill 1, 2, and 3, or even 4. I get it, but here's the thing you need to consider, Silent Hill: Home Coming, it's mechanics, it's plot setup, it's world, it's icons and symbolism, it's action, it's bosses, it's pace, it's exactly what was needed for Silent Hill to take off on consoles.......in spite of the fanbase.

Let's be truthful hear because I know the torches are out and you are losing your mind right now but we need to be blunt, outside somewhat the 1st Silent Hill game, SH has never been competitive with RE, or even the western horror games that have done well, which currently are the only ones that have came close to selling like an RE game and still not quite there. After SH2 which wasn't a firecracker, Silent Hill had sold like shit every other entry. Every other entry.

Sales NPD (Silent Hills biggest market and focused market)

  • Silent Hill 2 - 512k
  • Silent Hill 3 - 279k
  • Silent Hill 4 - 209k
  • Silent Hill Origins: 80k (PS2)
  • Silent Hill 5 - 73k (360), 84k (PS3) = 157k

Can't find downpour for some reason but I know it was double digits when I saw it before.

Anyway, here's the thing, the lack of momentum and fanbase hammering most releases including 4 for some time, along with other factors kind of screwed over the series, it just never really evolved beyond an niche of (declining) fans and curious gamers, and that fell per entry. All except for Silent Hill Homecoming, which saved the franchise from falling for a short time. Yes Homecoming did that.

Silent Hill 1 was a success with around 2 million copies sold and that momentum never really happened, one very lazy and poor excuse I keep seeing is that RE sells because it's some action style tps zombie horror game, while Silent Hill is psychological and atmospheric, but we have had those type of games do way better than Silent Hill. This seems like an excuse recycled from 2002 honestly, and it honestly has never really made any sense. It's really just a crazy rapidly declining fanbase over the years, inconsistent game quality, and other factors that really kept the series niche.

But here's the truth, Homecoming may not be your game and you may think it sucks, and that may or may not be true but it was what could have finally brought the series too the mainstream attracting the average gaming audience on consoles. It had all the checklists of RE but kept the unique core characteristics of Silent Hill opposite of RE whether they were good or not. It has the atmosphere, the symbolism, the isolation, the psychological horror, + a great ost, good combat, and great bosses. A perfect combo to attract the masses.

If the fanbase (which also impacted reviews) hadn't beat the shit out of the franchises critical reputation to the ground, which also led to Konami neglect due to lack of sales performance, and didn't freak out on the internet over Homecoming, the series might have ended up being more mainstream. Would it compete with RE? Maybe maybe not, but it would have at least been a solid multi-million selling series. 2 or 3 million here, and million there, not super big but healthy.

There's a reason that Konami for the longest time only decided to put Homecoming on Steam. Literally the one game that didn't have declining sales in the series.

Now with that being said, reminder - please keep in mind I never said Homecoming is a good or bad game just that it may have been the best chance to have finally put Silent Hill on the map which would have been a necessary evil to broaden it's reach on consoles (or good if you thought the game was good).


(Also yes I know that Origins had a PSP game, but I wanted to focus on consoles, especially since that's where the budget and focus of the series is. Plus the PSP had a few factors that were outliers helping it which weren't there for the PS2 version, hence the lower sales on the console version.
Personally i think homecoming would of been a great game if the combat wasnt shit, not asking for it to be an action game and the game never tried to be but combat in general felt incredibly flimsy at the time, i remember at the time it got reviewee where most reviews said it could of been a great game if it wasnt for the combat
 

Keihart

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Personally i think homecoming would of been a great game if the combat wasnt shit, not asking for it to be an action game and the game never tried to be but combat in general felt incredibly flimsy at the time, i remember at the time it got reviewee where most reviews said it could of been a great game if it wasnt for the combat
The combat in Homecoming it's probably the best thing it has going for it, that and being able go into in alternative ways to a room than door.
You can kill almost everything in Homecoming with a knife and dodging, which i think it's kinda cool but not something that most fans of the previous games would precisely appreciate. The combat was as barebones as it got in previous games, if they were going to improve it's depth and change it i don't think that going for something relying on mechanical skill was a smart move.

The game was a survival horror with very low mechanical skill requirements in combat, mostly focused on managing resources and selecting the right tool for the job. If you want to deepen its systems and appeal to the fan base it should of focuses on strategy during combat not fucking dodging.

But well, it is what it is.
 
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supernova8

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You're aware that people couldn't stop talking about the Silent Hills PT demo before it was ultimately cancelled right?

Konami and Kojima were on the right track, but it never saw the light of day.
Pretty sure that game was going to bring Silent Hill back to mainstream, for good or for worse.

And no, shitty games should not be praised.

Well it was pretty genius viral marketing, and the inclusion of Norman Reedus (of course we got him in Death Stranding in the end) was a good move.

on the bright side, Silent Hill as a concept (outside of it being physically in a place called Silent Hill) is so vague that Kojima could probably make a really horror game in future if he felt like that.
 

FunkMiller

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What killed the Silent Hill franchise is that there are three good games, and the rest are a bit shit. Nothing much more needs to be said.
 
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sublimit

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Silent Hill is very different from RE and cannot be compared. I believe it's a series that should have stopped with SH2 even though i loved SH3.

Not every IP needs to have tons of sequels.
 
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Keihart

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What killed the Silent Hill franchise is that there are three good games, and the rest are a bit shit. Nothing much more needs to be said.
It's so relative, i mean, i find SH4 to be an amazing game by todays standards. Give that game some updated graphics and it would hold really good design wise today, maybe even become a cult hit no matter if it had the Silent Hill name attached.

At the time tho, it was kinda disapointing, but that was on the golden age of horror survival games. There are so many ambitious survival horror games on PS2, pretty crazy looking back since it's such a short generation with so many classics.
 
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Raonak

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They made a bad game that didn't attract fans old or new.

That's the problem. If it were a good game with a good budget, they could have pissed off fans and still been a success. (ala RE4)

That's why PT got people more hyped up for silent hill more than any other game. It was fucking gooood.
 

Buggy Loop

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Do you know what ultimately ends up killing a lot of good or promising franchises?

The attempt to "broaden their reach". See:

F.E.A.R --> F.E.A.R 3
Thief ---> Thief 2014
Mirrors Edge ---> Catalyst
Dead Space ---> Dead Space 3
Countless others

The publishers behind these franchises need to recognise and respect the place that the franchise has in the gaming world. Instead of looking at and chasing the Call of Duty money they should seek to further serve the fan-base that have even put them in a position to be able to make a sequel.

Fanbases don't kill franchises like this, greedy developers and publishers do.

boom smile GIF


I have a friend that was director in one of the biggest game studio in Montreal who came to hate his job so much that he quit for indie. The marketing/finance peoples, the MBAs, are controlling the narative of what the game should be and have come to gain so much influence that they basically steer this heavy ship of hundreds of peoples working on a game and a vision, to something else. The studio oftens start the franchise as a project of passion with the directors having free reign as basically, the MBAs have no clue how it'll perform if it's disruptive/nothing alike. They hit a home run, it becomes a beloved franchise for fans.

Then MBAs are wondering, how can we make more money? I mean yea it was a success, but have you seen X game's success? That's when countless meetings with directors will start, arguments are made, MBAs almost never change their mind, they'll make countless powerpoints to prove their theory and at one point, the directors will just throw their hands in the air as they give up. The MBA's research/data is always based on some competitor's huge success, at one point it was CoD, nowadays it's probably Fortnite. Or when a studio that started their fan favorite franchises, rather than work on sequels, gets handed a movie licence to make a game out of... that kills a team's morale.

Lesson here is that, when a game flops by broadnening their reach, all eyes (gamer's at least) typically fall on the core dev team, the director, etc. It's almost always the finance/marketing peoples' fault, and a tier higher, the CEO of the studio who enables these peoples to have so much power, and then higher up, the publisher who basically holds them by the balls and enables even more these peoples because they funnel the money in and want max return. The poor director or coder or artist down on the floor making the game with crazy overtime because of the constant direction changes, fucking hates it.
 
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VGEsoterica

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I just hope the rumors of Sony reviving the series are true. We really need a revamp of Silent Hill...it's too good of a series to just die
 

TonyK

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Silent Hill compared to Resident Evil is like to compare Sonic with Mario. One franchise had two or three decent games 25 years ago, the other delivers quality games still today.
 

Dragon_Rocks

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Jul 12, 2013
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Do you know what ultimately ends up killing a lot of good or promising franchises?

The attempt to "broaden their reach". See:

F.E.A.R --> F.E.A.R 3
Thief ---> Thief 2014
Mirrors Edge ---> Catalyst
Dead Space ---> Dead Space 3
Countless others

The publishers behind these franchises need to recognise and respect the place that the franchise has in the gaming world. Instead of looking at and chasing the Call of Duty money they should seek to further serve the fan-base that have even put them in a position to be able to make a sequel.

Fanbases don't kill franchises like this, greedy developers and publishers do.

RE did the same but it worked well for it. RE4 was very different from the previous games and many fans hated that. It was well received by other gamers though. With RE5 it went drastically different as an action co-op game but that did it wonders as well. With RE7 it again went in a different direction and many RE4/5/6 fans hated it but the game was still well received and liked. Looks like somehow it works for RE series but not the others.