The backstory behind first person horror game Allison Road is a long and winding one, almost as tortuous as that pun.
It was a spiritual successor to P.T., which was a playable teaser (hence the name) of Hideo Kojima led Silent Hills. Hideo Kojima is the creator of Metal Gear Solid, and Silent Hills was the next game in the popular horror series. Silent Hills was canceled after Kojima was fired or otherwise let go from Konami (the creators of Silent Hill) for mysterious reasons, and scrubbed P.T. from existence.
That’s when Lilith Ltd. released their own playable teaser for a game called Allison Road, which later went to Kickstarter. The Kickstarter campaign was failing however, despite being hyped up as P.T.’s successor. That’s when publisher Team 17 signed the developers to a contract to publish the game.
Being the good guys they are, or at least appear to be, Lilith Ltd. decided to shut down the Kickstarter completely and not take any backer money. They scurried away from a few months and worked on the game, until a vague announcement on Twitter from Lilith stated the game had been canceled.
Okay, get it? Got it? Good.
Normally that would have been the story, but Lilith promised an explanation in the coming days. After the days came, a statement was released, presumably putting the final nail in what’s turned out to be little more than an interesting story.
“After a long consideration between Team17 and ourselves, we have reached a mutual agreement to end our collaboration on publishing Allison Road under Team17’s Games label.
“Sometime things pan out differently than expected as game development and publishing have so many layers of complexity… We’d like to especially thank everyone for their support through-out, it has and will always be appreciated!”
That’s it. That’s the statement, posted on Lilith’s Facebook page, in full. That’s not much of an explanation, is it? We reached out to both Lilith Ltd. and Team 17 for clarification, but didn’t get a response from either.
I’m not willing to rule out this is an emulation of Kojima’s bizarre advertising antics, however unlikely. If you’re unfamiliar with what I mean by that, well, he released a playable teaser of a game and hid the fact he had anything to do with it and that it was a Silent Hills game at all.
Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe the fact the Kickstarter did so poorly despite the hype is a sign. It looked like it had a lot of potential, and piggy-backing off P.T. should have more than guaranteed its success. If not that, then its wonderfully run Kickstarter campaign should have done the job. There was a lot of screenshots, gameplay, and the game was well conveyed in the text and pitch video.
Much like P.T. though, Allison Road may very well go down as little more than an interesting story. We’re never going to get to play either game, and the most painful part is that we’ll never get to know why either.