The Hollow Knight: Silksong delirium reaches its pitchfork stage as former playtester saying the game isn't 'in dev hell' gets eviscerated for it

Hollow Knight: Silksong — Hornet, the heroine of the Hollow Knight sequel, leaping into action.
(Image credit: Team Cherry)

The Silksong community is, as you'd imagine, a little fraught right now—without a peep of news from the Summer Game Fest or Nintendo Direct, nor a public statement from increasingly enigmatic developer Team Cherry, it has an appetite for information I can only describe as starved, a result of 700 plus days of silence.

Things have continued to spiral after some offhand comments from a former playtester who goes by the name of Your Mate Graig on the Hollow Knight Discord (thanks, GamesRadar). While he claims to have been the lead tester for Silksong (a statement that has gone unchallenged by Team Cherry for months), he left the studio to work on his own game, Roc's Odyssey, some time ago.

Graig stated Tuesday, June 18 that he "literally know[s] they are not in dev hell"—a pretty innocuous confirmation that would be uneventful in most circumstances but, like a flock of understandably pissed seagulls descending on a scrap of meat, Silksong's subreddit proceeded to eviscerate him over it.

Upset users accused Graig of a history of "toying with people", and even turned on each other for trusting him, calling it a level of "cope I didn't think was possible."

There's a couple of layers to this semi-pariah status—one, Graig has a reputation for being a bit of a troll. He rather publicly flew off the handle at impatient skongers last year, though he's also had far more sympathetic moments towards the fanbase as well.

Two, he's the closest Team Cherry has to an official mouthpiece right now, which is lunacy. I want to state, plainly, that I'm not at all interested in raking someone over the coals who has no real obligation to be nice or communicative in any specific way. It's not his job to do that. It's just that no-one else is.

The strangeness of this situation has been entirely created by Team Cherry's silence—Graig hasn't been asked to stop, but he's also the only one saying anything. Team Cherry hasn't peeped so much as a "it's still in development" since the Xbox showcase in 2022—granted, it might be feeling burned by the missed promises of a 2023 release window, but clamming up clearly isn't the answer. It's driving people to grab pitchforks.

"Be me," Graig later writes on the Discord, "say something that's true and something I thought would help people feel better. Get abused on /r/silksong for it … It's kinda funny cause I genuinely sympathise with them and have said so many times. I agree that [Team Cherry's] communication should be better. Apparently I'm a huge POS though."

(Image credit: Your Mate Graig on the Hollow Knight Discord.)

Graig does, however, maintain that it's Team Cherry's right whether it wants to divulge information or not—which is absolutely the case, in the same way that I have the right to eat fish and chips for every meal. Doesn't necessarily mean it's a great idea, and my fans—I mean, body—might rebel against me for it.

Honestly, I just hope for everyone involved that we get some actual Silksong news soon, and that all of these reassurances (from everyone but the actual studio, for some reason) bear fruit. Hollow Knight was, deservedly, considered one of the best metroidvanias of the decade, getting a 92 from us in our Hollow Knight review—and it deserves a sequel.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.