Developer: Kojima Productions
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release: Before 2019[1]
Genre: Sci-fi action
Engine: Decima
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer

Death Stranding is an upcoming open world action video game developed by Kojima Productions and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4. The game was announced at the Sony Conference of E3 2016 in June. It will be directed by Hideo Kojima, his first game since his departure from Konami in July 2015.

A release window of 2018 has been given by Hideo Kojima. The director has stated that, "[Death Stranding] will be out before the Olympics", referencing the Tokyo 2020 Games. More precisely, he has revealed that "there is a movie called Akira, and [Death Stranding] will be out before the year in which Akira is set", with Akira being set in the year 2019.[1]


Little has been revealed regarding the story of Death Stranding thus far. The only plot point that has been divulged is the stranding of something otherworldly into the world.[2]



A rope connecting, from left to right, Guillermo del Toro, Norman Reedus, Hideo Kojima and Mads Mikkelsen

According to Kojima, most modern action games consist of players communicating with equivalents of 'sticks' – swords, guns, punches, kicks and other avenues of physical communication – the stick metaphorically being humanity's first invention. Kojima aims to "tie people together" by utilizing humanity's second invention: the rope. With ropes, a primary focus of the gameplay will be building 'connections', or more precisely, what are called 'strands' in psychology – how people are connected.[3][4] Despite there being an increased emphasis on 'ropes', 'sticks' will be utilized in the game as well, in conjunction with 'ropes'.[5]

Kojima has also more cryptically alluded to Death Stranding having a new take on the concept of life and death in video games, supposing that "'death' is about to have a new meaning".[6]

Additionally, it has been suggested that Death Stranding won't fall solely into one specific gaming genre.[7] Its potential genre-defying nature has been described in a similar vein to that of Metal Gear: In its infancy, Metal Gear was initially thought of as merely an action game; in time, however, it came to be perceived as something more specific and unique due to its stealth elements, ultimately ushering in the stealth genre of video games.[3]



Kojima and Reedus behind the scenes at Kojima Productions

The development of Death Stranding began following Kojima Productions' reformation in December 2015. Hideo Kojima formally revealed the game at Sony's E3 2016 conference, through a reveal trailer using Low Roar's song "I'll Keep Coming". The trailer featured American actor Norman Reedus, who will star and serve as a prominent character in Death Stranding. According to Kojima, a key concept present in the trailer is the idea of a life-death connection. The inclusion of a heroine that will accompany Reedus' character has also been strongly suggested.[1]

Death Stranding runs on Guerrilla Games' in-house engine, Decima. Kojima opted for Decima after being sent a box containing the engine's source code, which "made [him] very happy". Additionally, Kojima set up a small satellite studio at Guerrilla Games, in order to work in close liaison with the Dutch developer.[8]

In early October of 2016, Kojima took the development team of Death Stranding to visit the Meguro Parasitological Museum, with the purpose of showing his staff members how fundamental parasites are to our core ecosystem.[9]

At TGA 2016, Kojima Productions unveiled a teaser trailer starring Mads Mikkelsen and (the likeness of) Guillermo del Toro.

Kojima has revealed that in previous games he has worked on, he has had to make compromises to bring them to fruition. With Death Stranding, however, he stated that the issue of compromising has been remedied, and is confident that the game will be "something completely new that no-one has seen so far", as well as his best creative work yet.[10]


Pre-release trailers for Death Stranding have used songs produced by the Icelandic band Low Roar: "I'll Keep Coming" in the reveal trailer and "Easy Way Out" in the teaser trailer. In February 2017, a limited edition 12" single containing the aforementioned two songs was published by Mondo Records, in conjunction with Kojima Productions. This was the first piece of merchandise released for Death Stranding.

The official soundtrack of Death Stranding will be composed by Ludvig Forssell.



The three Death Stranding Easter eggs found in Horizon Zero Dawn

  • A key theme in the game's reveal trailer, as well its namesake concept, is cetacean stranding – the phenomenon of cetaceans stranding themselves on beachfronts. The event seems to be more encompassing in Death Stranding than it is in reality, however; several other forms of marine life are seen stranded on a beach alongside cetaceans, including crustaceans and fish.
  • Three Death Stranding Easter eggs can be found in Guerrilla Games' Horizon Zero Dawn:
  1. Stranded Necklace – the dog tag-laden necklace worn by Norman Reedus' character in the reveal trailer, described as "Six tarnished metal ingots threaded with a plain wire";
  2. Stranded Cuffs – the cuffs attached to Norman Reedus' character's wrist in the reveal trailer, described as "Shackles made from an unknown, smooth material";
  3. Stranded Figure – the infant doll found in the teaser trailer, described as "A battered idol of an infant, smelling faintly of decay."


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