9 Years Ago, Kojima Unveiled the Masterpiece You Never Got to Play
It wasn’t meant to be.
On August 12, 2014, a little game demo called P.T. appeared on the PlayStation Store. At the time, no one knew what it was.
This mysterious psychological horror game was apparently developed by a team called 7780s Studio, which turned out to be a pseudonym for none other than Kojima Productions. The demo consisted of a looping hallway filled with eerie, cryptic puzzles, and a horrifying ghost named Lisa.
Eventually, it was revealed that this demo was a Playable Teaser for Silent Hills, and that Konami and Kojima would be working together once again. But what ensued after its release was unforgettable, resulting in one of the most infamous examples of a canceled video game.
At the end of the demo, which required very specific inputs from the player to complete, The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus was revealed as the star of Silent Hills, with Kojima and Guillermo del Toro serving as directors. The hype was unreal, as Kojima was already beloved for his work on the Metal Gear series, and the thought of him directing a horror game was compelling.
Bringing Guillermo del Toro and Norman Reedus on board truly made this feel like a big deal, with a high production value that would serve this game well. Seemingly, everything was in place for this to be one of the greatest horror games of all time. And then it was canceled and the P.T. demo was pulled from the PlayStation Store.
To this day, it’s unclear what exactly happened, but evidently, Kojima and Konami had a dispute that led to the cancelation of Silent Hills and the subsequent removal of the P.T. demo from the store. To make matters worse, players were unable to redownload the demo, even if they had initially installed the demo on their PS4s — a major blow to the preservation of this game. In fact, people began listing their PS4 systems with the P.T. demo installed on eBay for over $1,000, proving just how high the demand for this game was.
While game cancelations are never pleasant, this one was particularly disappointing, as the excitement for Silent Hills was almost out of this world. This was due, in part, to the P.T. demo’s cryptic gameplay, which caused it to go viral as the community shared strategies for how to beat it. It was reminiscent of talking about video games with your friends on the playground, long before you could find walkthroughs on the internet.
In the demo, as you loop around the hallway, you must interact with items such as picture frames, a radio, and even a peephole that leads to some horrifying imagery. But the game doesn’t tell you how to get through it, which would normally be frustrating, but in this case, led to some of the most ingenious marketing strategies ever. Message boards were flooded with players comparing notes, as the community at large attempted to solve the game’s mysteries. Without any trailers or expensive marketing campaigns, P.T. was all anyone could talk about in the late summer of 2014.
But the word of mouth didn’t stop there, as gamers collectively lamented the game’s cancelation for years to come, especially since Konami pulled P.T. from the PlayStation Store. Sadly, nothing ever came of this P.T. demo, as Silent Hills was never revived. Sure, Kojima later went on to work with Norman Reedus and Guillermo del Toro in Death Stranding, but the void left by P.T. and Silent Hills was never quite filled.
Thankfully, there’s an Unreal remake of P.T. you can download on PC right now, and while it’s not a perfect recreation, it’s pretty darn close. Konami has also revived the series with multiple upcoming projects including a remake of Silent Hill 2.
Still, many of us are holding out that Kojima’s Silent Hills will eventually see the light of day.