Something very strange is going on with Abandoned right now. The PS5 exclusive is the subject of a rumour mill that’s pointed to it being a Hideo Kojima game, a Silent Hill game, or perhaps even both – all while the game’s developers repeatedly insist it isn’t any of those things.
So what is Abandoned, why have the rumours started, and when will we find out more? I’ve rounded up everything we know below:
Back in early April, Sony revealed a PS5-exclusive game called Abandoned, from developer Blue Box Game Studios. A short teaser trailer provided a glimpse at the eerie game, which is billed as a first-person cinematic horror survival shooter. Thanks to its content and the fact that the studio was relatively unknown beforehand, comparisons to games like Silent Hill and Hideo Kojima’s P.T. were drawn almost immediately. Famously, Hideo Kojima used Joakim Mogren (Joakim being an anagram for Kojima) and ‘Moby Dick Game Studios’ to reveal ‘The Phantom Pain’ in 2012, before we knew it was Metal Gear Solid 5.
Knowing the auteur’s history of ruses and subversive marketing campaigns, fans started to surmise that Abandoned might be a secret Hideo Kojima game, and perhaps even the next Silent Hill. As the rumour mill started to turn and fans dug into the lacking social media presence of Blue Box, the studio issued an official response to the rumours on its website.
“We have no association with Hideo Kojima nor do we claim to have any association nor was it our intention to claim such a statement,” the statement reads. “We are a small group of developers working on a passionate title we wanted to work on for a long time.” So there we go, Abandoned is not a Hideo Kojima game.
I’ve had a few DMs today wondering why I’m one of the six people followed by @BBGameStudios.
— Jordan Oloman (@JordanOloman) June 17, 2021
I even spoke to Game Director Hasan Kahraman at the time to confirm it. “At first I was receiving messages from people telling me that they’ve been watching me and that I (As Kojima) used some marketing tricks to promote his next game,” Kahraman told me. “All I wanted to do is to tease our game. Regarding our social media presence, we’re a small team and not a big AAA studio, it’s already hard work to work on a highly polished game for PS5 so we really can’t spare the time to work on our social media presence full-time (while it is important).”
The Rabbit Hole
So why are we still talking about Abandoned as the next Silent Hill / Kojima project? Well, the game is going to be formally revealed on June 22 as part of a special app you can download on your PS5, which will feature a series of “Realtime Trailers” from the game to demonstrate gameplay.
On June 22 Abandoned will have it’s own PS5 app showcasing upcoming title related trailers and gameplay reveal demo’s. All images are actual in-game sequences that will provide you a first impression of the game followed by a gameplay demo this summer along with a release date.
— BLUE BOX Game Studios (@BBGameStudios) June 11, 2021
In the run-up to Abandoned’s gameplay reveal, the developers have sent out some curious tweets that have sent Silent Hill and Kojima fans down a rabbit hole. On June 15, Blue Box tweeted this: “Guess the name: Abandoned = (First letter S, Last letter L). Reveal closing in…” This led many fans to believe Abandoned’s official title is Silent Hill, but Blue Box then followed up with another apology. “We wanted to set things straight. We have no relations with Konami. Silent Hill is owned by Konami. We do not have any relations with Hideo Kojima. It was never our intention to tease the name as Silent Hill. We sincerely apologize for this.”
So again, there’s Blue Box saying that Abandoned is neither a Silent Hill or Hideo Kojima game. But that hasn’t stopped the rumour mill. Fans have unearthed a mountain of potential clues, which you can find compiled on TheBlueBoxConspiracy subreddit.
There are some potential ties between Blue Box and Kojima, it seems. To start, the names of those apparently involved. Hasan Kahraman has the same initials as Hideo Kojima, and if you translate Hideo from Japanese to Turkish using Google, you get Kahraman. Some have speculated that BBGameStudios could also be a reference to the Bridge Babies (or BBs), from Kojima’s Death Stranding.
With the fervour increasing, fans have found more and more potential connections – although how many of them are more than mere coincidence is still to be discovered. In recent days, Kojima has put out pictures on Instagram of him holding a Blue Box, and a tweet that contained the words Silent and Hills. Blue Box Game Studio’s YouTube account banner is a set of hills. In the Abandoned trailer, the trees cover the letters P and T at the 0:49 mark.
Previous mobile games from Blue Box Game Studios feature a handprint (which looks very similar to the one from Death Stranding) as a logo. In the Death Stranding Director’s Cut trailer, Sam’s backpack features the Netherlands flag, and Blue Box is based in The Netherlands. Kojima Productions has also recently opened a subsidiary called Kojima Productions Amsterdam.
An old Blue Box Game Studios Kickstarter has also been found, where funding was cancelled after a private investor got involved. Interestingly enough, a Dutch interview with Kahraman was translated and posted to the Blue Box subreddit where Kahraman seemingly says “We’ve been working with Sony since 2015. What happened now and how it happened that this game became a PS5 exclusive, I can’t reveal as of yet”. Hmm!
Abandoned – Screenshots of the PS5 Exclusive
The Other Side
But let’s calm down and take our tinfoil hats off for a moment. The studio only follows six people on Twitter, and that list includes myself and Geoff Keighley. Keighley has spoken on Twitter about how he is talking to Hasan about helping to reveal the game over the summer. Keighley then posted on ResetEra: “Just to set expectations, I honestly don’t think this is what you guys think it is,” before saying that Hasan was going to send him an email with some images he can post.
Naturally, I’ve also had quite a few DMs from fans who want me to unravel the mystery and confirm whether this is a Kojima game or not. I can’t confirm that just yet, but I am in touch with Kahraman at the moment, via email. At the very least, I can confirm they are a real studio based in The Netherlands. You can see some more of the transcript from our April interview on ResetEra. We’re trying to set up a call at the moment to really get to the bottom of this, and I hope we’ll be able to share more information soon, perhaps as a follow-up interview to the one conducted in April.
Whether Abandoned ends up being a secret Kojima project or not, mysteries like this one are always exciting to follow and get involved with, and I’ll be keeping my eye on Abandoned whatever happens. Roll on June 22, and the official gameplay reveal.
Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.