Hideo Kojima Talks Death Stranding's Success, New Plans, and a Canceled Project
It seems like a lifetime ago that Death Stranding released to the world. So much has happened since then, after all. Death Stranding served as a wild departure from everything director Hideo Kojima had made before it; sure, it has all of the telltale design choices and aesthetics that make it very 'Kojima' in style, but as a game, Death Stranding became very love-it-or-hate-it for a lot of people. It's a bold new direction in game design, one that has players meticulously arranging their cargo as they trek for long gameplay stretches across a vast wasteland. No matter what you think of the game personally, the real question is: Was it a success? According to Kojima, yes, though the response appeared to be a bit tepid. In a recent interview with LiveDoor News, Kojima divulged some information on how his latest hit has sold, as well as what's next on the docket for Kojima Productions.
"We surpassed the amount we needed to make a profit, so I think it sold well enough to be called a 'success', recoupment of development costs included," Kojima said. "We'll release the PC version soon and have already secured enough profit to prepare for what's next, so there's no need to worry." Even with this in mind, the way it's said conveys the vibe that Death Stranding didn't sell as well as could be expected. That could just be too much reading between the lines, however. The game is slated for a PC release next month, which means it will be available for the first time to a whole legion of gamers. If there was any underperformance sales-wise, it's likely due to the more out-there nature of the gameplay. Kojima is a risk-taker and an innovator in equal parts, and that proved no truer than with the wild twist and turns of the Metal Gear Solid series that came before this.
When asked about what's next for KojiPro, Kojima revealed some surprising information. "I can't say anything since it's still in the planning stages, but we're doing various work behind the scenes. Just recently, a big project fell apart, so I'm a bit upset about that (laughs). Well, that sort of thing happens often in this industry." It's unknown what the 'big project' Kojima is referring to could have been. Naturally, rumors have sprouted up online as to its identity. Whether we'll ever find out for sure or not isn't for certain, though it's not the first time major projects have fallen through for Kojima: Just look at P.T./Silent Hills. Whatever the case, the team at Kojima Productions is working on their next big title. Work is probably progressing a bit slower than average due to the coronavirus pandemic, as one of their employees ended up testing positive several weeks ago, prompting the rest to work from home. To conclude the interview, Livedoor asked if Kojima had anything to say on the recent rumors that he would acquire the rights to MGS and P.T. from Konami. The auteur simply responded: "Ah, that's completely false. I haven't heard anything about it at least (laughs)."
Weirdly enough, it sounds like Konami may be planning another entry into the Silent Hill series. The company revealed to Eurogamer early this year that, while they can't share anything concrete yet, they're "listening to customer feedback and considering ways to provide the next title." Hard to tell where all of that will go. In the meantime, though: Death Stranding. It's available exclusively on PlayStation 4 right now, and provides a weirdly meta experience to play during these quarantined times. Wait just a month longer and you'll be able to nab it on PC when it releases on July 14th. The game will be available on both Steam and the Epic Games Store, so take your pick accordingly. The PC version will launch with several wonderful inclusions, such as photo mode, increased frame rate, ultra-wide monitor support, and higher-res graphics. You can check out the translated interview with Kojima on Gematsu.