Would you believe me if I told you that Hollywood director and horror extraordinaire, Guillermo Del Toro Gomez, spends a large majority of his free time playing video games, collecting rare toys and hanging out with his best friend, Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima?
Well, it’s true. The Hellboy director is a massive gamer, but even though he's worked on two horror games during his career, none of them have ever come out (excluding P.T.).
We know the director has had no problem bringing movies to the big screen, so why has he stumbled when it comes to game development? The games, as you will see, both look incredible, not to mention frightfully scary.
However, it seems that whenever Guillermo Del Toro gets involved with a video game something bizarre or unexpected happens during development which inescapably leads to the project being shut down completely.
"I have proven to be the albatross of video games. I joined THQ, and THQ goes broke. I join Kojima, and Kojima leaves Konami, because Metal Gear. I have decided, in order not to destroy anyone else’s life, I have decided I will never again get involved in video games. Otherwise, I’ll join someone and his house will explode, or something."
So that's it? Del Toro will never work on a game again, seemingly consigned to a curse that prevents him from shipping any finished interactive product. Or perhaps the truth is more complicated than that. Let's take a look at what happened.
The Cursed Few
Back in 2012, Guillermo Del Toro announced that he would be collaborating with THQ to produce a game called Insane (stylized InSANE). The production was set to usher in a new generation of psychological horror with player interaction having a direct effect on the game's direction.
"With this new series of video games, I want to take players to a place they have never seen before, where every single action makes them question their own senses of morality and reality. THQ and Volition, Inc. are equally excited to make this vision of a completely new game universe into a reality."
Insane was actually set to be a trilogy, with the first edition releasing in 2013. The game was announced by the eeriest of game teasers, featuring the scratching of metal, demonic whispers and the ghostly howls of what feels like scores of tortured souls.
The plot of Insane was never made public, but we do know that it would have been a “Lovecraftian horror adventure” with a “pulp narrative and creatures with tentacles.”
Alas, soon after the release of the teaser THQ ran into financial difficulty and were forced to shut down production. Del Toro retained the rights to Insane, though it was never taken on any further despite a multitude of conversations with other big developers.
Some say that Insane may still be in production somewhere and Del Toro will resurrect this ill-fated title someday. We can but dream.
Silent Hills Comes and Goes
It was the collaboration that stunned the entertainment world. Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro were to unite to produce the world's most terrifying horror game. That project was Silent Hills.
In August 2014, Del Toro revealed that he was to collaborate with acclaimed game director Hideo Kojima to create Silent Hills. It wasn’t Insane, but the prospect of a new Silent Hill game resonated well with the gaming community.
The game was to be the ninth instalment in Konami's psychological saga, and announced itself through a masterful teaser which will forever be remembered as one of the scariest demos ever. This was, of course, the ‘playable teaser’, known famously as P.T.
P.T. wowed the worldwide audience and Silent Hills quickly became the most anticipated game of the decade. The involvement of Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) only helped fuel the hype that Silent Hills had received.
But, just a few months after the reveal in 2015, just as with Insane, Del Toro announced that Konami had cancelled development on Silent Hills. Kojima, Del Toro and Reedus attempted to continue work on the project, but the legalities around Konami’s involvement inevitably meant that all involvement had to cease.
The real reason for the cancellation has never really been explained, though it would seem reasonable that it remains a matter of personal dispute between Hideo Kojima and Konami.
Since then, Guillermo Del Toro has stated that he will never again work on a video game; it seems that he considers himself cursed. Unless he works with Hideo Kojima.
"...except with this man. I’ll do whatever the fuck he wants."
There is no rhyme or reason behind the project failures, just bad luck -- he is certainly not cursed, I mean look at his other work!
Never Say Never?
On the bright side, Kojima is currently working on a new game with Norman Reedus called Death Stranding. The game looks rather surreal and is very much up Del Toro’s street. Although we have yet to hear any official news of a collaboration, Guillermo Del Toro is the best of the best when it comes to creating uncanny, eerie and fantastical worlds.
A collaboration with Hideo Kojima, one of the finest video game directors in the business, seems like the only way to break this so-called curse.
Are you ready for Guillermo Del Toro's return to video games?