It’s Kojima, so we shouldn’t expect normal things anyway.
Hideo Kojima does his own thing- which is often completely different from what anyone else, including his most ardent supporters and fans, think that he will do. Just look at Metal Gear Solid 2, a AAA sequel to a blockbuster game that outright misled players; or Metal Gear Solid 5, intended to be the capping chapter in the saga, and the complete antithesis of every other game in the series so far.
So of course, it is to be expected that if and when he does tackle online functionality in his games, he puts his own twist on it. This was largely true of how he tackled it in the Metal Gear games, too. So it shouldn’t surprise you that he is planning something different for the online functionality of the upcoming Death Stranding at all.
“This is something that we can’t say a lot about at the moment but if you want to play the game stand-alone, without an online component, that’s perfectly fine,” Kojima said on the PlayStation Blog. “We do have an online component and, again, it’s different as there will be something different versus what most people expect from an online game. A lot of games have a ‘campaign mode’ and once you’re done with that you take it to the online mode. This game is not that kind of structure.”
Does this mean that the online functionality may be persistently integrated into the campaign itself? A lot like how Pokemon or Dark Souls handle it, perhaps? It will be interesting to see what Kojima intends to do with the online modes in Death Stranding.