For fellow video game fans there’s a good chance you remember the Silent Hill franchise. If you don’t know Silent Hill you probably still know Japanese game studio Konami, don’t think you do…common – you’ve definitely heard of and probably played Contra, right?
Konami originally came out with Silent Hill back in 1999 for the Sony Playstation. The game did well and ended up getting two additions to the franchise ending with Silent Hill 3 in 2003. Unlike Rocky, there hasn’t been a never-ending string of follow-ups to keep this franchise alive.
While you’d think a studio like Konami would hang onto the domain name for a past franchise in case they decide to bring it back from the dead, that’s not the case here. Instead the domain is listed for sale by a third party seller for just under $10,000 on popular brandable domain name marketplace BrandBucket:
The current owner describes the domain as “an evocative name with a slightly eerie, placid vibe.” At the end of the day if anyone does buy this domain they’re going to have an uphill battle building a brand that doesn’t get confused with this previously popular horror-themed video game.
When you’re buying a brandable domain it’s always good to look at the past history of the name, a clean slate is often a better starting point than a previously established brand. In this case there’s another additional complexity…Konami recently announced they are bringing the Silent Hill franchise back:
Keen to cash in on the Silent Hill name without, you know, having to actually make another Silent Hill, Konami has unveiled its latest game in the landmark horror franchise. Well, two of them actually.
Silent Hill Escape and Silent Hill Return are pair of new slot games available to play on an upcoming cabinet Konami plans to show off G2E – the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. These games look to borrow from Silent Hill 3 and the more recent Silent Hill Downpour, presumably featuring audio and video based on the two horror titles. (Source – The Sixth Axis)
My guess is that Konami will just buy the name from the current owner. The price seems pretty darn low given how big this franchise is and since it’s clear that Silent Hill is top-of-mind for Konami that means the .COM might be as well.
I’m still pretty surprised that Konami didn’t just pay the $10/year to keep the domain name but $10k is a drop in the bucket for them so either way I think it will work out fine in the end.