The Reason Why Allison Road Was Cancelled, Kinda, Ish

Don’t go chasing ghost stories. You’ll find nothing and be disappointed or, worse, find something and discover it’s so much less than you’d wanted. Whatever you think you saw or heard, it’s gone.

Yes, the makers of Allison Road [official site] have now explained why they cancelled their first-person horror inspired by the Silent Hills teaser game PT (Playable Teaser). No, none of what they say will give you any peace. If you were interested in the game, accept that it’s gone and move on with your life. Read on at your own peril.

You can still turn back, you know. I’ll give you a brief moment to consider that.

Allison Road was a first-person horror game clearly inspired heavily by PT, set mostly inside a typical family home. Oh, also a creepy little ghostgirl is wandering around with blood gushing from her mouth, and other assorted spookies are afoot. Of all the PT-y games that sprung up around the time Konami cancelled Silent Hills, Allison Road most looked like it might actually get finished. Then Konami took PT down too, and Allison Road became doomed to follow in its footsteps – all the way. It once looked like this:

Fine then. This week, Allison Road developers Lilith gave this statement on Facebook:

“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!”

See? Nothing. If you’d left it be, you could at least retained some of the good kind of mystery, perhaps a little hope. You can’t leave well enough alone, can you?

Why can’t they try making it with someone else or by themselves? Before joining with Team 17, Lilith had tried to crowdfund Allison Road. Their Kickstarter was looking for £250,000 to fund development but was looking like it might fall short when Lilith cancelled the campaign and announced Team17 would publish and fund it. With just over a week left on the Kickstarter, only £146,000 had been pledged.

Given this previous struggle, Lilith might not want to try that again. Or maybe they wanted it to be bigger or smaller or in VR or a different game entirely or maybe they got trapped in a ghost house and tore each other limb from limb, for all I know. What happened? Who could say? Is there any hope? I told you not to chase ghost stories. You welcomed the questions into your head and now they will whirl and grind away until there is nothing of you left, only an empty vessel primed for dark spirits from the worlds beyond.

Anyway, now Resident Evil is going first-person spooky too.

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42 Comments

  1. FurryLippedSquid says:

    “Don’t go chasing ghost stories”

    Or waterfalls.

    • das_weezul says:

      Totally unrelated comment, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to!

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        I know that you’re gonna have it your way or nothing at all, das_weezul, but I think you’r moving too fast.

        • Premium User Badge

          AutonomyLost says:

          I have nothing to add in this great line of commenting, except that it made me laugh.

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        Top work, people.

    • DuncUK says:

      I Have No Interest, Yet I Still Moan

  2. Jalan says:

    “We’re going to need more money…”

    “Who do you think we are, Konami?”

    “Well, that’s the final nail in the coffin for this one then.”

  3. dethtoll says:

    So the Amnesia clone inspired by an Amnesia clone-style teaser for an unnecessary sequel to a series that hasn’t been good in 13 years got canceled. I feel bad for the people who actually care about this thing, but I for one am ready for this “I Have No Hands And I Must Wank” horror game fad to go the way of Myspace.

    • horrorgasm says:

      You can’t really be successfully condescending when all you’re really saying is painfully childish garbage like “wah wah wah people like genres I don’t so I need them all to not be able to enjoy them either or I won’t feel like a precious little manbaby snowflake anymore!”

      • funderbolt says:

        I kinda wish this comment could be burned into the front page of this website. I find myself feeling this feel towards the comments section nearly every day. God forbid someone get excited about something.

        • nearly says:

          Saw a post on a blog once that suggested a browser extension to replace “pandering to X” with “being enjoyable to people who are not me.” You end up with article titles like “SJWs and Feminists Don’t Read Comics So Stop Making Games That Are Enjoyable To People Who Aren’t Me, Comics Industry.” They had a great post translating reddit posts because that’s obviously where you get the worst of “I don’t like X therefore it shouldn’t exist” crowd.

        • Don Reba says:

          I kinda wish this comment could be burned into the front page of this website.

          You’re taking the word “branding” too literally.

      • Shakes999 says:

        Total destruction. Don’t bother with the ambulance, it’s already too late.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      I disagree with virtually every syllable of your comment, but not being 14 I feel I can do that without frothing at the mouth or resorting to slurs about your mum.

    • KenTWOu says:

      P.T. had more in common with SCP-087 style horrors than Amnesia.

    • Javier says:

      It wasn’t funny when you described SOMA that way a couple of days ago and it’s not funny here either. Just saying.

    • Monggerel says:

      I actually agree with the content of your post re the quality and value of Silent Hill, PT, the now cancelled Allison Road, and the trend of Amnesia derivatives (oh and I dislike Amnesia itself too) –

      but this is still not how anyone even minimally competent at communication should express those opinions.

    • Symarian says:

      Run everybody, it’s the fun police

    • dethtoll says:

      lol

      Y’all so mad ‘cuz someone doesn’t like a trend in horror gaming. Out come the cries of “grow up, manbaby!” Do they not have irony on Glass House Lane where y’all live?

      • UncleLou says:

        No one is bothered because you don’t like a trend. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.

        • dethtoll says:

          Nah, in most geek circles it’s definitely “what you say” and this is no different :)

          Besides, if to avoid controversy when disliking something popular the language you use must be so tepid that it is impossible to determine genuine dislike from faint praise, that says more about the arena the opinion is being expressed in than the opinion and the holder thereof.

          • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

            Nope, it’s definitely how you say it. I am not a fan of silent hill, never have been, never will be, but I still found your comment asinine and inflammatory. Since you can’t accept the multitude of people who have disagreed you already, allow me to factually deconstruct why your comment is stupid:

            1) it’s preposterous to call anything an Amnesia clone because it’s first person, and is atmospheric. That’s like saying Oasis are a Beatles cover band because they also wrote rock songs.

            2) Every game until those released in 2012 and later was very well received, so the 13 years comment is also bollocks.

            3) Even despite the childish way you have described this genre, it is not a fad. It’s called body horror, and has been unsettling fans since (at least) 1958. It’s nothing to do with ‘I must wank’, it’s to do with making people feel uncomfortable with weird movements, mutation, destruction or other viscera.

          • dethtoll says:

            Alright let’s unpack this ramble you’ve got going on here.

            “it’s preposterous to call anything an Amnesia clone because it’s first person, and is atmospheric. That’s like saying Oasis are a Beatles cover band because they also wrote rock songs.”

            Except that’s not what I’ve done at all, is it? I’m calling it an Amnesia clone because it’s a first person horror game where you can’t defend yourself and must therefore run willy-nilly, hiding in cupboards and hoping the scary monster doesn’t find you.

            “Every game until those released in 2012 and later was very well received, so the 13 years comment is also bollocks.”

            That doesn’t make them not awful fucking games, awful fucking Silent Hill games, and awful fucking survival horror games. The franchise has been driven into the ground title by title; SH4 was a shameless cash-in on Konami’s part, and when they handed the franchise’s reins over to Western developers that had no sense of subtlety and got all their impressions of the series from the movie that was the end of it.

            “Even despite the childish way you have described this genre, it is not a fad. It’s called body horror, and has been unsettling fans since (at least) 1958. It’s nothing to do with ‘I must wank’, it’s to do with making people feel uncomfortable with weird movements, mutation, destruction or other viscera.”

            What on Earth are you babbling about? This has nothing to do with body horror. I’m talking about a very specific subgenre of horror GAME in which you are an unarmed (keyword UNARMED) git hiding in (insert thematically appropriate hiding space here) from scary monsters that you cannot disperse or dispose of. It raises the question of what kind of person wouldn’t even try to defend themselves, or just carry something like a knife or fire poker as a last resort. And I must assume, therefore, that my protagonist has no hands! (and yet must wank) This particular genre of horror game gained popularity with Amnesia, and almost entirely because Pewdiepie showcased it (complete with high-pitched shrieks and rape jokes.) It is the very definition of a fad that has gained prominence with things like Slenderman and the like.

      • funderbolt says:

        I’m not mad, I just don’t understand. I really never will understand what motivates people to take time out of their lives to dump on other’s creations. I’m certainly not saying everyone must like everything all the time, it’s just that when I come across something that’s not for me, I simply move on without giving it a second thought. Happens almost instantaneously and takes zero effort. My first reaction is never “ooh, here’s something I hate and I must make other people understand my hate for it.” I just don’t get it.

  4. Maxheadroom says:

    I was one of those kickstarter backers. Backed it for a fair amount too (although I forget exactly how much now) and was gutted it got cancelled (on my birthday too!).

    No doubt EA and their ilk will use it as further evidence that horror games are dead and all anyone wants to play are dreary military man-shooters

    • Don Reba says:

      The double whammy of impending death and a game cancellation.

  5. Danda says:

    Let’s not forget about the big elephant in the room, which for some reason is not mentioned in these stories about the cancellaton. With Kojima free to do a ‘real’ P.T. if he wants to (he’s even working with Norman Reedus again) and Resident Evil VII promising to do just that (though Lilith had no way to know it when they cancelled their game), also throwing Capcom’s full force behind it, there was absolutely no way that this small indie was going to live up to the expectations next to the big pros. This was the best thing that they could do.

  6. kumasimc says:

    Visage. That’s all I care about. I always thought Allison Road looked a bit silly. And I didn’t really see the connection to PT except superficially. It coulda been fun I’m sure. But Visage looks quite the spiff.

  7. Turkey says:

    The thing is: How would PT even have worked as a full game? The whole reason it was so effective at not losing the tension was because of the whole purgatory loop thing. You can’t really build a 6 hour campaign on something like that.

    • April March says:

      Does it need to be 6 hours long to be a full game?

      • Turkey says:

        For $70 or whatever a full priced console game goes for. Yeah, probably.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        No, you’re right. 20 would be more like it.

        Really not liking this whole thing where it’s okay to make a $50+ game that’s over in an afternoon.

    • Laini says:

      Was that ever the intention though?
      I think PT was just “Look, we can do horror that isn’t 99% jumpscares”.
      I imagine it’d have played more like a traditional Silent Hill game and from third person.

  8. TΛPETRVE says:

    The painfully hokey Layers of Fear has already proven how quickly the concept turns rote when stretched over several hours.

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    cockpisspartridge says:

    Allison road? Gin blossoms represent!!! How I miss 90’s college rock.

  10. racccoon says:

    Unusual for team17 to give up as they probably know the best thing to do is go back to the drawing boards relive their life & times & do a simple parallax scrolling game. :)

  11. tonicer says:

    I could be kinda spooky if the avatar wasn’t a disembodied floating camera.

    Spooky games in which you can’t do what everyone normally would do (fight the creature) are pretty damn lame imho.

    • TheMightyEthan says:

      I’m not sure most people would fight a demon that came growling at them out of the dark parts of their house.

      I could be wrong though.

      • Ashabel says:

        Maybe not a frightening demon, sure.

        But considering that Allison Road’s big bad monster was basically a teenage Natalie Portman wearing a dirty t-shirt and sporting a bloody nose, I’m not sure the “too scary to fight” defense can apply in this case.