Kojima talks about Death Stranding, hints at character customization

On April 29th, Hideo Kojima held a keynote at the Tribeca Games Festival in New York. Answering some questions by Geoff Keighley, he shed some light on his current production Death Stranding.

Responding to the question of why he chose to work with real actors for this game, he said: “I wanted something more lively, something where the actors go on stage and do something I didn’t even imagine. I wanted to have that more lively feeling, that makes it better. So that’s why I started working with these movie actors.”

Kojima feels that the things that aren’t planned, or that happen in the moment, can add something to the project, and if it’s completely computer generated you have control over every element, eliminating the possibility of improvisation or unplanned things.

“In a way, if it’s 100% computer graphics then we can do completely what I imagined. But that’s not what I want necessarily. By bringing in actors they do things that I don’t imagine, and that alone makes the project bigger. There’s happenings on stage, different things that happen. This is what I want and that’s what makes them better.”

When visiting the Kojima Productions studio, Mads Mikkelsen said something similar during the sixth HideoTube episode. Mads deviated from Kojima’s instructions but Kojima was so pleased with the result he ended up going with Mads’ version.

When talking about Norman Reedus, Kojima said he very consciously introduced us to Reedus’ character the way he did: completely naked. It sounds like Death Stranding will feature some kind of customization for the character later into the game.

“For the teaser where you see Norman naked, that’s something that I very specifically had in mind that I wanted people to see first. A naked Norman, and then from there you’ll be able to see him in different costumes, different hairstyles, different equipment. And that’s as much as I should say today.”

As to where they are with the project right now, Kojima was very careful and did not want to say much. “It’s moving on PS4.” he said, smiling. He added that they are currently doing tests for the characters, game systems and environments. “So far it’s going pretty well.”

To clarify, Kojima used an allegory of the character going into an Italian restaurant. Who he’ll meet there, what he’ll be eating, those details have all been decided. What they’re working on now are things like: what kind of tables will be there, what will be the specific dialogues, what will be the specific menu of the restaurant. That are the kind of details they’re currently working on.

“One thing that I love is that we do these video storyboards before doing the pre-visualizations where people in the studio do these performances, and based on that we do the pre-visualizations. I don’t show that to anyone – well, to Norman maybe, but that’s about it – but, yeah, I like this part where people are performing.” Kojima added, laughing, that everyone at the studio is bad at performing and just mumbles the lines.

During the keynote Kojima also talked about VR, his favorite movies and actors, and the fact that he would watch Taxi Driver nearly every day and re-enact the famous ‘you’re talking to me’ scene. You can watch the full video here.

Source: Tribeca Games Festival Keynote

    • BurntFM

      Hmm. Seems like he was having lunch/dinner? with Jordan Vogt-Roberts. So I guess MGS Movie was discussed. I don’t know the direction the movie is going to take, but if Kojima “unofficially” of course(#fuckonami) approves the script, I’ll be okay with whatever he comes up with.

      • Lex Radu

        I find it interesting how what some people call the negatives of “Kong: Skull Island” are actually aspects that i have only seen in the Metal Gear Series, like the scene with Tom with the Mask and the Sword, some of the best moments from the Metal Gear Series are moments like that, that don’t make that much sense, like the Rainden’s “Sacrifice” in MGS4 when he loses most of his body, that scene doesn’t make any sense, but i love it.

        • radun

          Yeah, well, those scenes in MGS actually have a build up, and they fit the characters and the overall tone. They are not thrown in there just for the “cool” factor. They always serve a purpose.

          In Kong, as i have said before, they are just there ‘cose it’s cool, and possibly because the guy (director) has a fetish for these kind of action scenes (not a bad thing per se).

          Now, a MGS movie with these kind of action and a script that gives purpose (Kojima involved maybe), hell yeah!

          • InternecivusRaptusStrikesBack

            Kong was a b movie with a huge budget
            The colour grading was on point
            Acting ok
            Character development bad
            The rest?FUCKING GLORIOUS
            In my humble opinion

          • Lex Radu

            Exactly, and all thanks to a wonderful and hands on Director like Jordan, who we should be proud is making the MGS Movie, that finally entered production (they are working on the script to get it right)

          • Lex Radu

            Not all of them serve a purpose in MGS either, i mean look at Vamp

            But again, that’s is why it’s great, the imprefections of both make them unique.

            And Yes, Kong has problems, but blame the writers, not the Director.

  • Lex Radu

    After having watched Yong’s latest video theory, i couldn’t but notice the similarities and differences between Norman and Del Toro Characters, and how those pieced together in an “outside the box” thinking might confirm some of the Gameplay aspects of Death Stranding, if Yong’s theory is right, and the cuffs are representing the controllers themselves.


    – Both have the hand cuffs on one hand, conected to nothing, just hanging.
    – Both are alone in their trailer (not talking about their on set trailer between takes)
    – They seem to interact with each other (The Baby) even if they are in 2 different worlds


    – 1 has the cuff on his right hand, the other on his left
    – Each of them is in their own world
    – Visually they are mirrors to each other


    Norman’s Character is “Player 1”, while Del Toro is “Player 2” hence cuff on oposite hand for each other
    Those 2 teasers put together show the Coop aspect of Death Stranding, 1 player is in a world, while the other is on the other world, the goal of the mission is the same for both sides, but both have to cooperate and do their part, interacting with each others indirectly through perfectly timed reactions to the other player’s actions, and back and forth.

    This would explain The Baby being tranfered from 1 world to another, things like that might be the concept of a possible Coop aspect of Death Stranding.

    What do you think, is any of this adding to Yong’s theory, of we’re/i’m waaaaaay of and reaching with this one?

    • InternecivusRaptusStrikesBack

      I bet that he is right but making a whole video on it is fucking stupid.like the whole german speech was found but he focuses on trivial shit like that.

      • Lex Radu

        He already talked about the German Speach, it’s already covered.

        Also, he is a Youtuber with a Fan-Base, so whenever he feels like making a Video about a certain topic of dicussion, like a theory or a recap of something, he is free to do it.

        I never understood people who say things like “he shouldn’t make a video about it” when they could just, not watch it if they don’t wanna support that specific content, instead of bitching and moaning about someone puting time and efort in to something he/she’s clearly passionate about, it’s just unnecessary and wrong to decide whether someone should make a video or not.

        • InternecivusRaptusStrikesBack

          Also, he is free to waste his time but stupidity must be criticised or else his video qualily will greatly suffer.

          • Lex Radu

            Criticized, but contructively, this wasn’t constructive, it was just you not liking the idea of this video existing, and you gave no real feedback.

          • InternecivusRaptusStrikesBack


          • Lex Radu

            Besides, why are you always catching on to the not relevant parts of my theories?
            If you reply here, stay on topic, and give your imput on the possibility of DS having Coop in this particular original way, and what are the chances this is one of the things Kojima emant with connections, and how would this aspect fit in to the overall theme of Connections.

  • InternecivusRaptusStrikesBack

    Off topic:
    Hilarious sins of the father joke at 13:47

  • Full Options

    So he flew straight from NY to LA… Wondering if he is also planning to visit a Sony studios / facility to check some stuff for DS..

    E3 in 1.5 month !! ;D

  • Eugene Voldo

    >A naked Norman, and then from there you’ll be able to see him in different costumes, different hairstyles, different equipment. And that’s as much as I should say today

    On the one hand it sounds a lot like an online shooter with different loadouts and character customisation. On the other hand, MGS always had different costumes, hairstyles and equipments. So it’s like he said something meaningful but at the same time he said basically nothing. Masterful!

    >bad at performing and just mumbles the lines

    … Then for what for they had dumped David Hayter if they knew nothing about good perfomance? Eh. For me, David Hayter was and still is the voice of Snake. Hoping Konami will make MGS great again with David Hayter as a new clone or completely new character!

    • ? The mumbled lines are just placeholders by KojiPro staff.

      • Lex Radu

        I was about to say the same thing, how that part was from the intreview was meant to be comedic, and it was.

        • Eugene Voldo

          I’m an old man and I just wanted to yell at KP for dumping David Hayter.

          • Maybe it’s time to move on from that.

          • Eugene Voldo
          • InternecivusRaptusStrikesBack

            We really don’t care
            Use some of that salt for your chips.They taste incredible ;)(Adressed to Hayter as well as mr Voldo)

    • Lex Radu

      The thing about David Hayter is that he always had to audition, and he didn’t met with Kojima a lot of times, so i guess Kojima wanted David replaced since MGS3, he had the opportunity to do it, but due to the lack of Snake backlash, he had to make Hayter Big Boss too.

      David is the reason people got exicted for MGS3 and 4, but not the reason the series is great, that is Kojima.

      Also seeing how Kojima spedns a lot of time with the actors, and how he didn’t with David, i think it’s safe to assume that he didn’t like David’s performance to beging with.

      I will get crucified for this, but i think Kiefer’s performance as Venom is the best Snake performance of the entire series, his acting with the few lines felt natural and unforced, it wasn’t over the top, it was the right tone and voice for a Legend like Snake, it reflected Venom’s personality well.

      Yes, Kiefer is better than David, Kiefer is my Snake!

      • Eugene Voldo

        >his acting with the few lines felt natural and unforced

        But this “few lines and felt natural” thing comes from a different aproach to writing a script. And Kiefer has nothing to do with MGSV script. He just read lines and that’s it. David Hayter can sound natural too, he’s a professional actor after all.

        Seriously, Konami can improve their image by just announcing David Hayter for a future MGS title whatever it’ll be.

        • Lex Radu

          You’re missing the point here,

          By few lines i meant that he had to say every line perfect, and make all of them believeable, he had to convey those emotions through tone and intonation, not through unnecessary filler that was needed back then to convey that emotion.

          Also, David is a brilliant Writer, but he is an OK Actor, he did an amzing job in MGS1, his best acting for far, however he took the wrong lessons from that, and decided that he should add more roughness to the voice, which wasn’t needed at all, his voice, his tone, his acting overall in MGS1 was perfect.
          Then came MGS3, that’s when the first red flagg popped, that’s when David went overboard with the voice, that’s when he started to put all his focus in to his voice, and zero in the acting, MGS3 was like Snake reading lines from a paper, the didn’t felt like real words,

          But i gotta give my mads respect for his MGS4 performance, that’s when David gave everything he had, voice, tone and acting, his second best perfomance, it felt like the had learned from his previous work, he felt like an old version of the MGS1 Snake.

          But then came Peace Walker, and you could tell that he put zero effort in to both voice, and actinng, he tried to created an older Big Boss with the same method he used to created an old sick Solid Snake, he didn’t tought it through at all, he was already at the point where everyone loved him, where he though he can’t make mistakes, so he didn’t even bother to bring something new, that’s when it was clear Davidfinished his run as Snake.

          I got Mad respect for this guy, for his pervious work, but unlike Hugh Jackman, David didn’t knew when to back out, when his run has ended, at MGS4, that would have been a perfect moment to leave the franchise, like Hugh Jackman with Logan.

      • Tom Brearley-Smith

        To tell you the truth, I like both David Hayter and Kiefer Sutherland as Snake, but I prefer Hayter as Solid Snake and Kiefer as Big Boss/Venom Snake.
        PS. I may get backlash for this, but I wouldn’t mind a digital graphic novel of MGS3 and Peace Walker with Kiefer as Naked Snake/Big Boss.

        • Lex Radu

          If Konami make a proper MGS3 Remake, they have to get Kiefer for that, but seeing how is Konami we’re talking about, they’ll get David.

    • radun

      Having Hayter be Snake in the (inevitable) next MGS game is a no brainer for Konami. That alone would create an immense excitement among the casual fans.
      Just be patient, Hayter will continue to be Snake.

      • I don’t understand why Konami should continue Solid Snake saga. It’s over. If they are indeed developing the next MGS, they should continue the timeline after MGS4 with new characters.

        Also, not sure that Konami is developing the next MGS. I don’t know if Konami wants to spend some money for the franchise that is hard to design. Stealth Action game these days is just hard to make. You need modern technology, AI and good level design.

        • Full Options
          • Not only these excellent guys… But Julien Merceron is now somewhere, Jordan Amaro is at Nintendo. So far all of the talent left Konami. At this point MG Survive is probably made by a bunch of PES and Dance Dance Revolution staff. I’m not joking here.

          • Unfortunately we don’t have any information on who’s still at Konami. We only know who left (at least partially). But apparently there is still MGSV staff left working on Survive.

          • radun

            Speaking of that, all signs point to Shuyo Murata staying behind @ Konami….It’s sad news if true, i think he was a good writer and a cool guy.

          • Yeah but good news for future Metal Gear games. 🙂

          • Full Options

            Junji Tago is in the nature as well.. Merceron has more global ambitions, he wants to manage tech over multiple projects. Namco is for sure the right place, he is not centered around specific titles, but rather more checking how to improve gaming in general. Although he said he was ready to stick to Boss forever if things went not that wrong.. But whatever happened, there are a lot of very well trained fellows left at Konami. I don’t really trust him but Korekado should rule all well, as far as they let them work.

        • Lex Radu

          True, they we’re not able to make Rising without Kojima, and they had all the other developers of MGS4, so now with almost no one left, the only way we will see a new Metal Gear Game from Konami, is if they use an external development studio with actual people.

          • Eugene Voldo

            I always wonder who is behind this “almost no one left” myth? Old KP had like 200+ workers. Only 20-30 guys left Konami. And at least half of them were MGSV newbies. That’s why new KP is still recruiting staff, even after one year since opening studio.

          • It’s just the impression that you get because you only hear about people leaving, and those are some really important people. Who is still left that we know of, besides Korekado? Possibly Murata and Tamari, but we just don’t know for sure.

          • New KP will always recruit new staff. It happens all the time. Nothing new here. But most of the staff, the popular ones and most experienced went to work for Kojima, EA, Nintendo, Namco and other companies.

            Again, Kojima right now works with the best team he had in the past and these guys made the core of the MGSV and other games.

            Who works at Konami? At this point no one knows because they merged all studios together in to the one division. They closed Los angeles studio too which was a good idea to expand it’s studio with Western developers that could help out with technology.

        • NegaScott128

          The only thing Konami can do with Solid Snake is a game centered around Philanthropy, where you’d hunt down Metal Gears in assorted sandbox-y locations around the world and waste time hunting down Liquid because we already know they don’t meet again until MGS4.

          The way I see it, they have a few options for where the series should go. They can try and fill in the few remaining gaps in the MGS chronology (Philanthropy, Boss WWII game, real Big Boss during MGSV, original Rising concept set between 2 and 4, sequels to Revengeance), continue on with the alternate universe set up by Survive (assuming it even comes out), start over from scratch and reboot the whole series, or just remake the old games and milk nostalgia for easy cash. I’m gonna go ahead and bet they won’t reboot the series anytime soon, because they’re cowards who are too afraid to face the reality that there’s simply not much that can be done with the series anymore. I guarantee we’re gonna get a remake of MGS1 or 3 in the near future, because that’s so obvious and safe that of course Konami would do it.

          As for the remaining “holes” in the series, we’ll just have to wait and see. Considering Revengeance was so well-received, they might try and make a sequel, but I’m not sure Platinum would want to work with Konami after all the problems they’ve had, and without Platinum, there’s really no point in making a Revengeance sequel. I’m sure Konami is aware of the demand for a WWII-set game starring the Boss, so that might happen at some point.

        • MrVux007

          Cyberpunk/futuristic-MGS game………

          • Lex Radu


            Metal Gear is a Cyberpunk Series!

          • Not really. It is Sci-fi technothriller – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Techno-thriller

          • Lex Radu

            Metal Gear is waaaay beyond Technothriler, i mean, Gray Fox and Raiden alone full Cyberpunk.

          • This is full Sci-fi. Cyberpunk is first of all a setting or subgenre of it. Basically a setting that tends to focus on society as “high-tech low life”. MGS series setting is realistic with spy fiction and secret research facilities for some exotic technology as you mentioned with Raiden and Gray Gox.

            Deus Ex series for example is a good example of a cyberpunk game.

          • Lex Radu

            Oh, my bad then, should have done more research.

          • MrVux007


      • Eugene Voldo

        All hail David Hayter!

    • InternecivusRaptusStrikesBack

      Hayter was bad at naked snake
      In pw it was awful
      You remind me of those salty Christian Bale fans who can’t accept someone did a shorter but much superior performance

  • InternecivusRaptusStrikesBack

    Can’t wait to play as that bootylicious fury
    Loved war and death

  • InternecivusRaptusStrikesBack

    First ds and now this.
    Fuck me

    • Gatsu


    • Lex Radu

      I have no doubt we’ll get tons of DS Info at E3, Tribeca wasn’t about DS in the first place, it was about Video Game and Filmmakers, about the blending of both mediums.

      My favorite panel was the one between Doug Liman and Ken Levine, 1 Filmamker bringing Video Game elements in Movie, and a Video Game Maker bringing Movie elements in to Video Games, it was a blast.

    • NegaScott128

      We’ll get at least a trailer, probably also confirming Stefanie Joosten and maybe another actor. I’d love to see some gameplay, but I’m not gonna get my hopes up. Better to expect less and be surprised when you get more than to expect more and be disappointed when you get less.

    • I want a good trailer this time around. Not just a teaser trailer.

      I still remember when my jaw dropped when I saw MGSV GREEN BAND trailer at Microsoft Press conference for the new XBOX ONE.

      That was the best day of that year for me. This trailer was cinematic, showed gameplay possibilities of a huge sandbox Metal Gear game with new characters and fantastic looking graphics with Sins Of The Father soundtrack.

      I want this experience at Sony’s E3 2017. I want Metal Gear and Kojima fans to be the happiest guys on earth.

      • The post view counter plugin was only activated later, so that counter isn’t correct.

        Actual views:
        3800+ for the first and 900+ for the second one.

  • Lex Radu

    After watching Bryan Fuller (Hannibal TV Show creator) show “American Gods” i noticed big similarity between those 2. The sureal metaphorical dreams, which got me thinking.

    What if the 2 Death Stranding Teasers are just 2 of the sureal metaphortical dreams from the game, while the Game will be something more keen to a Noir Thriler, something like Snatcher or Blad Runner, given Yoji Shinkawa’s Christmas artwork of a Hot Lady in Fishnets, sitting in fron of a window with snow outside, like straight from a Noir flick?

  • NegaScott128

    Geoff Keighley is going to hold something called “E3 Coliseum” from June 13-14. It’ll have “panels, conversations, talks and other surprises.” The discussions will be open both to “fans” (info on tickets isn’t included) and live-streamed, and you’ll be able to submit questions on Facebook.

    The full lineup of speakers will be unveiled in a couple weeks, but, I mean, come on. Kojima’s definitely gonna be there. Considering Sony’s E3 conference is the day before the Coliseum starts, we probably won’t get anything “new” there, but we might get an alternate trailer like the one for the TGA trailer.

    • Lex Radu

      That’s probably where we will get a different version of the E3 2017 Trailer, like the “Easy Way Out” type of deal.

    • InternecivusRaptusStrikesBack

      They’re just friend
      If Kojima retweets the picture of an egg,does that mean there will be a chicken in DS?

    • Full Options

      Chances are high he’ll be on both Coliseum and Sony’s conference, a bit like last TGA+PSX. After all Geoff looks like Kojima’s principal US ambassador. He always shows up with him from east to west coasts.

  • Lex Radu

    Metal Gear Topic:
    Seeing how the MGS Movie is already in development, who would you pick as Snake and Meryl?

    All this time we were thinking about who would make the best Snake, and who would make the best Meryl, instead of thinking of 2 good actors that have chemisty, that don’t necessarily look exactly like those 2 characters, but would be entertaining to watch, and maybe even great with a good script.

    My pick is Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

    Now who’s yours duo pick?

    • Eugene Voldo

      I’d pick up some good B-action actors. In my eyes MGS movie should be cheesy, stupidly entertaining and not overly serious flick. Actually, David Hayter can play the role of Old Snake pretty well. Other actors are not that important. But the direction IS important.

      • Lex Radu

        And thankfully the Direction is in good hands, Jordan knows what he’s doing, he basically did a Metal Gear Movie with Skull Island, so i trust him.

        All that was missing from the Movie to be honest, was Tom Hiddlestone’s dialogue, he should have been the 1 liner machine from the Movie, like Solid Snake is, he should have had a smart and arrogant response for everything, and know when to say serious things.

        • Lex Radu

          @eugenevoldo:disqus I hate saying this, but i think Chris Pratt should have been the lead in Skull Island.

          • NegaScott128

            I don’t think anyone could have done a good job with that character. Hiddleston did the best he could, but the character is just so bland and nothing that it would take a full rewrite to make him even slightly interesting.

          • Lex Radu

            Which is why this character needed to be played by someone very charismatic, who is a verry good impriviser, someone like Chris Pratt, whoc would bring his own lines too, like Sam sure did.

            A Character Actor was needed

          • NegaScott128

            Like I said, even Pratt wouldn’t do very good. There’s just nothing to the character. Unless Pratt ad-libbed 2/3 of his lines to add some personality, he’d probably end up giving a very similar performance to Hiddleston. Honestly, I’d cut his character out of the movie entirely. He doesn’t actually do anything other than say things the plot needs him to say.

          • Lex Radu

            the 2/3 lines is what i’m talking about.

            I just think Tom was misscast here, that this role was made on paper bland on urpose, for the actor to make it his own, but seeing how Tom isn’t good at comedy, it should have been someone else.

            His character, they way he looked, and how badass he was, gave me a Nathan Drake vibe, his dialogue should have been like a Nathan Drake.

            He’s even dressed exactly like Nathan, so why wasn’t a Comedic Badass chosen, like Zack Efron even.

      • InternecivusRaptusStrikesBack

        Have you even played a metal gear game

        • Lex Radu

          I think he has

          Also, you do realize Cheesy is not necessarily bad if done correctly, right?

          • InternecivusRaptusStrikesBack

            MUH BOOMSTICKS
            But Metal gear is not 100% cheese and blockbuster
            Well not atleast 20%

          • Lex Radu

            No one said 100% cheese.

          • InternecivusRaptusStrikesBack

            Yeah but don’t forget the philosophy and fourth wall breaking.Some of mgs’ best jokes are subtle fourth wall breaking

          • Lex Radu

            And that Jordan is aware of, so he will make sure the scene is good.

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