Sony’s Shawn Layden has played Death Stranding, says it’s revolutionary ‘and more’

In an interview with The Telegraph, Shawn Layden (President of Sony Interactive Entertainment America) talked a bit about Sony’s E3 conference and their upcoming games. One of the notable omissions from this year’s show was Kojima’s new game, Death Stranding. Because of this, the interviewer asked wether this means the game is still just in the concept phase, but according to Layden, this is not the case.

“It’s up an running. It’s been aided tremendously after Kojima-San decided to co-opt the Decima Engine from Guerrilla. And, gosh, that really gave him a leg up to get up and running and test it and have some prototype levels running. I couldn’t explain to you what the game is…”

Shawn Layden and Hideo Kojima at E3 2017

The interviewer asked if this means Layden has played some of it, which he confirmed he has. Then he was asked if it really was as revolutionary as we’ve heard it is. Layden responded, after a ‘thoughtful pause’: “All that and more!”

Kojima Productions doesn’t want to reveal yet when Death Stranding will be out, but Kojima did say the studio has set a release date for themselves and are working towards that goal. All we know is that the game is supposed to be out before 2019.

Source: The Telegraph, via

  • Full Options
  • King of Disgust

    But the real question is : Is it more revolutionary than pink guy vs chin chin ?

  • Eugene Voldo

    If it’s revolutionary as he says then why don’t you show it to public? I am pretty sure that Shawn Layden is not game developer himself; he’s just a Jack Tretton’s successor. Better yet, he was not admitting the game is revolutionary. He only said “All that and more”. But what’s “that”? That «revolutionary» thing? And more of THAT revolutionary thing? How can it be more revolutionary than revolution itself? Ah, it’s just a pr-talk in my eyes.

    • He means it’s revolutionary and other things.

      • Eugene Voldo

        Then that’s a pr-talk for sure. Revolutinary game with more other things? It’s a line straight out of marketing manager’s desk book.

        • Well of course he’s not going to say ‘nah it doesn’t look all that special’. But the fact remains that he’s one of the few people outside of Kojima Productions who has not only seen the game but also played it for himself, so it still seemed worthwhile to post this. It does look like Death Stranding will be something special, based on what we’ve seen and heard so far.

          • Eugene Voldo

            No, the problem is that for him any game he’s going to ship to consumers will look revolutionary. Knack 2? Revolution. FF7 Remake? Revolution. I’d more interested in first-hand opinions from real devs and players than the head of SCE. As you have already said he’s not going to say anything bad about his flagship title.

            It will be like citing Konami’s pr-manager on his opinion about MG Survive. He’s going to say it’s awesome and revolutionary and stuff. It’s his job. Same thing with Mr. Layden.

          • Full Options

            Generations of players are becoming old though, which is very cool. I believe Shawn is a fair gamer, but of course you won’t hear him hold anything but such type of speech.. We can only relay on his enthusiasm for now but I sense very positive vibes, whether pure PR or not. 😀

          • IamTylerDurden1

            Right.. bc Layden really called Knack 2 revolutionary. Knack 2 does look excellent and vastly improved, but not revolutionary.

          • Full Options

            so it still seemed worthwhile to post this.

            Nyx, this is major / top-grade update (at least for me), I am glad you spotted it in the Telegraph, we can not have our eyes everywhere (THX).

            I mean before, we could only guess he had multiple playable levels but it feels very sweet to have it confirmed by a rock-safe-official source because it indirectly hints at the overall progress and facts like they have more or less stable and convincing levels.

          • Actually it were our Belgian colleagues who spotted this news:

            But yeah not too shabby for a Sunday. 🙂

          • Full Options

            Cool they grabbed this gem and THX for relaying it here !

            But yeah not too shabby for a Sunday. 🙂

            Lol xD …1000% pure dynamite, you mean !? xD


    • Full Options

      Eugene, even if they show prototypes in such conferences, those playable samples are usually also very polished which requires a lot of time they don’t have for now.
      You can’t show-case glitched samples full of unwanted geometry popping and flickers here and there because it would have a bad and unfair impact over the public / more mainstream audience. The techie or more HC audience would understand but more profane ones + noob press would go straight like “Look, Kojima’s + Sony’s new baby is full of glitches” and BS like that…

      Wondering when he tested it / if Boss brought a PS4 Pro install setup in California last week.. Very cool news though !!

      • Eugene Voldo

        Well, fair point. I remember when people was laughing at MGSV first trailer in 2012, because “wow, graphic is so muddy and shit”.

        • Full Options

          Yeah, there are some BS press that even know what they are doing, still criticizing to get their part of the buzz cake even if they know the title is in early stages. This is very sad because such kind of behavior have consequences such as locking us out of more info at the end..

    • I think Kojima won’t show why the thing is revolutionary until the very end when the game will come out.
      Shawn Layden is a good guy. He is a gamer and a Japanese gamer btw so he knows all of this. He comes from the Japanese environment. He worked with Japanese before and he is the chairman of Worldwide studios so he is responsible for accepting the concepts while giving out money.

      This is Kojima we are talking about. The guy who did a lot of revolutionary stuff before, so I trust him.

    • mrpete987

      While it is PR talk, you have to understand why they’re not showing it. Honestly, it’s bad form to show something before it’s ready to be shown, JUST to show people to satiate them. They will show it when they’re good and ready.

    • IamTylerDurden1

      He was saying it’s all everybody’s speculated it to be and more.

    • Johnno

      He was only answering the question as best he could to a hyperbolic reporter fishing for info who himself used the word ‘revolutionary.’ But if you combine this with what Mark Cerny, a non-PR guy had to say, then he was quite impressed too.

      The game can’t be shown yet because if you’ve ever seen games in early development they don’t look or run so great, naturally, but that’s how it is. A Normal development cycle. Kojima obviously did do some kind of presentation to Sony on his ideas. Regardless of what anyone says, Sony isn’t just going to fund a studio or buy an IP without knowing what it is. Especially to fund a start up. So obviously whatever it was Kojima had in mind, it was impresive enough for them to sign his cheque.

      At some point they will show it. I mean… they obviously have to sell it. So don’t worry.

      • Full Options

        I am even not sure they really need that deep clearances / proof that Kojima is on the right track. They are working with him since MG cartridges because MSX was also manufactured by Sony among 4 – 5 different other HW manufacturers. Then MGS was, if not almost always PS exclusive, a real bridge between Sony and Konami for a little less than 2 decades. That allowed them to craft very close relations with Sony high Japanese executives and as consequences, more occidental ones such as Andrew or Shawn later on.
        Remember Kojima is a former Konami Vice-President, he is in all these spheres.

        • Johnno

          To a certain extent, yes, Kojima would’ve been given a giant leg up thatnks to his relationships, but at the end of the day these men are who and where they are because they are professionals.

          Sean Layden, Mark Cerny and Kaz Hirai might be friends with Kojima, but these decisions are not made unilaterally. There are investors and entire board members who have to make these decisions to invest large sums of money into. While Kaz, Layden and Cerny can certainly make things easier and vouch for him, other people who vote on how and where to invest must still be convinced. Even Kojima as a VP at Konami had trouble getting projects greenlit. A similar structure will be in place at Sony, though unlike Konami Kojima has friends there and Sony is more open to creative new IP.

          At the very least some kind of design document and presentation had to be made. Because this also determines how much money Kojima would need. How many employees. What technology is available to him. Which internal Sony studios will collaborate together etc. etc. Details that need to be ironed out from the get go. It’s a normal routine thing.

          Agreeing informally to work with Kojima on an exclusive and touring the worldwide studios is one thing. Actually putting money down for investing in his studio and buying theintellectual property rights to Death Stranding is another. It’ll be interesting to learn about everything that happened. One would hope Kojima would also have a small team make a documentary about the start of the new Kojima Productions and how it came to be and following Death Stranding’s development to near-release.

          • Full Options

            I never said they funded him that blindly neither..
            Of course, the design and planning was shared to the board months before and the project already got accordingly funded, but we were talking about whether Shawn Layden tested some prototypes for contractual purpose only or to check the overall progress.. That’s possible, but it would be a little more officious and tacit since the Sony Corp’s board already made their mind.

            SCEI / SIE is a very tiny part only representing few billions compared to Hirai’s Sony Corp. Andrew, Mark and Shawn can not really be put in the same bag than him in terms of relations, but facts are that Kojima has many top-level relations in all organizational charts.

            Talking about professionalism, that’s probably also what was lacking at Konami since the board is more familial, trying to evince Kojima for all but professional purposes.
            Konami is nothing if compared to Sony’s ranking in the Japan’s leading electronics vertical keiretsu.

  • Daburcor

    THAT is exciting to hear.

  • Gatsu


    • King of Disgust

      Tell me more about it

    • Eugene Voldo

      And then we are finding out that this dying scream is the final destination to Old Snake and Naked Snake likewise. We had tried to escape the inevitable in all MGS1-4 and yet it was all futile.

      PS. Actually, I was sad when Snake hadn’t screamed “ААААААААААААААААААААААHH~!” in the final scene of MGS4. It would be so 4-wall breakingish.

  • Wakeelah Caldwell

    I. Cancelled pre-order since no release date and tired of people playing with my emotions, tying up my money

    • Well maybe you were a little early to pre-order to begin with. 😛

      • BurntFM

        I don’t blame ’em. I would have pre-ordered out of reflex alone. lol
        I don’t pre-order by the way.

    • Jason Ledwich

      Should I pre order? Will they run out of digital downloads if I don’t?

      • Full Options

        xD, but even with hard copies, it seems sometimes, shipment to costumers fail miserably day 1 so I feel safer to grab my physical copies at the stores since they usually receive tons of SKUs 2 weeks before, to the point that we can even grab our copy at day -7 sometimes… Got TPP at day -4..

        • Especially if Death Stranding gets a nice collector’s edition.

          • Full Options

            Guess who around here will have one for sure… ;D … Or a system-seller package edition.. ;D

      • Wakeelah Caldwell

        I wouldn’t til they give a release date

      • IamTylerDurden1

        Ew digital.

  • BurntFM

    CD Projekt Red and Koji Pro are the few developers who when they say. “It’ll be out when it’s ready.” I am confident they really mean it. I’ll just take news of it as they come. Guys remember last time Kojima was on a deadline set by a certain publisher and released the game without it being fully realized?

  • HAppY_KrAToS

    please, kojima, dont forget to add some nice elements, like bases,, etc, and many other things we will be able to spend our money on…

    MGS5, everything was so good, until the game started asking me to wait 2, 3, 8 real-time hours, just to upgrade 10% of one base… of course, i was given the possibility to skip the tedious process, by spending real money on those upgrades…
    …i was so pissed about it, that i immediately stopped playing and uninstalled the game, and never played again !
    for sure, those microtransactions were an idea from konami… who just want more and more money, everytime. i don’t think kojima would have sacrificed his game, its pace, story, etc, just for the sake of selling a few microtransactions. for sure, Konami were behind the ‘coup’…

    now, kojima has the opportunity to create a title THE WAY he wants, and because he no longer needs 2 or 3 years to develop a game engine from scratch, and will use Guerilla^’s one (Horizon zero dawn looked amazing…), he has all these full months and years to really focus on the story, graphics, etc etc.
    FOR sure, his game won’t need any microtransactions /online craap.

    don’t screw it this time, and you could end up selling 4 or 5 million copies. add some freaking microtransactions and other shiit that pisses players, and the pro-xbox journalists and websites, like polygon, ign, etc, will happily give you some great 6/10 scores !

  • denialsan85 .

    Shawn – YOU`RE BASTARD!!!!

  • King of Disgust

    A Sony exec hyping the shit outta a sony game . And water is wet . Not gonna trust him

    • Okay.

      • King of Disgust


    • Full Options

      If you trust Kojima enough, there is room for thinking that Layden was honest with his answer. Even if all could possibly appear to some like wrapped up PR, I can’t imagine him lying on this a second because I trust Kojima.

    • IamTylerDurden1

      Right, bc no other companies overhype..

      I’m so into astrology, i just can’t STOP TALKING ABOUT best sign ever, SCORPIO.

      PPL love Samsung’s Quantum dot tvs so much that they would HATE a QUANTUM BREAK.

      This apple wasn’t cored right, it might need a RECORE BAD.

      PPL think My lizard is so safe he WILL NEVER GET a SCALE BOUND.

      • Rami Seb

        It’s not really the Sony execs as it is the Sony fantards themselves. These are the same idiots that think Drive Turd, Corridor 1886, Gran Turdismo, KnackCrap, Crapzone Shitfail and Infamous SecondShit are all amazing games.

      • Rami Seb

        Sony doesn’t hype their games, it’s their fanboys that do. Sony fanboys hype even abominations like DriveTurd, Knacksuck, Infamous SecondShit, Gran Turd-ismo, Corridor1886, LittleTurdPlanet3, hell some of them even hyped Godzilla lol.

  • TwoLiterSoda

    So a Sony big wig talked up the game? What a surprise lol. The only reason he is coming out saying he played it is because of all the concerns people have with nothing having been shown. Those is there price u pay when u announce games too early. That out of the way, I do believe the game will be amazing but I also do not think we will see it until the end of 2018 at the earliest.

    • Too early is debatable. People wanted to know what Kojima was going to do after the whole Konami debacle.

    • Full Options

      I think it is possible we see some interactive samples during 2018 because Kojima is always keen to show progresses at conventions such as GDC, even years before the title is out.

      The situation at E3 2016 was exceptional because Kojima did lost his Konami’s teams and the FoxEngine. If he was still at Konami, we for sure would not have received any info but something from PT or simple announces such as MGS6 being in development, without even the shadow of a MGS trailer.

      Regarding Layden, chances are also high that without the Telegraph interviewer question, he would possibly not have either think about mentioning anything about Death Stranding.

    • Johnno

      Game had to be shown early for several good reasons.

      1) Info on Sony and Kojima working together would’ve leaked, hence spoiling any potential announcement.

      2) Kojima wanted to reassure fans and friends that he was back to work after being kept under lock and key and silence.

      3) Other details of Death Stranding would’ve leaked if Kojima didn’t get ahead of them, hence spoiling any surprises he likes to do, or that could mislead people.

      4) Kojima had to recruit developers to come work for him. Announcing and showing conceptual stuff for the game that captures the imagination is a good way to do that.

      5) Sony themselves gain market attention from early announcements and people anticipating more info every year. A vocal minority of the gaming populace who don’t like hearing of stuff too early is minuscule compared to the majority who love to see and anticipate things. A lot of us don’t mind the wait. Our attention spans are long enough to last the game’s entire development, and some of us actually like to see and learn about how games are made and progress.

      • Plus Kojima also said that announcing a game early helps him:

        To those who are worried that Kojima will keep pushing back the release date of the game because he is a perfectionist, Kojima noted that most of his games are released on schedule, as he is not only the director of the game but also the producer. “The schedule is a positive pressure for me.” Showing the game in advance at various promotional events also helps him keep the end goal in sight. “We know where the end is, and we have a schedule and a plan to meet than end goal. […] We can’t run away, we can never stop, we need to complete it on time.”

        • Full Options

          It is possible that Kojima will push back the release date because he is a perfectionist, but more than anything, that would make me very happy for the project.
          I want a big bang title as he always does. A “small” Kojima game is simply inconceivable for me even if he stated that the production will be optimized. We’ll see what happens.

          Kojima is doing heavy R&D with his games and is apparently alone in taking that much risks. There is therefore certainly no reason to be ashamed about any schedule miscalculations when you are so innovative or because of technical problems / limitations. That’s how research goes. Full of long experiments that are not all always successful so making the schedule a lot more volatile to predict.

          For example, I have in mind MG Rising delay for rewriting it with Platinum for the highly innovative “cut everything” feature, or MGS4 delays because of tech problems that surfaced because of the nature of PS3’s CellBE.

          Kojima is one of the rares designers for which delays could be perfectly fine since the game is always awesome at the end.

        • Johnno

          That’s a good point.

          For Kojima, public showings act similar to development milestones.

          So a story trailer indicates the game’s script is locked in place.

          Character reveal trailers indicate casting and story mo-cap is complete.

          Gameplay demo indicates the current playable state and progress of the game.

          The above are examples, but are more or less in line with what actually occurs within development where progress reports are required and Kojima has to how his higher ups where they are, and likewise some of this is also used to show to the public as well. He had to do this at Konami and he will also have to do this with Sony.

          What many people don’t realize is that many of the trailers we see, particularly CGI ones are a necessary part of game development to show internally to investors and their bosses in order to detail the current state of progress or to pitch projects in the first place, which is why we get pre-rendered CGI trailers or real time ones if possible.

          Sometimes we see exactly what they see internally, or sometimes these same CGI or real time trailers are reedited to be more suitable for public consumption, and usually details from the initial reveal change along the way. In some clumsy situations, such trailers are usually outsourced for someone else to make.

          So the idea that kojima might be wasting time on a new trailer really isn’t actually a waste of time, but a necessary part of the job that we get the opportuity to see also.

          • Full Options

            Character reveal trailers indicate casting and story mo-cap is complete.

            Yes, for the specific character that was revealed, probably. But I think Mads and Norman are perhaps not safe from few extra shots left to perform.
            Other than that, +1 with all you said.
            A new trailer is not a waste of time but still very time consuming. It is always painful when you are in full production to step back for progress reports.

      • MrVux007

        “1) Info on Sony and Kojima working together would’ve leaked, hence spoiling any potential announcement.”

        “4) Kojima had to recruit developers to come work for him. Announcing and showing conceptual stuff for the game that captures the imagination is a good way to do that.”

        Two most important reasons.

    • Lex Radu

      You’re making a pretty good point!

  • Everardo Guzman

    If this is really true then itll be out late 2018 or at the latest early 2019.
    I’ll be more optimistic if we see some gameplay at TGS but im not getting my hopes up.
    It has to be in some playable form right now we know that for sure. Hideo Kojima also invited Greg Miller to go to Japan to play it himself.

  • My name is Shayan

    Really surprised to hear that some of the game is already playable! This is AWESOME. I’m rooting for you Kojima-san!

    • Lex Radu

      I’m honestly not surprised at all, cause the Motion Capture is usually one of the last stages of Game Development, and they are already doing that, so yeah, it makes a lot of sense for it to be playable in some form at this point!

      • SholidOnline

        Um… motion capture is needed for any realistic (and sometimes not realistic) models. It’s done near the beginning and whenever else necessary. Players and NPCs need to move somehow.

  • Jav

    Yeah, but they are from sony. I’m going to trust in an opinion when crimsonfox plays it.

    • Jav = #1 fan thanks man

      • Jav

        Kojima could invite you.

      • King of Disgust

        Yeah he’s your #1 fan and I’m your #0.00000000000000000000toinfinity1st fanboi

    • Lex Radu

      It will be a while untill that happens!

  • harith

    Vague as fuck

  • SholidOnline

    This will be next in my Metal Gear collection. Might as well call it my Kojima collection. ZoE and all. Just need Snatchers.

  • Full Options

    Interestingly, some wonder in the tweet comments if it is CG or nah. That’s weird because I wondered the same when I first saw the tweet. We have to start to watch out if Boss is not playing us again.. The pic is probably real judging by the noise in less focused area, however we may keep our eyes open.. ;D

    • Lex Radu

      The shadows do look a little funny!

      • Full Options

        The lighting on some petals look very special too, the details on the rest look quite real though but who knows what Decima is capable of nowadays. I still think it is real 70 vs 30%.

        • Lex Radu

          1 thing for sure is that at this point Decima is 90 Fox Engine!

          • Full Options

            At least regarding lighting and rendering, thanks to Sakamoto-Sensei, it will be 200% Fox at worst in the end… ;D

          • Lex Radu

            Exactly, it has the Fox Engine ideas!

    • JJBYACHFullOptions2KojiBoi

      Hmm. Does look a bit uncanny, looks like there’s a strong sharpening filter on it, or something a bit weird with the shadows.

      • Full Options

        Ya lights flash also something strange, but Japaneses are so awesome at photos that I easily trust them at catching such beautiful shots..

  • King of Disgust

    Doesn’t this little guy remind you of someone ?

    This is in OatsStudios(supported by Kojima) first short called Rakka

  • King of Disgust
    • Lex Radu


      Oh, my bad

      [ ! ] [ ! ] [ ! ]

    • Lex Radu

      Looks fake though.

      And by Fake, i mean it looks too realistic, it is an actual photo!

      • King of Disgust

        Dude how much alcohol did you take???

        • Lex Radu

          Not enough to think this is CG!

          • King of Disgust

            Dude search the image first

          • Lex Radu

            I did, and i can’t find it!

          • Lex Radu
          • King of Disgust

            Neil Blomkamp may say it’s because of being a metal gear fan that he sent Kojima the short movies but I bet it’s because of the DS easter eggs

          • Lex Radu

            I got a feeling DS is part of this whole project, project execvuted by Blomkamp (seeying how he has connections in Hollywood) while Kojima came with the Idea!

  • proceeder

    Holly ! It’s playable?! Now! What, is it good?! Are we gonna get a gamelpay demo?!

    • We might but it’s still far too early for that.

    • Full Options

      With the tight schedule they are likely aiming at, that’s a comfortable confirmation but they have dense hours ahead given how determined is their Boss. Playable for sure since earlier than it seems, but if you even assume that they yet can use all the playable features of Horizon, there is still a lot much left. The KP team at GDC 2013 (Junji Tago & co) said something really interesting. They said you always have to hand-craft most things in the end (stage/levels by levels/ scenes) to get what you really want, even if the engine’s philosophy is to leverage you from all those efforts.


    Sounds great! Maybe some TGS footage?

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