BLUE BOX Game Studios has barely been heard from since the severely underwhelming August 13th launch of the first teaser in the Abandoned Realtime Experience app on PS5. The only known individual at BLUE BOX Game Studios, Hasan Kahraman, has given a few interviews since, mostly lamenting how people see the studio as a “scam” and how depressed it has made him. However, despite not delivering on anything to prove otherwise, Kahraman and BLUE BOX keep making additional lofty promises with increased scope and scale. And we still haven’t even seen Abandoned, which isn’t even the real final name of the project.
Earlier this week, BLUE BOX suddenly tweeted again after weeks of radio silence following the four-second clip of a man’s legs (who looks suspiciously like the character model of Resident Evil Village’s Ethan Winters) walking towards a lit doorway. “We published an FAQ section on our website that answers most of your questions regarding Abandoned,” it read. Heading to the BLUE BOX website now shows this new FAQ, which does not in fact answer most of my questions about Abandoned, questions I have come to care less and less about the longer this drags out.
I had debated even writing about this new FAQ. After all, I was one of the ones who said BLUE BOX and Abandoned need to stop sucking up all the air in a room while delivering nothing of value. We’ll give attention to BLUE BOX, Kahraman, and Abandoned when they have something worth paying attention to. But the continued efforts to retain relevance while not actually showing anything at all need to be criticized. Before we get to the new FAQ though
What Have We Actually Seen of Abandoned?
Going back to its initial April reveal on the PlayStation Blog, it turns out that the super janky trailer and even the name of the game aren’t real. The trailer was a kind of “poof of concept” using prebuilt Unreal assets, and is apparently not actually part of what Abandoned actually is. It seems more like a pitch concept video than what you show potential fans you want to get interested in your game. But we were promised a real reveal trailer via a PS5 app soon. It was expected to arrive a couple months later, in June. And so we waited.
And then, amid patently false conspiracies that Abandoned and BLUE BOX are actually Silent Hill and Hideo Kojima, we waited for nearly two months for a repeatedly delayed PS5 app that was supposed to showcase Abandoned’s trailers running in-engine on the console. What we eventually got on August 13th was a 4-second video—the same 4-second video posted to the BLUE BOX Twitter account three days earlier—and yet, despite still not showing an actual trailer, we got even more promises. A supposed roadmap of coming reveals. And now a teaser for a Playable Prologue.
BLUE BOX’s mountain of promises was already starting to pile up. For a company that still can’t even seem to release a trailer to show what their game is, promising a playable prologue seemed a touch overzealous. And then came the interviews. Speaking with a few publications during the week or so that followed the botched and delayed introduction of the teaser, Kahraman said he was depressed at people calling BLUE BOX “scammers,” and promised to change the way future teases and reveals would be handled. No more blurred pictures of mysterious guys with eye patches, and certainly no more leaning into any marketing decisions that would link BLUE BOX with Kojima.
And then, in almost the same breath, Kahraman promised that BLUE BOX’s former early access Steam game, The Haunting (which had supposedly been passed off to an unknown developer named CreateQ, which was then revealed to supposedly be four people from BLUE BOX who took over development on the side, though none of this can be corroborated outside of Kahraman) will release for free on “Steam, PlayStation, and Xbox” ahead of Abandoned’s release, which is coming exclusively to PS5 and PC. He also said The Haunting as it exists on Steam is not representative of what the project has become, and that new screenshots would be coming shortly. That was on August 18th, and the Steam screenshots remain the same first-person screens and videos.
So despite only having seen four uninteresting seconds of what is allegedly Abandoned, which isn’t event he project’s real name, we now have promises outlined for multiple trailers, a playable prologue, and a free release of an Early Access game that they say isn’t even related to Abandoned. BLUE BOX seems to have trouble even releasing an actual trailer, and had said that the stress of even making the trailers app work was getting to them, so loading up on these additional promises while former ones go unfulfilled isn’t a great look.
But that hasn’t stopped BLUE BOX. On September 1st (coincidentally the 6-year anniversary of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s release), BLUE BOX reappeared on Twitter after three weeks of silence to reveal its new FAQ. This would supposedly answer the questions people had once and for all, but some of the answers seem to beg more questions.
“When will we learn more about Abandoned?” One says. “As of now the game is not ready for the public eye,” the answer states, creating a question about why they’ve even been making promises about showing it off since April. If you’re game isn’t ready for the public eye, don’t announce it, and don’t double down on months of unfulfilled promises.
The FAQ also reveals that the 5GB size of the update for the app for the four second teaser is because it contains the full reveal, but due to “engine issues” last minute, they had to trim the teaser down to four-seconds. Ironically the same four seconds that they had already shown on Twitter three days earlier before delaying the app update. While tossing around words like “ASAP” and “soon” for when we can expect to see things, they also state they have no ETA on when the Abandoned Realtime Experience app will be updated next.
One curious new detail is the promise that the playable prologue is a standalone experience with its own set of PS5 trophies, but the FAQ makes no attempt to promise any kind of timeframe outside of “soon” for release. After all, people haven’t even seen the actual game yet, which, by the way, is apparently set for release in 2022.A few other bits of info fill out the rest of the FAQ, including the usual reminder that BLUE BOX is not related to Kojima Productions in any way, that The Haunting and Abandoned aren’t related at all, and attempts to explain “what makes Abandoned unique and stand out from other games.”
Abandoned isn’t Actually its Name
One additional question at the bottom reconfirms a detail that we’ve technically known for a while, but that many people are still not aware of. “Is Abandoned the actual IP name?” it asks.
“No Abandoned is a codename. The marketing title name will be announced with the gameplay reveal.” When that gameplay reveal will be is anyone’s guess, but it’s interesting that the original announcement on the PlayStation Blog never once indicated that Abandoned was just a codename.
Apart from what we’ve been told about Abandoned, what have we actually been shown? At this point we’ve seen an introductory trailer that wasn’t real for a game that doesn’t even have a real name, and viewed a short teaser of a person walking that is reportedly a trimmed down part of what was supposed to be the title’s actual cinematic reveal, which still hasn’t been shown yet despite first being scheduled for back in June. In many ways, it just feels like Kahraman is getting so far ahead of himself that he starts on new promises before finishing up the old ones. Shiny ideas like a free release of a game and a playable prologue complete with trophies and an app that runs trailers in-engine all get in the way of actually finishing anything.
At this point, Kahraman and BLUE BOX need to stop trying to string people along, and just resurface when they actually have something to show. Until then, we’ve got a hell of a lot of other stuff to play and pay attention to without unfulfilled promises sucking the air out of the room.
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