With the upcoming Silent Hill 2 remake, Bloober Team is looking to compete with the industry heavyweights when it comes to horror and horror-adjacent games. Speaking recently with IGN at DICE Summit 2023, Bloober Team CEO Piotr Babieno says that the developer wants to move beyond “walking simulator” games to titles with larger scopes and more complex and involved gameplay mechanics.
“We still would like to make meaningful games, we still would like to keep our DNA to tell [stories] about things which are important to us,” says Babieno. “However, not by environmental storytelling, but by full action, to have much more mass appeal. And I think that this is the reason why we have chosen Silent Hill.”
Babieno says Bloober Team is effectively shifting the way it looks at horror with Silent Hill 2. Referring to this evolution as “Bloober 3.0,” Babieno is taking a quiet approach to the developer’s move as a way to show fans how the company will approach horror. Babieno explained that Bloober team first transitioned from “1.0” to “2.0” after 2014. Back when the company first started in 2008, it made “all possible mistakes.”
“I micromanaged at the beginning, I made a lot of mistakes by choice in projects,” he says. “And at the beginning we thought about our shareholders, and we tried to make them happy because they were investors in our company. We followed their needs.”
That all changed in with 2014’s Basement Crawl, which Babieno says was “the worst game on PlayStation for that time.” From there, the team decided, that they needed to refocus on what gamers wanted, and less on the shareholders’ desires.
As for the future, Babieno aims to make Bloober Team’s focus on making psychological horror games conceived and crafted internally that get people’s attention, while also making games that leave a mark on players long after they’ve completed them.
“Our idea is to make games which will make an impact on you, that you understand more not so much about our characters, not necessarily about the universe which we are creating, but about yourself. Because those choices which we are offering in the game will allow you to understand better, ‘Am I [a certain kind of] person? Why did I make this choice and not the other? Is there something wrong with me?’ Those moral conflicts, which are in the best games, are not made by people more than once, maybe twice [in their real lives]. Usually never. But because we have the opportunity to check ourselves by playing games, we are able to understand ourselves and others better.”
As for what comes after Silent Hill 2, Babieno isn’t ruling out Bloober Team carrying the franchise forward with more titles in the future. While Bloober is focused for now on Silent Hill 2 and its secret project with Private Division, Konami has shown interest through their conversations with the developer. “I’m not going to say never,” says Babieno.
Silent Hill 2 is currently in development for PC via Steam and the PlayStation 5, with the Xbox Series coming at a later date.