The game director of the PS5 exclusive Abandoned has responded to rumours about the game being a secret Hideo Kojima project – and teased that it will receive a demo and a potential closed alpha test.
Revealed earlier this week, Abandoned is a cinematic, first-person horror survival shooter with realistic visuals, pegged to launch in Q4 2021. Developer Blue Box Game Studios has a quiet social media presence, a fairly unknown history, and released a P.T.-esque trailer – all of which led some fans led to believe that it was actually a front for a new Kojima Productions project. The studio quickly issued an official response to the rumours on the company website: “We have no association with Hideo Kojima nor do we claim to have any association nor was it our intention to claim such a statement. We are a small group of developers working on a passionate title we wanted to work on for a long time.”
In an interview with IGN, Blue Box Game Studios director Hasan Kahraman spoke in more detail about the rumours: “It wasn’t fun but it did make me laugh,” they explained. “At first I was receiving messages from people telling me that they’ve been watching me and that I (As Kojima) used some marketing tricks to promote his next game. I didn’t know what they meant until I Googled it.”
You may remember all the way back in 2012 when a game called ‘The Phantom Pain’ was revealed during the 2012 Video Game Awards. Supposedly developed by ‘Moby Dick Studios’, its CEO Joakim Mogren (Joakim being an anagram of Kojima) appeared covered in bandages in an interview with Geoff Keighley to promote the game before it was later revealed that the project was actually Metal Gear Solid V. Many took the unknown nature of Blue Box to mean something similar was happening now.
Kahraman assures us that it isn’t, and that this isn’t the way they’d hoped to announce a new game: “It did bother me a bit as we as a team are so excited to tease a bit of our game and then this conspiracy comes.” Kahraman continued. “All I wanted to do is to tease our game. Regarding our social media presence, we’re a small team and not a big AAA studio, it’s already hard work to work on a highly polished game for PS5 so we really can’t spare the time to work on our social media presence full-time (while it is important).”
Moving past the misunderstanding, Kahraman also shared some more details about the game with IGN. Blue Box has been working on Abandoned since 2017, and the studio’s initial goal was to create a tactical shooter game with cinematic storytelling and realistic gameplay. “We wanted to make something different than traditional shooter games,” Kahraman said. “We wanted to make a game that feels real. Like when reloading, you get to see the whole animation, while in combat. Or when you get hit, you really need to stop the bleeding in order to continue fighting.”
Kahraman talks about several gameplay situations that will affect a character’s stability in realistic fashion: “When you get hit in the legs, for example, you would fall down, unequipping your firearm by dropping it on the ground. You would eventually have to choose to take your firearm and fight or to stop the bleeding and cleanse the wound to prevent getting a disease,” Kahraman adds. “This is not going to be a comforting battle. I promise.”
Kahraman says that the game’s realistic environmental graphics were achieved through photogrammetry and retopology of the models (a process that takes high quality visuals and shrinks them for more efficient use), and has been bolstered by the horsepower of the PS5. “The PS5 console is powerful enough to run these images at a 4k resolution,” Kahraman notes. “However optimization is needed to run the game at 60 FPS. At the end of the teaser, you’ll see some heavy cam shakes and frame drops. The animation isn’t final while the cam shake is removed and the framerate will go up to 60FPS, unlike the teaser video.”
According to Kahraman, the game also “depends” on the DualSense wireless controller and makes good use of the immersive benefits of the PS5. “The feel and sound of the controller would change depending on if your firearm is loaded or unloaded. 3D audio is used for tactical purposes like to determine the distance between you and the enemy.” they add.
Much like Kojima’s own P.T. (which was intended as a teaser for the cancelled Silent Hills), or Resident Evil’s recent demos, a “small teaser” for Abandoned will be available to download on the PS5 ahead of launch, but Kahraman says the studio “can’t share more details about it just yet. We are also thinking of doing some closed alpha testing on PS5 sometime after, but that isn’t 100% sure.”
Aside from Abandoned PS5’s 2021 exclusives include Returnal (April), Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart (June), and Horizon Forbidden West (TBA 2021). We’ve also got a rundown of all of Sony’s first party studios and what they’re working on.
Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.
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