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I wanna say I remember the indie contest project they had distinctly NOT having CV on the list of franchises they opened up to the indie crowd, so it wouldn't have ever really worked for any of us in here anyway, but I might be misremembering a detail or five

Yes, I remember that contest, I asked the same contact from Konami of Europe about it, and we weren't a good fit for that contest for the same reasons as before.
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I wanna say I remember the indie contest project they had distinctly NOT having CV on the list of franchises they opened up to the indie crowd, so it wouldn't have ever really worked for any of us in here anyway, but I might be misremembering a detail or five
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That’s interesting bits of info you provided for us @VladofWallachia. If you recall Dave Cocks also pitched his “original idea” to Konami, flat out saying that it was a brand new IP for them when it wasn’t (skip to 4:00)

https://youtu.be/cE4YxIYIkJM?si=7tR911yYI32TcR6f


So for Konami to reject your idea but accept MercurySteam’s, I feel is kind of shady on Konami’s part & even misleading, but I guess we’ll never know what fits the standard criteria for them.

Well I pitched to Konami of Europe's (then) new indie game publishing program, while MercurySteam, a well established company with a track record, pitched to Konami.

Konami just released another Contra game, Operation Gulag, developed by a third party developer, WayForward. I would not be surprised if we eventually see a similar partnership with a new Castlevania coming out of it.
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That’s interesting bits of info you provided for us @VladofWallachia. If you recall Dave Cocks also pitched his “original idea” to Konami, flat out saying that it was a brand new IP for them when it wasn’t (skip to 4:00)

https://youtu.be/cE4YxIYIkJM?si=7tR911yYI32TcR6f


So for Konami to reject your idea but accept MercurySteam’s, I feel is kind of shady on Konami’s part & even misleading, but I guess we’ll never know what fits the standard criteria for them.
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Toxic Positivity
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As far as Konami picking up Seal of the Eclipse, crazier things have happened, and successful games like Sonic Mania started from the fan community and ended as an officially published game, but that isn't common.

I have some experience pitching to Konami. A few years ago, Konami Europe started an indie publishing program, which ended up publishing games like Skelettack. This publishing program is for games more like Seal of the Eclipse and Carpathian Night, which are smaller games made by truly indie individuals or studios. I pitched Carpathian Night to them, and they reviewed it, but they felt it wouldn't be a good fit because the messaging would be confusing - a Konami game that looks and plays like Castlevania, but isn't Castlevania? And since this is a completely separate program from anything related to their main IPs, its not really in their power to just turn CN into an official Castlevania game. We did end up getting rejected.

I think Konami would only be willing to talk to established studios with a proven track record for anything Castlevania related, but they also have avenues open for smaller guys like us with original indie games, but we just weren't a good fit.
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Actually it’s quite the opposite unfortunately. Konami will never just say “here you guys have at it” especially to amateur developers. MercurySteam is an established company so they got to do it, but fan made projects such as this have little to no chance.

Granted they are more lenient to the IP than Nintendo whom are infamous in shutting down fan projects left & right, but there have been dozens of CV fan hacks over the years and not once has Konami took notice & offered them a job.

I'm not 100% sure about it, hacks are one thing and most of the fan projects use ripped assets and honestly are quite obviously "home made" Umbra on the contrary, at least from what has been showed so far, looks completely on par with the Bloodstained INTI games, if not even superior in terms of quality. Surely a playable demo on par with what has been shown so far in videos needs to be on the table , but im faithful if they can keep that level of polish it'll definitely surpass anything we've seen so far in the homebrew community. That said, Konami also seems to be very uncautious on how the CV IP is used, there's one guy in germany who has been profiting over Rondo of Blood for years publishing and making GOOD BUCKS over and over again with all kind of bootlges and nothing ever happened to him, i think he didnt even get a cease and desists or anything. Not to mention they gave all the physical release rights for the collections to LRG despite the bad record they have (they even have been found selling burned CD over pressed ones recently, LOL), or the insane amount of vinyl LP licensed right and left. They gave the OK to the Dead Cells guys after he politely asked the current producer of the series at an expo or something, and tbh Return to Castlevania doens't really look any good to me. I'm sure they devs love the series and did their best etc, and of course that is Dead Cells style so its not like they were going for something different in the expansion, but hell that is such a HUGE step backward from where the series got 15 years ago on the DS. That is to say, I'm quite confident if someone presents them with a decent quality prototype and the numbers for necessary amount of money return on Konami's side, they'd give out the IP for a full game in a blink.
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there have been dozens of CV fan hacks over the years and not once has Konami took notice & offered them a job.
I wish we got a game directed by Thaddeus
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Quote
This looks great, have you guys tried to get in touch with Konami? If you can showcase a playable demo that actually looks like that I think it wouldn't be unlikely for them to give you rights over the IP. This looks way better than any Castlevania related content we've had so far from smaller developers. Either way keeping an eye open for this project, take your time with it!

Actually it’s quite the opposite unfortunately. Konami will never just say “here you guys have at it” especially to amateur developers. MercurySteam is an established company so they got to do it, but fan made projects such as this have little to no chance.

Granted they are more lenient to the IP than Nintendo whom are infamous in shutting down fan projects left & right, but there have been dozens of CV fan hacks over the years and not once has Konami took notice & offered them a job.
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anything