And no offense Kenji, normally it'd take alot for me to read long posts like that, but there is some quality wisdom bein' dropped up there and i read all of it...again i agree...
Offended? How could I be offended? Way I see it, that's a damn fine compliment! Thank you.
Demon's Souls and Dark Souls are more of a stroke of luck though. The fact that good games sell themselves isn't always true as game quality isn't the only thing that factors into a game's success. It's also genre (some are simply more popular with the gaming public than others, advertising, competition, the timeframe of the release, budget, and so on. Sure, marketing can't force people to want to buy the games, but it at least tells the people that the game is out there and you always have to make that evident especially with a lesser known (in contrast to all those big budget AAA games anyway) property like Silent Hill.
Naturally, the more specific case begs more detail, but I do think the general principle I outlined is sound. Especially these days, when the number and frequency of releases is winding down noticeably. I wouldn't be surprised, if gaming returns to a wildly popular state as in the 2600 or NES days, that this year would be fit within the "Crash Period." Things like this are usually labelled after-the-fact.
My main point was to avoid blaming marketing as if it were the main determinant. Certainly, marketing has its uses: Mainly, to notify that a product exists. Many firms go too far in their marketing efforts, but Konami (as has been noted) doesn't even do what's required. There's room for nuance, of course.
For example, the rise of Souls is coupled with the failure of Zelda to do the job most people hire it for, and the hitherto lack of a suitable replacement for that job. That is, a fine-tuned, precision action RPG that asks the player to perform a dangerous quest using his wits and swordsmanship. Or, more generally, a quest that demands you transform from boy to badass.
Zelda, over the last ten years, has transformed from that into a series of errands. Solving rudimentary puzzles, fighting incompetent enemies, the sort of thing that any
young (wo)man with middling athleticism, problem solving skills, and the belief that evil is bad could accomplish. The only thing that saves the people of Hyrule from being contemptibly
lazy, incompetent, and therefore unworthy of rescue is that the Master Sword is keyed to Link's DNA (soul, mojo, who cares), making him hero by virtue of a glorified three-foot, double-edged key.
Compelling, isn't it?
So, you could make the case that Souls rose up because it's so far proven the best candidate to fill a niche that's still warm and fondly remembered. I wouldn't argue against it, but I would ask you to remember that such things do happen. In any case, unlike Souls, Silent Hill does have a thirteen-year history and was known (to those who cared -- more on this, shortly) as the second go-to game for survival horror and the best bet for actually getting the heebie-jeebies.
The question, and this is probably the biggest reason why SH could never touch RE in terms of popularity or moneymaking ability, is whether the customer wants
legit heebie-jeebies (given that most popular horror serves as the means to a social end -- such as fondling your date -- I'd lean towards "no"). And, in terms of recent vs. classic Silent Hill, if the games can deliver on that promise (which, unfortunately, I must also lean towards "no").
If you take an unpopular concept (that is, it doesn't serve a recognizable purpose for the majority of people) and fail to do it effectively, then no amount of marketing can save the result. Despite my initial bad impression, I've developed something of a soft spot for Downpour
... but I can't be assed to finish it, and it probably wouldn't have led me to other Silent Hills, had I started with it. I honestly wish this wasn't so.