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Sony debuts plenty of trailers on its YouTube channel and Abandoned, the recently revealed PS5-exclusive survival game, was no different. At least, that was initially the case but people were quick to point out that it just seemed like a game from Hideo Kojima and was just another elaborate ruse from the eccentric creator. But despite his prior oddities and a handful of compelling guesses, Blue Box Game Studios is indeed the developer behind the game and has debunked the Kojima-filled rumor.
Abandoned: A (Not) Hideo Kojima Game
The team released its statement on the matter on its plain website:
“We received several emails regarding the Hideo Kojima rumor. 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. We have been assisting other studios in the past with their projects and we wanted to work on our very first big project. While it is true that we’ve been working on small projects in the past, we certainly didn’t use that for marketing purposes. We hope this has clarified this matter and hope to see you all in our very first gameplay reveal of Abandoned.”
While some will likely think this is just part of the bigger façade, VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb also came out just before Blue Box’s update stating that Kojima was also not behind Abandoned. The reporter even said that, if the deal goes through, Microsoft might be publishing Kojima’s next game, whatever that may be.
The Phantom Team
Abandoned was thought to be a Kojima game for a few reasons. First, it’s a PS5-exclusive game and given Kojima’s relationship with Sony and the PlayStation platforms, many jumped to the conclusion that this was just another collaboration between Solid Snake’s dad and the house of PlayStation.
But the bigger point of contention — one that even engulfs the previous point — was the sheer mystery surrounding the title. Blue Box Games Studios was a relatively unknown developer with a beautiful PS5 game in production. This is reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain’s announcement and isn’t too far from the ill-fated Silent Hills teaser from the end of P.T.
MGS5 debuted at The Video Game Awards in 2012 when it was just called “The Phantom Pain” and was from Moby Dick Studio, a fake team meant to obscure the game’s true identity. P.T., another visually stunning game only on the current PlayStation system from an “indie” studio, was also suddenly dropped onto the PlayStation Store from a developer called 7780s Studio.
Players were able to piece together that it was a Metal Gear Solid game from the small, well-placed marks and lines in the reveal trailer (as shown in the above picture). And those who were able to brave P.T.’s hallways and complete the loop were treated to a Silent Hills teaser with Kojima’s name. While Kojima revealed Death Stranding with no tricks, both of these are examples of his prior use of fake developers to show off his new games.
And Blue Box seemed like another one of those fake developers. Blue Box’s website is very basic and there’s not much info about the team on the internet. Its Twitter account hasn’t tweeted since 2016. There’s not even a tweet about Abandoned and the website, save for the Kojima explainer, is still empty.
But there are plenty of small, unknown teams making games and Blue Box is just another one of those teams. Even though it isn’t common knowledge among players, there is some information about the studio for those willing to look. The developer, according to CrunchBase, appears to be based in The Netherlands and have 50 or fewer members on the team. It even had a game on Steam Greenlight called Rewind: Voices of the Past and handed over its last game, The Haunting: Blood Water Curse, to CreateQ Interactive.