As if the list of closed developers wasn’t large enough yet another name could soon be added to the list. Silent Hill: Downpour developer Vatra is said to be under review by parent company Kuju, which in business talk is simply a nice way of saying the place is as good as dead. Now the final killing blow from Pyramid Head may not have been given to Vatra just yet, but things aren’t looking good for the Czech based developer and in a way the lack of success around Silent Hill: Downpour has definitely played a part in the studio’s current situation.
Those within Kuju and Vatra are staying silent about things for now, but word around the campfire is that Kuju brass are reportedly looking at different aspects of the company such as Vatra and are reviewing their worth and importance. Far from being an astounding flop, Silent Hill: Downpour really didn’t set the Silent Hill series back on track as Konami wished it would and that likely in turn meant that Vatra didn’t receive any bonuses or even earned the title of being the go-to studio for future Silent Hill games.
With the one major franchise the studio has worked on now being a thing of the past, the life of Vatra will sadly be cut short based on a mere business decision. I wouldn’t say that the decision to shutter Vatra wouldn’t be justified if it comes to that, but it’s just depressing to once again be slapped in the face with the unfriendly reminder of how tough this generation has been. The failure of Silent Hill: Downpour certainly should rest partially on the shoulders of Vatra since the game was far from perfect, but let’s not forget that Konami should also receive a stern finger pointing as well since they didn’t treat the game the care and respect it needed. And hell, is it truly fair for a studio to bite the dust after one game receives a lukewarm reception?
A decision on the fate of Vatra hasn’t been announced, but it’s safe to say that the studio will likely not exist as it does now once we roll into 2013. As far as the fate of the Silent Hill series is concerned, it’s unknown what Konami plans to do with that considering they’ve played developer musical chairs with the series over the last few years. It would be nice if Mercury Steam (Castlevania: Lords of Shadow) got a shot at the Silent Hill franchise, but they may have their eyes on other Konami properties right now.