Silent Hill Producer Hullet: No Akira in Downpour Due to “Japanese Business Politics”

The Silent Hill series has always been a standard-bearer for psychological horror. Many things combine to create the series’ oppressive, spooky mood — suffocating fog, decrepit surroundings, misshapen creatures — but the music, composed by veteran Akira Yamaoka, is one of its most distinctive and beloved features.

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, therefore, when the news broke in 2009 that Akira was leaving Konami, his employers of 17 years. Silent Hill fans had to face the prospect of a new game without the veteran composer’s contribution. Still, confusion reigned: if Akira wasn’t busy working for his new employers (boutique studio Grasshopper Manufacture), why couldn’t he continue work on Silent Hill?

At December’s Silent Hill: Downpour event in San Francisco, GameFront asked series producer Tomm Hullet to shed some light on the situation. According to Hullet, the explanation for Akira’s permanent absence is a “Japanese business politics sort of thing.”

Cryptic, but perhaps understandable. “We’d like for him to be there, but he’s not,” continued Hullet. “So we took seriously finding a replacement, because you can’t throw in just any old sound guy. We found Dan Licht, who does the music on Dexter. He was actually our top choice, so we were fortunate that he was willing to jump in.”

Hullet went on to praise Licht’s compositional contributions; for more information about Silent Hill: Downpour and other games in the franchise, check out our extensive interview.

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