How Foundation 9 Got To Work With Silent Hill And Front Mission

By Spencer . May 19, 2010 . 8:20pm

image In terms of video games, East meets West is a Western studio re-imagining a Japanese brand. Those partnerships led to the critically acclaimed Metroid Prime series from Retro Studios and less than successful reboot of Bionic Commando from Grin.


Foundation 9 is no stranger to those kinds of deals. The company made them with Sega, Konami, and Square Enix to work with Sonic, Silent Hill, and Front Mission. How? Sheer excitement was a key ingredient for Silent Hill.


“They [Konami] knew we were very excited,” Steven Kovensky, Director of Business Affairs at Foundation 9, attested. “Our team on their own end, with no funding from Konami, with no funding from anybody, just worked super hard for days and days putting together a demo for the game. They put such a fantastic demo together and that’s how we landed the game.” Double Helix, a division of Foundation 9, finished work on Silent Hill: Homecoming in 2008. So far, this is the only HD Silent Hill game and only Silent Hill game unreleased in Japan.




Double Helix is now developing Front Mission Evolved, a Mechwarrior-like reimagining of Square Enix’s mecha strategy RPG series. “Front Mission is really interesting. Two of us, years in the past, were really known for doing emulation and remakes of classic games. We really understand games from 15 to 20 years ago and know how to remake them for fans today,” Kovensky reminisced while outlining how Foundation 9 got the job. “So, one of our studios was really, really interested in remaking Taito games and Taito is a company owned by Square Enix. We spent a long time just expressing our interest and saying to the Taito guys we want to meet with you, meeting with them, and talking with them about those games. We did the Space Invaders remake for Xbox Live Arcade, we got that gig.” Backbone Entertainment, another Foundation 9 studio, brought Space Invaders Extreme to Xbox Live Arcade


“It was really just from our enthusiasm and excitement from working on their properties. Once we started talking about the Space Invaders gig they said hey we would like to talk to you about some other projects. That’s what led to the Front Mission deal.”


I asked Kovensky what’s next. What franchise he would want to see Foundation 9 to work on. Kovensky thought for a second. “Ah, we already worked on Sonic. We did two PSP games.” Backbone released the Sonic Rivals games. Kovensky paused and thought some more. “I suppose something from Capcom because they do so much fantastic stuff. They’ve been doing so many fantastic games.”

  • Kris

    These guys did Homecoming and Sonic Rivals?
    And they’re the ones doing Front Mission?
    Oh dear.

    • Who knows, since they plan want to work for Capcom, their next game might be Mega Man Legends 3.
      Oh dear indeed.

  • How Foundation 9 Got To Ruin Silent Hill And Front Mission

    Fixed that for you.

    • Artavasdus

      Front Mission Evolved isn’t even out yet, and it isn’t at all the first detour from the tactical formula the series has taken (Gun Hazard, Alternative and Online came to mind). Maybe it will be a failure, but judging beforehand like this isn’t gonna help.

      • I couldn’t care less how the game turns out as an action series. I’m just disappointed at FM4’s poor NA sales, FM5 never being localized, then S-E abandoning the series and handing it off to a third rate developer with a reputation for bad games.

        Front Mission was one of S-E’s last respectable series from a combat/strategy perspective, and they ditched it.

        • kupomogli

          Front Mission 4 more than likely got bad sales because it sucked. Front Mission is decent, Front Mission Gun Hazard was an amazing Cybernator/Assault Suits Valken ripoff, Front Mission 2 was good, and Front Mission 3 was one of the best PSX RPGs. Then comes Front Mission 4 and I sold that game within a week it was just poorly done. The openng was amazing, but beyond that I thought both the gameplay and storyline sucked.

          • Front Mission 4 is a good SRPG with solid mechanics, strategic mech customizing, and well done content with fun strategies to figure out. But you’re probably one of those poorly skilled gamers that huddled your mechs in a corner abusing the repair backpack then whined because you thought it was too difficult and slowly paced. Try replaying it and sucking less ass next time.

          • Artavasdus

            Provocations aside, I too think that FM4 has a lot of undeserved bad press. I found it a nice title and a full fledged entry in the series, albeit not as good as some other chapters. Even the intertwined plot device wasn’t so bad executed, and it provided a much needed change of atmosphere in some moments.

        • Artavasdus

          What I was pointing out is that you seem to think that FM Evolution eliminates the possibility of other tactical jrpgs in the franchise, while the franchise’s history clearly shows that experimental titles never hindered the development of traditional ones (the last traditional FM wasn’t 5 but 2089’s Ds remake).

          Of course I am no seer and I can’t guarantee that SE will go back to the series’roots (even more so since the original arcs have been almost completely addressed), but undermining their effort at revitalizing the franchise by labeling FME as crap before it’s even out isn’t gonna help.

          • Maybe they’ll crank out more cell phone/handheld titles, maybe. There’s no way they’ll throw millions at a home console release they don’t even think will sell in the US (see FM5). I played FM 2089 for DS and it didn’t do anything to improve on the bland original FM formula.. I thought it was a pretty ignorable/disposable title. Not a good sign for a formerly flagship series.

          • Artavasdus

            I too am inclined to think that the next traditional FM (if any) will be handheld, but a home console release wouldn’t be impossible since the series never required a particularly high budget. One could say that the whole tactical jrpg genre usually doesn’t need a large graphical budget beacuse of its traditional presentation.

            That said, I don’t think FM ever truly was a “flagship series”. It had some importance in Squaresoft and SE’s offer, but it never was a huge seller, nor was it pushed as strongly as other Square franchises budget-wise.

  • Trotmeister

    Get your dirty hands away from my beloved Front Mission, you @#$%s!

    • BrotherCavil

      Really making a difference there, bro…

      • Trotmeister

        Well, you know, fighting the good fight.

  • Yes, let’s let them destroy a Capcom franchise like they destroyed Silent Hill. My god, that game basically became Manhunt 3 towards the end with the human enemies and the hillbilly with the circular saw. Awful, awful game that missed the point entirely of what Silent Hill was going to be like. I have never played a Front Mission game, but I know them dumbing it down into an action game is not a good thing. Keep these people away from all beloved franchises.

    Hell, let Activision buy them, so they can help churn out Call of Duty sequels. I’m sure no matter how badly they screwed them up, they’d still sell in the millions.

  • masuto

    Yeah, but it’s still not true to the series. I personally don’t like east meet west.

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