Through its own successful survival horror series Silent Hill, Konami has developed a reputation among fans of darker entertainment. It now combines its experience in this genre with the prestige of Hollywood to bring gamers Saw: The Game.
Based on the hugely popular film saga, which has grossed more than $665 million worldwide and sold more than 28 million DVDs, the game recreates the atmosphere of its silver screen namesake and challenges players to escape from horrifying situations. It’s a lucrative licence, and one Konami is determined to honour with a game that invites Saw fans to get closer to the films than ever before.
“The Saw movies are the highest-earning horror titles to date, and the game is incredibly close to its movie counterpart,” says product manager Richard Jones. “It is set between the first and second movies, and mixes puzzle elements with the suspense and gross-out sequences of the films perfectly.
“The use of Jigsaw and his clown-like puppet Billy, suitably grimy settings and Tobin Bell reprising his role from the movies adds a level of authenticity, while the actual puzzles are suitably grisly and recognisable from the films. In terms of recognition, the Saw series is one of the most prominent movie franchises out there. Konami has a history of producing strong horror-themed games, and Saw is a perfect example of this.”
The notorious Jigsaw Killer has trapped gamers in a seemingly abandoned insane asylum. To escape they must first solve a series of puzzles and booby traps, all in keeping with the film’s spine-chilling scenarios.
Whether trying to remove a mask capable of decapitating your head or searching a toilet full of syringes for a fuse that disarms blocks of dynamite, players will recognise the strange mix of ingenuity and insanity from the films – and there are even some unpredictable twists to keep them on their toes.
“The game has some incredible set pieces within a very fine exploratory title,” Jones explains. “Anyone who has seen a Saw movie will remember elements such as people falling into a well of syringes, or removing a limb to get free from a chain before finding the key nearby. Saw: The Video Game has all these ingredients.
“The player has a key sewn in their stomach, which Jigsaw has told other trapped people they need in order to escape. As uneasy alliances will be formed, the player is basically left to look after number one – and that throws up some harsh realities. With puzzles featuring the likes of the Bear Trap hat from the first film and some nasty booby traps, players must be alert at all times.”
Konami will be working closely with Lionsgate to run a variety of cross-promotions with the game and the forthcoming Saw VI. The publisher is working with Thorpe Park on cross-promotions with their new Saw
theme park ride.
In terms of additional marketing initiatives, there will be extensive trade promotions using the Billy character and, a POS featuring Billy will be widely available. Cinema adverts will also hit the screens around the time of the launch. The game will enjoy a strong online presence, with banners and ownership across game and horror-themed sites.
“This is not just some knock-off cash-in,” adds Jones. “It has been carefully scripted in conjunction with the movie’s creators, where the scenario mixes the moral ambiguity of the movies, with some harsh puzzles that often have macabre repercussions for the main character.
“We have very high hopes for the game, and it is perceived as a vital part of the Saw multiverse.”