Is the game good when it is short?

Popular wisdom, in its straightforwardness without frills and at times even a little brutal, teaches us that “the game is good when it doesn’t last long”. A lesson they should treasure in Holland, around Blue Box Game Studios. I don’t know if the message, in order to be best received by the elusive Mr. Hasan Kahraman, must be translated into English, Turkish or even Japanese, in accordance with those who continue to think – in my opinion in an irrational way – that Kojima is behind all this clumsy bandwagon.

However, I believe that, beyond the marketing maneuvers to say the least convoluted and the increasingly daring mirror games, at least a semblance of sense of proportion would be needed: a concept clearly alien to the developers of Abandoned, very smoky independent exclusive for PS5 that continues to promise without ever keeping, for a push and pull that with the latest development (which certainly will not actually be the last) seems to have really pulled the rope too much.

Abandon yourself to a cruel fate

The story, to sum it up very briefly, was born last spring, with a post on the PlayStation Blog announcing it a new FPS exclusive to PS5 intended to mix horror and realism, recounting the vicissitudes of a man who wakes up isolated in a forest and hunted by a strange sect. A first teaser shows confusing clips, but the developers – an unknown Dutch team that goes by the name of Blue Box Game Studios – promise gameplay updates within a short time.

Everything ends up in oblivion, until, several months later, increasingly insistent rumors (and in some cases clearly far-fetched) spread about a possible direct involvement of Metal Gear Solid’s father: behind Abandoned there would actually be none other than the new Silent Hill developed by Sony, with just that old fox of good Hideo at the helm.

After all, Kojima himself had already accustomed us to a modus operandi similar to the days of Ground Zeroes, with the story of Moby Dick Studio and Joakim Mogren told in our special on the communication of Metal Gear Solid V.

The internet goes crazy at this point: Reddit explodes with surreal theories and the imagination of fans becomes unstoppable and probably even unmanageable for the same Blue Boxes, in reality in fact attributable only and only to the controversial figure of the founder Hasan Kahraman. The team specifies on several occasions that it is in no way linked to Konami and its brands or to Kojima, yet for every denial there is someone who remains firmly convinced of the opposite. Also because it is clear that the whole question is at least controversial and at times very unreadable. In short, the impression is that Blue Box blissfully wallows in the misunderstanding and the unspoken.

A huge fundamental mistake

The problem, however, is that, beyond discussions, paradoxes and rather memorable moments (especially at first), Kahraman has simply exaggerated. And not once, but even at least twice, given the postponement in the publication of the PS5 app intended to provide a taste of the Abandoned experience through an unspecified interactive trailer. A moment of reckoning expected first for the end of June and later for yesterday, In both cases, this resulted in an anticlimactic and frustrating stalemate.

And here we come to the point, to a situation that I personally find now very unpleasant: having to continue to give visibility to people who evidently have shown that they have very little respect for the passion, involvement and even the work of others. The fault is also irremediably a bit ours, everyone’s: of the press that often and willingly reports news that would not be exactly such, of the public that gets excited about nothing, of that damned culture of hype that now dominates not only our favorite hobby, but substantially the whole society (only to then give the worst of oneself when expectations, sometimes literally impossible to keep, are more or less disregarded).

I repeat, we have done our part, no one excluded – I have said that for the record I continue to claim with pride and from day zero the strangeness of Kojima in all this fanfare, but the point is not even that anymore. However, allow me, the fault lies above all with a team that has managed communication in a manner not only questionable but by now I would also come to support openly not transparent, grotesque and senseless. I do not know what lies behind Abandoned, if it is a small indie horror that ended up in a whirlwind out of control after trying the ways of an unconventional marketing or if on the contrary it hides behind that name, perhaps even temporary, the most sensational and unthinkable of AAA blockbuster.

I know that, however, in a fair world, after yesterday’s cloying boutade of the app that does not update and the technical errors of the very last second – which already occurred in June, therefore, a symptom of either a worrying inability or a sad lack of ideas – you should stop talking about Abandoned. By completely removing the visibility that Kahraman abused for free, to return to give space to concrete products that do not use means to get noticed, and that for this reason pass a bit on the sly (read the review of Death’s Door to find out one , to be clear).

It will not happen, alas, but it would be just a fair retaliation. A way to hit those who have shown that they care for the superficiality of the form rather than the concreteness of the substance, taking back that time and those obviously misplaced attentions. How nice would it be if Abandoned were talked about again if and only if it really showed that it deserves on a playful level, when everything will ever see the light? Even denying himself with a pinch of pride to the little theater set up by Blue Box (with a questionable complacency from Sony, we can now venture to say so), instead of competing to chase Kahraman’s latest impromptu tweet.