Silent Hill: Downpour dev under review - Report

Czech developer Vatra Games' parent company Kuju Entertainment conducting "strategic review" of studio; no decisions have been made.

Vatra Games' days may be numbered. Eurogamer Czech today reports that the Silent Hill: Downpour developer is now under "strategic review" by parent company Kuju Entertainment.

Is Vatra Games going away?

"The new management team at Kuju have been conducting a strategic review of all aspects of the business," a Kuju representative told Eurogamer. "As part of this process, the ongoing business activities of the Vatra studio are currently under review. However, at this stage, no decisions have yet been made."

Vatra Games' most recent title was Silent Hill: Downpour, which shipped in March to a generally favorable reception. Prior to that, the studio released the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network action side-scroller Rush'n Attack: Ex-Patriot.

Eurogamer reports that Vatra was working on a God of War-style project, though the outlet claims this game has been canceled.

Vatra Games, located in Brno, Czech Republic, was established in 2009 and currently boasts a staff of around 50. Up until last summer, it was led by former Take-Two Interactive and Microsoft Game Studios developer Matthew Seymour.

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Discussion

87 comments
forgottenvocal
forgottenvocal

This is a real shame. Don't do this Konami! I have played Silent Hill 2, 3, The Room, Homecoming, Shattered Memories, and Downpour. I haven't been this immersed in a Silent Hill game since 2. I enjoyed it even more than 3, because Heather was a jerk. I really connected with Murphy, and I loved the side quest/exploration option. I admit the game was buggy, but it was definitely playable. They need to remember that neither Team Silent or the original composer, Akira was involved in this. So considering that, this game is amazingly well made.

frodo10
frodo10

I don't really like the idea of people loosing their jobs in any way but i was a bit disappointed with downpour, I think it went down the right road in terms of trying to make the game more open and adding side quests but the enemies were terrible and it was really buggy ( Xbox ) for me and it took me out of the game a lot of the time.

Blueresident87
Blueresident87

This is too bad, I liked Downpour and thought it was the best SH since The Room. I was hoping to see more from these guys, I hope they weather the storm.

visionedorange
visionedorange

the xbox version of the game was fantastic and lived up to the series for me, another worthwhile entry, the ps3 version on the other hand was riddled with bugs and had terrible framerate, this probably has nothing to do with the article but thought i'd put my 2 cents on the quality of ther product in

franzito
franzito

People are just worried here because it's the "last SH dev", although a relative unknown dev to the public.SH won't end because of it.

killip
killip

What a bloody shame. Vatra are the first developers to give the series a glimer of hope after the 4th game, and their days could be numbered?

 

I know Downpour wasn't perfect, but as far as I was concerned Downpour was the first game since 'The Room' to have that Silent Hill feel again. I was hoping they'd get another shot at doing another one. But them hopes look grime now. :(

Wild_666_Child
Wild_666_Child

downpour was one of the most games I ever enjoyed this year it was amazing especially with the otherworld sections so please give vatra games a break it was a FUN game..sure downpour didn't get too good reviews but it's a fun game nonetheless...my only complaint is they didn't fix until now the saving issues.

ImBack558855
ImBack558855

i've played it wasn't bad but it wasn't great ether..

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

Please give Silent Hill back to Japanese devs. The terror factor these games used to instill came from the unknown and the completely abstract story and imagery they used. You were never allowed to get comfortable and each game had a legitimate heart-pounding WTF moment to bring it full circle. SH2, the closet when you think Pyramid Head is going to tear the door off and kill you, SH3 the room with the mirror that has your reflection start bleeding and dying and all of a sudden you realize your health is dropping down so you run like hell to the exit, SH4, the face room (you know the one). Silent Hill: Homecoming had all of the correct Silent Hill imagery but didn't use it in a way to set itself apart from the rest, you could just cruise right through unafraid to explore anywhere, and that was a disappointment for the first Next-Gen SH. I have yet to play Downpour but i don't have a good feeling.

marcusurelius
marcusurelius

homecoming wasn't as bad as people make it out to be. it had a good plot and an appearance by the infamous pyramid head! what more could you want? downpour is the best silent hill game in ages with it's free roam feature and the amazing combat. downpour is right on par with the first two silent hill games.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Konami has been treating the Silent Hill franchise like a quick cash-grab for the last few entries in the series. Very limited resources, no-frills developers and poor marketing don't make for blockbuster sales. What did they expect?!

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

too all the ppl saying Downpour was a bad game play it for more then 5 min sure it had bugs and the enemies are lacking a bit. but Downpour did things right and what was that? it was a true survival horror game that made you jump and use that thing most gamers lost thanks to games like COD A BRAIN 

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

Vatra Games the only good survival horror games maker out there right now in my book Silent Hill: Downpour was a very good game 

slayerSS-3
slayerSS-3

So they want to finish a two years company how made only 1 big game and it was good?Yeah thats seems logical

elancion
elancion

know what the problem is? too many dam sequels.

lily_tiger
lily_tiger

"As part of this process, the ongoing business activities of the Vatra studio are currently under review."

 

And by "under review" Kuju of course means that they are looking for any excuse imaginable, no matter how obscure or absurd, to terminate the Vatra studio forever and ever and ever.

thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

With Resident Evil out of the Survival Horror picture, the genre is Silent Hill's for the taking. They've been too mediocre though... No recent Silent Hill games have been great, or bad. They're just OK. It's time for Konami to step it up and make it a great gaming series.

abnergoinbig
abnergoinbig

this sucks, i really enjoyed downpour and hoped these guys would get another shot at making another one.

pszone
pszone

I knew when i saw E3 this year i knew there no more silent hill games and its end of it. I agree with Beatebrabing the games isnt what used to be and dead space going same way. next scary game im buying old classic doom 3 on ps3 includeing old reto games ya:]

BeateDrabing
BeateDrabing

The last two Silent Hill games have been lacking. I just think the franchise itself is not as marketable as it used to be. 

wgerardi
wgerardi

They need to shut these people down so a new team can start creating quality Silent Hill games

kian681
kian681

I did enjoy Silent Hill Downpour .I realize it did have some flaws and was not perfect ,but overall it was a very enjoyable experience and really showed promise for the future. I hope that Vatra will remain in operation .

DoomglooM
DoomglooM

if Silent Hill 4 had a better inventory system and less back-tracking with that stupid chest...I think it would've been much better

santinegrete
santinegrete

My friend is long time Silent Hill fan and loved this game. And he has a damn good taste that looks trough rough games, so this worries me.

MaloVolpe
MaloVolpe

Downpour was the best Silent Hill since 3. Also to those saying Team Silent should come back, Silent Hill 4 was garbage.

gix47
gix47

downpour was awful

i shall not waste a tear

Shakezulah
Shakezulah

This is really too bad. I sincerely hope that Vatra can stay open, because those guys have the potential for greatness. Downpour wasn't the highest quality of game, but it was by far the most ambitious title in the series (next to Shattered Memories) and had moments of pure brilliance not seen since SH2. The combat was clunky as hell - pretty similarly to the original games, actually - and the enemy design sucked, but the atmosphere and story were there. A lot of people condemning the game and its developer seem to have not even played the game in the first place.

System4Ever
System4Ever

 @Blueresident87 Best SH since the Room.....no offence but you DO realize that's really not saying a lot right? XD

frodo10
frodo10

 @OHGFawx Yeah i don't know what it is but the western developers don't seem to have a clue what made silent hill work, I did play Downpour a bit but in fairness i did not finish it. Just could not get anything out of it.

killip
killip

 @marcusurelius 

 

The worst part of that game was the Pyramid Head cameo! It was not only pointless, but it didn't make sense as Pyramid Head was James' creation for not accepting what he'd done in SH2. 

 

Homecoming was a real bad attempt at trying to be the film. Downpour was a genuine Silent Hill that didn't try and be anything else. It used SH2 as the template, sure, but it was its own game. That's what all the other Western Developers got wrong.

ExplicitMike
ExplicitMike

 @Vodoo How is it a cash grab when their sales are so poor? They hardly promote the game too. I wouldn't call that a cash grab. I think you are confusing Silent Hill with Resident Evil.

BradBurns
BradBurns

 @BeateDrabing I disagree. I believe the franchise itself is not as marketable as it used to be because Konami has completely destroyed the Silent Hill brand by outsourcing every single title in the series from the past five years to the lowest bidder instead of developing them internally.

 

As you can see the Metal Gear brand gets preferential treatment at Konami. Metal Gear games are always made internally and when they're not they're outsourced to top quality devs with peerless reputations like Platinum on the other hand you have Silent Hill being outsourced to an Eastern European scrappy start-up studio. Konami did this to themselves.

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

 @DoomglooM Trying to purify the room with a very limited supply of candles bothered me because if it wasnt perfectly placed, sometimes it would fail to purify what was next to it so there went your good+ ending.

BradBurns
BradBurns

 @MaloVolpe  Silent Hill 4 was a bit of a misstep but I think it's kind of an exaggeration to say that it was worse than any of the outsourced Silent Hill games.

 

I would say it's the worst of the best, the best being 1,2,3, and 4 in last place. Externally developed ones don't even count.

marcusurelius
marcusurelius

@OHGFawx wat are you talking about? downpour did have some pretty good combat. it didn't have to be modern warfare combat style. it forced you to switch weapons out all the time and no the knife didn't "pwned" whatever that means. silent hill 4 was garbage anyway, all that useless backtracking and horrific inventory system. are you sure you weren't playing silent hill downpour on "Easy" mode, homie?

ImBack558855
ImBack558855

 @BillyColeman haha really... nah just sick of you kids talking like ya grown.. and be getting away with some pretty shitty comments... and from ur last comment you the one who seems like the cry baby... getting all upset because you don't know what SMH means... LMAO....

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

 @ImBack558855 eh whatever after seeing your bio i can tell your some cry baby i cant and will not wast time on you maybe gamespot will remove more of your topics waaa cry me a river 

ImBack558855
ImBack558855

 @BillyColeman  and who do you think you are to be telling anybody what not to be talking about.. WTF... SMH...  battlefield sucks......

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

 @OHGFawx eh i never did like to use guns in any of the games enless i had too but trust me when i say im sure you will come out feeling Downpour is a very good game

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

 @BillyColeman Conserving ammo has been a cornerstone of every SH game to date, thats what creates a lot of the tension, or at least it did until Homecoming. The melee weapons are supposed to be somewhat effective but never good enough to make you feel safe. I haven't played Downpour yet so i haven't made any judgements about it and i wont until i finish it.

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

 @BillyColeman Spare me this idiotic nonsense. I thought he was saying the combat in Homecoming was amazing, and i corrected my mistake. CoD blows and i never play it, stop making mindless assumptions about me, thank you.

visionedorange
visionedorange

 @marcusurelius  silent hill 4 was a great game and probably the most disturbing, atmospheric one in the series (this is coming from a SH vet whose played every survival horror game out ther)

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

I thought you said Homecoming had amazing combat, my mistake for reading it too quickly.