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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 26 Mar 2010
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Advertising problems are certainly a factor, but the people that are most likely to buy the games are, more likely than not, a part of some community or tuned into something that would keep them in the loop. I think it's more a matter of not having enough people in charge willing to give it the resources it needs.

Can you imagine what the general perception and attitude toward SH would be right now had the HD Collection and Downpour shipped without the issues they had? If proper attention and care had been put into the HD Collection and if Downpour had been given better QA, konami and SH would have won some major points with the public that they have now burned due to neglecting seemingly standard operations. I don't know how valuable the SH property really is in the eyes of the key people at konami, but I would think it would be in their best interest to have given the public a reason to have a generally positive dialogue about some of their products, rather than the disaster of a month that March was for them. SH hasn't been viewed favorably by many of the general video game public, from my experience, and the damage done a few months ago did nothing to help rebuild those connections.


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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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You could say that the image of Konami and Silent Hill as a franchise has gone down the drain.

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Moderator
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
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I guess at this point Konami has gone from one-time video game giant to a company that intends on milking Metal Gear as much as humanly possible from now on.

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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 20 Jul 2004
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you make a good point Typographenia. If folks expect Konami to advertise the hell out of SH, then you better hope they put out a quality product as well, which sadly, neither Downpour or the HD collection are. Konami/Vatra hasn't even followed through on their promises for patches. Downpour will probably never be patched seeing as it's what, 4+ months after the patch was to arrive in the "coming weeks," and i believe i read that the HD collection patch has been cancelled for 360. Yeah, good luck bringing in new fans/gamers when you can't even keep your existing fanbase happy.

you're right Droo, people are wondering wth happened to them.


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 21 May 2010
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Typo makes great points and kinda points to what alot of us have already been saying about Konami, during the transistion from Japan to SH being a sort of freelance project.

Production values and development hasn't been on par with what should be a AAA product relative to the RE series or MGS series. That said you don't necessarily need a AAA product to be successful, it just needs to be decent (not saying that nonoe of the newer games are) but when compared to their more polished counterparts, you'd expect SH to be right up there with them in terms of quality.

konami has had crappy PR....look at what Bioware has done for the whining fans behind the Mass Effect3 ending...they fleshed out the endings (which i thought they did an amazing job) and they dropped free multiplayer maps for the fans that are incredibly addicting and visually solid...that is how you regain the fans confidence in your product...they went all out when they didn't really have to and it shows they care about their fanbase.

Maybe Konami is going thru some rough times like everybody else, but their damage control over their products concerning SH is laughable....support for Downpour was incredibly minimal and marketing was reduced to nothing more than a few banners on a few gaming websites.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 26 Mar 2010
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clips wrote:
Production values and development hasn't been on par with what should be a AAA product relative to the RE series or MGS series. That said you don't necessarily need a AAA product to be successful, it just needs to be decent (not saying that nonoe of the newer games are) but when compared to their more polished counterparts, you'd expect SH to be right up there with them in terms of quality.

Well, but they don't even need to try to make SH a "triple A product." I don't think that the series has ever been in that position, and it's not the type of IP that lends itself to that status.
They really just need to release things in a more stable condition, and I think that would make a world of a difference. Say what you will about preferences on story or gameplay, because I think those are areas that need to be pushing in different directions, but the level of product's integrity has not been sustained. I think having more investment in the QA side of things from Konami could have been a crucial way of maintaining perceptions of the property over the last several years, but Konami have either not been up to the task or simply don't wish to spend the time/money/effort the games needed.

clips wrote:
konami has had crappy PR....look at what Bioware has done for the whining fans behind the Mass Effect3 ending...they fleshed out the endings (which i thought they did an amazing job) and they dropped free multiplayer maps for the fans that are incredibly addicting and visually solid...that is how you regain the fans confidence in your product...they went all out when they didn't really have to and it shows they care about their fanbase.

I apologize for going off on a tangent, but I fear you misunderstand the dissatisfaction that I and a large majority of players felt. It had nothing to do with the ending being unclear, but rather the complete breakdown of any logical progression of themes, story threads, and the insanity that was the last thirty minutes. What they attempted to do did not sway (from what I have read elsewhere) much of anyone in their views of the company. The damage was done to players' investment in characters and story, not on amount of content. The way they attempted to fix the problem is not too dissimilar from konami's "trade in HD collection for one of our other games!" thing.

I'm pleased to know that there are at least some people out there taking advantage of bioware's goodwill, but I couldn't care less. I went from being a tremendous enthusiast of the property to being almost completely apathetic.

clips wrote:
Maybe Konami is going thru some rough times like everybody else, but their damage control over their products concerning SH is laughable....support for Downpour was incredibly minimal and marketing was reduced to nothing more than a few banners on a few gaming websites.

Quite the opposite, really. They're still a very profitable and successful company, but in ventures outside of video games.
I can understand not getting any follow up for Downpour from an objective standpoint (cost of paying for a patch vs how much they made/stand to make in the future, vatra's unsure situation), but it's still unfortunate.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2007
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Well, yeah. I can objectively say that Silent Hill probably should've ended long ago, for lack of anywhere new to go or expand the central horror experience, but that doesn't mean I particularly want it to end. I've already told my sister that she should play that copy of Persona 3 I bought for her, so we have another game series to be mutually enthusiastic about (considering the first was Xenosaga, I can't complain that Silent Hill didn't last long enough).

Chasing AAA production values is most certainly a dead end, since the inflow just doesn't support that kind of expense (and will never, even if each SH was pitch-perfect). More than that, the first Silent Hill became a thing by taking weaknesses and playing them as strengths. Wanting to one-up The Mansion with a town, but not being able to do it without egregious popup, led to the fog and darkness that teased the imagination and made something greater than the sum of its parts.

I've considered general things that could be attacked. One I've got is linked to the earlier suggestion of a larger-scale Silent Hill. The first game gave us abandoned locations filled with monsters, then upended our expectations by making us explore them again in another world. The second game upended the expectations the first game built up in us, and it's more-or-less stagnated ever since. That is, in terms of that central purpose.

If attacking the "solid ground" the player stands on is one of the keys of Silent Hill's style of horror, there's one more I can think of. Because the game is so linear and everything now follows the beat of some purgatory narrative, there's a certain comfort that going "this way" will lead to the end. While extremely difficult (but, hey, that's what we pay these guys for), if that security could be taken away from us -- that is, the secure feeling that it will end if we keep going in this direction, that we have to go this way because we're here to start with -- that could go a long way.

I dunno, just a thought.

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 21 May 2010
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Well, but they don't even need to try to make SH a "triple A product." I don't think that the series has ever been in that position, and it's not the type of IP that lends itself to that status.
They really just need to release things in a more stable condition, and I think that would make a world of a difference. Say what you will about preferences on story or gameplay, because I think those are areas that need to be pushing in different directions, but the level of product's integrity has not been sustained. I think having more investment in the QA side of things from Konami could have been a crucial way of maintaining perceptions of the property over the last several years, but Konami have either not been up to the task or simply don't wish to spend the time/money/effort the games needed.


Well...i think i kinda mentioned this, when i stated that you don't need a triple A product to be successful. But i will say that i thought the older SH games 2-4 were an extremely polished product for their time...atmosphere, visuals and production values were still pretty strong in those games and i'm trying to remember what RE games were released along side those games to make a comparison...i want to say maybe code veronica? or maybe RE3?...in either case i think the SH games that made that run back then ran pretty close in quality to their RE counterparts back then.

Nowadays you compare the quality and production values between the two franchises, and while the newer SH games are by no means bad and are decent looking games, they pale in comparison to the RE games...again not saying you need Sh to be a triple A product, but the quality is pretty widespread this time around.

Quote:
I apologize for going off on a tangent, but I fear you misunderstand the dissatisfaction that I and a large majority of players felt. It had nothing to do with the ending being unclear, but rather the complete breakdown of any logical progression of themes, story threads, and the insanity that was the last thirty minutes. What they attempted to do did not sway (from what I have read elsewhere) much of anyone in their views of the company. The damage was done to players' investment in characters and story, not on amount of content. The way they attempted to fix the problem is not too dissimilar from konami's "trade in HD collection for one of our other games!" thing.

I'm pleased to know that there are at least some people out there taking advantage of bioware's goodwill, but I couldn't care less. I went from being a tremendous enthusiast of the property to being almost completely apathetic.


Hmmm..i see your point,....i came in on ME2 since i have a ps3, so i don't know how ME1 would factor into character progression in the grand scheme of things, still i think the developer can be forgiven for it's shortcomings. You're talking about having characters account for every single decision made into the game, code it properly, transfer data from past games, line it up with that data properly..etc..etc..

There was alot going on to completely flesh out the storyline of the characters at the very least let alone wrapping up a trilogy to the series...i thought the initial ending to ME3 was a little flat, but i understood where they went with it...they heard the feedback from gamers and tried to do the best they possibly could to please everybody...not too many dev's would go out of their way for such a cause, and i think they should be at least applauded for that....they could have easily still charged for the mulitplayer maps, which are very polished products that folks are gettin' for free.

I have read that fans are upset that some decisions they made in 1 didn't fransfer over to three, so like i stated i can't comment on that, but i transferred my ME2 data to ME3, and everything was streamlined amazingly well...it takes alot to line up all of that data and to make sure the characters or storylines don't miss a beat,...so that in itself was a monumental task....but i can respect you feeling the way you do, if you've been with the series since ME1 and there were critical plot points that Bioware might've left out concerning characters/storylines etc...


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Jan 2010
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Think i'll put my two cents in. 1rst the advertising, Konami seemed to advertise well enough through the internet, and by getting Korn to do the theme. However simply showing that a game is coming out isn't enough, out of all the ad's I did not see one talk about the features of the game, such as the ability to explore more of the town and the fight or flight system.Obviously someone who hasn't shown intrest in the series before won't be intrested in the new one if they don't know whats been added, or took away. 2nd I know that the series has always sold better in the states than Japan, but I highly doubt that it sells so little that they would lose money by translating it. 3rd Handing a game that doesn't give too much money back to the company as they would like,to a studio that doesn't have to much money behind it is a terrible business decision to begin with.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?

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I wouldn't want 'Silent Hill' to end per se.

But I believe the original Team Silent saw an outlet to continue the thematic horror via spin-off territory, beginning with 'The Room.' The lore and key aspects of Silent Hill as a universe could've been taken in new directions and even games that were spin-offs related to the universe but not necessarily in the same vein of presentation, location or necessarily gameplay.

There were many avenues Konami could've taken, but they are risk-averse. It's not that they don't try to put out new products, Neverdead being a recent example... but it seems that Konami's employees and new staff aren't up for making good games. Kojima found this out the hard way when he left RISING to the new staff, but they couldn't pull it off without him, such that he now got Platinum Games on the phone.

Konami has good young talent, but they are incapable of acting on their own with people like Kojima to oversee them. This is why Kojima can't leave Metal Gear alone to focus on other things. And given Konami as a whole makes 50% of the company's profits on Metal Gear alone, they can't drop it. In fact their financials give Metal Gear it's own section entirely. Kojima is one of the many heads there, so it's suicide for the company to stop making Metal Gear. Of course my problem is not that I don't want any more Metal Gear. I just wish they'd drop the old cast and start off with a clean slate with new characters and story post MGS4. But the undeserved MGS2 backlash over not playing as Snake by vocal Overseas gamers must've really hit them hard. So gamers are partially to blame.


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 22 Aug 2009
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I think a game does flop (even when it's good in case of Downpour) when the developers and producers show zero interest in the game and make you feel like they just wanna group some figures, characters and an overused story and an alice in wonder land kinda otherworld and label it Silent Hill.

I enjoyed SH: Downpour, Homecoming and all the others very much but there's absolutely no promotion for the game. Metal Gear Solid get all the promo and attention from day 1 and beyond release too and SH doesn't get anything, at all. Giving bonus features to GameStop or Mexican Stores buyers isn't promo, real promo is when fans and non fans are aware of the game and feel excited.

Silent Hill is mainly a series of stand alone adventures so no constant characters or stories, just a concept that is open to any changes and modifications so it requires no reboots and no deep thinking about how 'this story will link with the other'. All that it needs is a very brilliant story writer and producers whom are generous enough to make the story look as beautiful as it as when you read it and even more. I'm not comparing similarities here but a game like Alan Wake looked more Silent Hill than any new SH game. In addition, we need a memorable cast, unexpected revelations, perfect graphics comparable to MGS and Final Fantasy and of course, some powerful dialogue.

The gameplay needs to be longer and now that us long-time fans of SH have grown older and more experienced in solving puzzles, not to mention the existence of online walkthroughs that made the games much more easier and players can finish them in a day or two, they need to be longer. It's not about a puzzle or two that make you stuck or a side quest with a cryptic message that is hard to comprehend (bare in mind that I think Downpour did a great job with puzzles) It's also necessary to make more events and things to do (not a frustrating battle or pointless running around between continents) but a story that is long and that would take a few days to finish for the first time not platinumed the 2nd night after purchase.

Whether Vatra or Team Silent or whoever is willing to make the next one, they really should be willing to do it, not just give little money and say 'Do it'.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Wait, so is Downpour good or is it bad because Vatra showed zero interest in it?

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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He said a few times in the post that Downpour was good and that he enjoyed it. I think he was talking more in general terms.
I do agree though, and the brand should be treated with more care than it has even if I havn't been completely let down from any of the games as of yet. I do know they all could have been better, and I don't want them getting worse as time goes on due to apathy for the series.

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 21 May 2010
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Silent Fantasy wrote:
He said a few times in the post that Downpour was good and that he enjoyed it. I think he was talking more in general terms.
I do agree though, and the brand should be treated with more care than it has even if I havn't been completely let down from any of the games as of yet. I do know they all could have been better, and I don't want them getting worse as time goes on due to apathy for the series.



This pretty much...and like Rino stated....this series series is set up for one-shot storylines...so all that is needed is strong writers and artists to come up with interesting characters and storylines.

The SH series still has a ton of potential...every entry can be a unique expereince unto itself and it doesn't depend on previous entries to extend it's storyline. Downpour was a solid effort and i can only imagine what a seasoned firm would be able to do with the fox engine to create a visually stunning SH experience to complement it's obscure and abstract storylines.


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 22 Aug 2009
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clips wrote:
Silent Fantasy wrote:
He said a few times in the post that Downpour was good and that he enjoyed it. I think he was talking more in general terms.
I do agree though, and the brand should be treated with more care than it has even if I havn't been completely let down from any of the games as of yet. I do know they all could have been better, and I don't want them getting worse as time goes on due to apathy for the series.



This pretty much...and like Rino stated....this series series is set up for one-shot storylines...so all that is needed is strong writers and artists to come up with interesting characters and storylines.

The SH series still has a ton of potential...every entry can be a unique expereince unto itself and it doesn't depend on previous entries to extend it's storyline. Downpour was a solid effort and i can only imagine what a seasoned firm would be able to do with the fox engine to create a visually stunning SH experience to complement it's obscure and abstract storylines.


Exactly! I believe Silent Hill can always make a great game given a talented writer who knows what he/she's doing, a group of developers whom are willing to translate the story to a better version in game view and producers whom are willing to pay fun and promote this game not just throw it to fans.

I think they need to stay away from Alessa and her past, let's focus on psychological thriller and twists. I guess Downpour was a very good SH game when it comes to gameplay, replay-ability, graphics, locations and length, the only thing I hated about it was how sort-of obvious the story was and how the otherworld turned to some fast-pace, alice-in-wonderland-like roller coaster ride and the very cheaply made monsters that had zero obscurity or talent in their create. I think the great thing about SH games wasn't the fast paced sequences nor QTE, it was the obscurity of everything including the creatures which led us to go online and look up what they mean not have police cars with screaming women out of them to symbolize being chased by the police and his yelling wife LOL

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Vatra closing?
     
         
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Missing since: 30 Jul 2011
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RinoTheBouncer wrote:
I enjoyed SH: Downpour, Homecoming and all the others very much but there's absolutely no promotion for the game. Metal Gear Solid get all the promo and attention from day 1 and beyond release too and SH doesn't get anything, at all. Giving bonus features to GameStop or Mexican Stores buyers isn't promo, real promo is when fans and non fans are aware of the game and feel excited.



I have a feeling Konami has been making money on the series and are afraid to possibly lose money by advertising. I can't think of another reason why it isn't promoted more, yet they continue to make games.

On your point about length, I intentionally played slowly through Downpour. The main story was a bit short, but the sidequests added some decent time. I think short and sweet is better than long and unfocused.


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