Abandoned made a big splash when it came to light last year with a teaser that had many Silent Hill fans convinced that it was in fact a revival of Silent Hills, the cancelled Hideo Kojima project. But it's been a rough ride ever since, as the promised release of a playable demo fell through; in March, developer Blue Box Studios deleted most of its tweets, leading some followers to believe that the project had been quietly cancelled.
Blue Box insisted it was not, but a new report from Gamespot suggests it could be in trouble. Multiple sources have told the site that progress on the game is effectively stalled, while creative direction has changed multiple times, from its original inception as a survival-horror game about being trapped in the forest with a bloodthirsty cult to a story about a "rampant" AI and, more recently, a game about vampires.
Members of a private chat group describe lead developer Hasan Kahraman as "duplicitous and prone to mood swings," and prone to arguing with other members of the group. Kahraman initially wanted to label a recent leak of Abandoned assets as fake, for instance, and only agreed to acknowledge that the assets were real after being convinced to do so by other members of the group. Sources said this sort of thing would happen often: Kahraman would share assets, they would go over poorly or be leaked, and then he would claim they were actually some sort of loyalty test, and not actual assets from Abandoned.
Abandoned has now reportedly returned to its original concept—a survival-horror story about a murderous cult—but sources told Gamespot that there's no evidence the game is actually being worked on at all.
Blue Box Studios denied the report in an email, telling PC Gamer that Abandoned is not being cancelled.
"It is in development, all of this is just out of context resulted by angry fans who did not see the game, the article written by Gamespot is just based on what these angry users speculate," a studio rep said. "One of them is pretending to be an business partner.
"The Prologue will be released whenever we are ready. We are not letting speculation force us to 'prove' the game."
Prologue, in this case, is a separate prologue chapter to Abandoned. It was initially described as a demo, but the studio said in April that it is "not a demo but a standalone game."
The most recent official update for Abandoned was shared in April, when Blue Box denied rumors that the game had been cancelled. The studio said it had planned a full reveal and "prologue" release for the first quarter of 2022, but had been forced to delay them because "we underestimated our development roadmap." A release date for Abandoned and the prologue has not been announced.