Death Stranding releases for PS4 on November 8 and, in the lead-up to its release, director Hideo Kojima has been discussing its themes and his ambitions for it. Kojima previously said that, for him, Death Stranding marks the creation of a new genre, which he called “Strand Games.” However, for the genre to be explored properly, more Death Stranding projects may be required.
Speaking to GameSpot, Kojima indicated that Death Stranding alone may not be enough to give Strand Games the permanence he wants the genre to have. This, he believes, is because the concepts and ideas are new territory for him as a creator and for those who play the game and experience them.
What is put forth in Death Stranding could serve as the foundation for the genre, but Kojima also expressed a desire to refine them, which would also ensure awareness of the genre remains.
“I’m not really sure,” he said when asked if Death Stranding would become a series. “The most difficult part is, when you create something new, you have to create a sequel and then a third version or it [will] not remain as a genre.
“When this game comes out there will be a lot of pros and cons, and [these elements could become the essence of the core part], but I think it’s better that I keep it going in a sequel.”
While Kojima seemed to suggest a revision for- and/or a sequel to-Death Stranding could be required, though he noted there were other projects on the table too.
“Yeah, probably at least 1.5, and then 2, maybe, at least so that it remains and people are aware of the genre. There are a lot of other projects that come up like TV dramas and things like that. A lot of pitches come my way.”
A roadblock, however, is finding the time to tackle follow-ups and exploring other projects. “Why I can’t say it’s definite is because I only have one body, and there are many projects that I have to be involved with. And it’s really tough for me physically to do many things at once.”
Kojima has been open about not completely understanding his own game since its gameplay and world view are something new. However, in the interview he said that much of Death Stranding is inspired by the Japanese concept of “omoiyari,” which can be loosely translated to compassion for others. He goes on to explore the various ways this omoiyari can manifest, the feelings it can inspire, and how that all manifests in the game.
Death Stranding had a major presence at Tokyo Game Show 2019, where Kojima appeared on stage multiple times to demonstrate various aspects of the game. These include Death Stranding’s core gameplay, which involves making deliveries. He also showed off what players will be able to do in Death Stranding’s safe house, where main character Sam Bridges recovers between jobs.