From everything that we’ve seen of Death Stranding so far, the game looks to be displaying an impressive level of shine and polish, which is made all the more impressive when you consider that this is supposed to be a large open world game. We’ve also heard from Hideo Kojima in the past how the game took just three years to put together. All of this put together with the fact that this is a brand new IP would suggest that a large workforce of people have probably worked day and night to make Death Stranding a reality- but it doesn’t look like that’s the case.
While speaking with GameSpot, Kojima revealed that the game has been developed by a team of just 80 people, which by today’s standards of AAA development is shockingly small, especially when you consider the scope of this project in particular. Kojima talked about how he’s always been good at making games quickly and making important decisions in-house with some efficiency, and that that’s been the case with Death Stranding as well. Add to that the fact that unlike with Metal Gear Solid 5, he did not need to build a new engine for this game – and is instead using Guerrilla Games’ Decima Engine – and things became even quicker.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m always quick,” said Kojima. “It’s like, three years? I can’t really say anything about Sony right now… maybe it will take 8 years, or maybe 10 years for first-party titles, like Nintendo as well. Cyberpunk has probably been worked on for more than 8 years. I’ve created in three years. When I was creating Metal Gear Solid 5, I needed more time because I had to produce the engine, as well as produce other titles.
“So, if you looked back at the interviews three or four years ago, I’m as consistent as I said about game design… I’m kind of very efficient in the way I make games in a short time. Every day, every hour, I decide right or left. I won’t say, ‘I’ll think about it’ or ‘let’s think about it,’ I make a decision on the spot. So, that’s one reason I don’t outsource so much because you have to answer emails and wait for answers, that’s why I do it in house as much as possible.”
“One of the reasons it’s fast is because I do all the planning, design, and produce, and that kind of forces me to make quick decisions,” Kojima continued. “There’s no time lag. Like other developers might have different people doing boss battles, and different people doing the cutscenes–it’s a bit chaotic when they have to pull everything together. But our team is only about 80 people, usually other big teams are 300 or 600. So that’s what–with the short amount of time and [fewer] amount of people, and the direct feedback I give–allows me to make this game in this time.”
Early on in development though, there was some resistance in Kojima’s team to his ideas for the game– though of course, ultimately it all panned out.
Death Stranding is out on November 8 for the PS4- though it seems like Kojima is already thinking about sequels.