Abandoned is an upcoming indie horror from Blue Box Studio. Almost nothing is known about the team or the game itself. However, thanks to fan theories about its connection with Silent Hill and the provocations of developers, it has become one of the most discussed projects of 2021. We talk in detail about who is hiding behind the Blue Box, and whether Hideo Kojima has anything to do with it.

Silent Hills (cancelled game by Hideo Kojima)

What is generally known about the Blue Box, and how did it all start?

Blue Box is an indie studio from the Netherlands, which most gamers didn’t know anything about until April of this year. It was then that the first teaser of the horror game Abandoned, the upcoming PlayStation 5 console exclusive, was released.

Users on the web suddenly assumed that there was something more behind the small video than just an indie game. The first theories began to appear on social networks and gaming forums that Abandoned is actually a new mysterious project by Hideo Kojima. However, at that time they were more like simple fantasies.

In response to the hype, Blue Box still had to give the first official comment to dispel the rumors. “We have nothing to do with Hideo Codism — we have never claimed this and were not going to make such statements, the message said.

However, this did not stop users. More and more people were convinced that the Blue Box did not really exist, and she herself was just a cover for a distraction. Developer Rami Ismail decided to investigate the issue and contacted the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. It turned out that Blue Box is officially registered in the country and has been in existence since 2015. “The studio is real. This is not Hideo Kojima, who put on a mustache for disguise,” he wrote.

Although nothing was known about the Blue Box team, the studio still had a number of released projects in its portfolio. Among them are the Greenlight, presented on Steam, but never released Rewind: Voice of the Past and the mobile horror The Whisperer. The latter’s logo at the same time seemed to the conspirators very similar to the handprints from Death Stranding.

Last week, Blue Box revealed a little more information about itself. Previously, the studio helped other companies with the development of several games. According to Blue Box, seven outsourcing teams are working with her on Abandoned, and professional actors have been involved in the voice acting of the game.

The last statements seemed especially suspicious to the audience. Like, where does a small indie studio have such budgets? And why would Sony invest a lot of money to support a little-known independent team?

The main Fan theories that link Abandoned with Kojima

Last week, Blue Box once again made headlines in the gaming media. This time the reason was the provocative tweets of the studio on the eve of the big Abandoned demonstration.

The developers stated that they had not yet announced the final name of the game and invited the fan to guess it. “Abandoned = The first letter S, the last one is L, the already deleted tweet said.

Of course, users immediately thought that we were talking about a new Silent Hill. Considering that in 2014 Hideo Kojima was just working on Silent Hills, forums and social networks were filled with new fan theories.

The Japanese game designer created a project based on the famous franchise together with actor Norman Reedus and director Guillermo del Toro. As a result, Silent Hills was canceled in April 2015, after which Kojima switched to Death Stranding. Officially, no one was going to return to this project, but after the Blue Box tweets, fans began to claim that Abandoned is a new game from Kojima Productions.

As a result, Blue Box had to apologize for misleading users. “We have no relationship with Konami. Silent Hill belongs to Konami. And we have no relationship with Hideo Codism, the developers said.

Despite the denial, the further actions of Blue Box only added fuel to the fire. The studio said that the teaser shown in April was only an announcement of the development. The game itself will be presented for the first time in the form of trailers and gameplay videos through a special application for PS5.

The PlayStation LifeStyle edition recalled that in 2014 Kojima was just showing a playable demo of P.T. in the form of a separate application. The unsightly Abandoned video was also associated with a game designer, because he specifically worsened the graphics in P.T. in order to distract attention and make it more like an indie game.

Initially, the Abandoned app was supposed to be released on June 22. After that, the developers postponed the release to the 25th due to localization problems. As a result, on June 21, Blue Box noted that only the app itself will be released on Friday, and the show itself will take place later.

While waiting for at least some details, users continue to build theories around Abanonded. Some found the similarity of the Blue Box and PlayStation Studios logos. In addition, all physical copies of games for PS4 and PS5 are delivered in blue boxes. Some fans are sure that this is not just a coincidence.

A lot of theories are built around the founder and head of Blue Box Hassan Kahraman (Hasan Kahraman). The fact is that almost nothing is known about him. There is no photo or description of his previous jobs on his LinkedIn page. Some fans began to speculate that such a person does not exist in principle.

It got to the point that people saw the connection in the identical initials of Kahraman and Hideo Kojima — H.K. Other users found that if you translate “Hideo” from Japanese into Turkish, you get “Kahraman”.

Other theories are related to Blue Box’s social media activity. The studio usually publishes messages late at night, Dutch time. At the same time, in Japan it is just earlier in the morning.

Users also found that the cap of the official YouTube channel Blue Box depicts misty mountains and hills. This prompted the players to think that it could be about Silent Hill.

Finally, some fans found out that Kahraman’s PSN profile has a link to the TwentySeven27 YouTube channel. Users felt that this was not just a coincidence, since Kojima’s Silent Hills was canceled on April 27, 2015. At the same time, the codename of the game is Abandoned (abandoned/left) may hint that Konami has “abandoned” Silent Hills and P.T.

Kojima’s “Genius” marketing

The Japanese game designer is good at creating HYPE around his projects. Suffice it to recall the debut trailer of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, shown in 2012. The video featured the logo of the fictional developer Moby Dick Studio, and Kojima himself even hired an actor for several interviews. Is it worth saying that the name of the fake developer Joakim is an anagram for Kojima?

A similar trick was pulled by a game designer in 2014, when users got access to a mysterious demo of P.T. The game resembled an indie project, but at the end of the users were waiting for a small teaser of Silent Hills.

Kojima’s love of anagrams, riddles and provocative marketing makes a large number of people believe in his involvement in Abandoned. The actions of the Blue Box itself do not help clarify the situation, but only generate more and more theories and disputes.

At the same time, the organizer of The Game Awards and journalist Geoff Keighley hinted that he was somehow involved in the upcoming Abandoned presentation. He is also known as a close friend of Kojima and has previously helped with the screenings of the Japanese game designer’s games more than once.

What can be said about Abandoned for sure?

The only theory that has been completely destroyed is related to the personality of Kahraman. It turned out that he was still a real person. At first, several industry representatives reported on the conversation with the developer, including Mark Delaney, the author of OpenCritic. He talked to the head of Blue Box for an hour and said that Abandoned has nothing to do with Silent Hill.

Kahraman also showed his face for the first time tonight by recording a video message for the players. “I am not related to Hideo Kojima. I’m not an actor. I’m not working on Silent Hill. I just wanted to show you my face and prove that I am a real person,” he said.

However, even the direct appeal of the developer did not stop the conspiracy theorists. Users found that the Blue Box tweet was liked by the official Kojima Productions account.

Jason Schreier tried to clarify the situation around the studio. On June 22, the journalist shared the results of his investigation and stated that he also talked to Kahraman for an hour.

Schreier noted that Kahraman is, with a high degree of probability, really a real indie developer. He has been playing games since childhood, but has not yet achieved success in this field. The developer also clarified that the upcoming Abandoned show should dispel all rumors.

According to Kahraman, Blue Box currently employs only 10 people. In 2015, the studio managed to attract the attention of Sony, with which it signed a contract (its details are not disclosed). The game itself has been in development since 2017 and is funded, among other things, by private investors.

Despite the initial details, Schreier still has a number of questions for Blue Box. Kahraman still does not disclose the names of other employees and investors. It also looks strange that a small and previously unsuccessful indie team is making a large-scale game with realistic graphics that should work in 4K and at 60 FPS.

In any case, the hype around Abanonded has reached huge proportions. From an unsightly project, it turned into one of the most discussed titles of this year. Solving riddles and building theories around the Blue Box has already become a kind of separate game for users of social networks and forums.

However, this hype may have the opposite effect. If Abandoned really turns out to be just a simple indie game from a small team, many conspiracy theorists may be disappointed. After all, in their heads they have already imagined, if not the revival of Silent Hill, then at least a new mysterious project of Kojima.