The idea behind Death Stranding wasn’t met with warmth at first.
Hideo Kojima is usually heralded as a genius in the video games arena. His Metal Gear Solid series is, in many ways, the grandfather of the cinematic style that took over games over the last decade, and no one manages to create hype out of basically nothing like Kojima does. That’s why it’s so interesting to see that when he pitched his newest project, Death Stranding, to his staff, it garnered a mixed reaction.
We now have a clearer idea of what kind of game Death Stranding will be. Or, at least, we now have a grasp on the gameplay loop and the basics of the story. There’s been some mixed reaction online to what we’ve seen so far, and there’s no doubt it’s not at all what a lot of people expected. That reaction apparently started behind the scenes, Kojima told Game Informer. When he explained the concept of the game to staff members of Kojima Productions, some were outright against it, thinking the whole thing just couldn’t translate to fun gameplay. As time went on, they took to it, he said, and the original vision stays mostly intact- but it took a while to get everyone on the same page.
“The concept hasn’t changed at all from the start,” said Kojima. “On the vision side, yes, I imagined I could do more – like, PlayStation 6 for the visuals. But it’s not all about graphics. A lot of people were against my first concept, and I’m really happy that the staff made it together with me. All the staff really liked playing the game and I really feel happy. And I just feel it’s the user’s turn now.
“A new concept is really difficult to explain at the start. The stealth game, no one really got it when I first presented it. Your first enemies are always your staff, or the people working with you. ‘You carry things, you connect, and you only give thumbs-up – what’s fun about that?’ was the first reaction. If I had listened, it would just be a normal game. But a lot of staff, they believed me. They said, ‘Okay, we’ll try it out.’ A lot of staff members, whether quickly or late, they start to get it. I can’t really blame the staff, because I can’t show inside of my brain. No one understood at all when I first explained. ‘Are you insane?’ But they participated. Norman, Mads [Mikkelsen], same. When I asked them to join, and I explained to them, they had no idea what I was going to do.”
Death Stranding releases on PlayStation 4 November 8th.