In an interview with Japanese outlet Famitsu, Kojima talked about Death Stranding, connections and the difficulties he encountered when starting his own studio. This interview was conducted back during TGS 2019, but has now been translated to English and published on Famitsu’s website.
When acquiring funds for his new studio and game, Kojima went to the bank, but he initially couldn’t get a loan. They told him that while they understood he is well known, they didn’t have any record on him as an individual. “That’s just how things are in Japan. Then, as it turns out, one of my biggest fans works at the largest bank in Japan, so I ended up getting the financing.”
Kojima also explained he wanted his office to be a nice building, so the families of his staff would feel comfortable about them working there. On his search for a building he had some difficulties as well, with people running checks and asking ‘what exactly is Kojima Productions?’, until he found a building managed by a fan. He also added that it’s these connections that made the game possible, as well as his time at Konami. “I wouldn’t be who I am today without those 30 years at Konami. I can’t deny that, and I’m very grateful to them.”
On the subject of the multiplayer aspect of Death Stranding, Kojima made some clarifications regarding the shared elements. We know that structures that people have left behind can be used by other players, but Kojima reassured that this doesn’t mean that in six months time the map will be covered in structures. “We’re controlling that by tying it to your progress in the game and various triggers in the programming. It’s all asynchronous, so we have that kind of control. The Timefall also breaks structures down, so anything left alone for long enough will eventually disappear.” Furthermore, the traces of other players will only be visible once the area has been connected to the chiral network. “Naturally, you won’t see any trace of the other players the first time you enter a new area.”
If you push the communication button during battle, anyone you’re connected to who is online at that moment will come to your aid (but they aren’t controlled directly by other players). When you call out to these other ‘Sams’, they will give you an item, and when you pick it up they will get a like. That’s how the other players know they have been contacted.
One of the means of transportation for Sam is a motorcycle, and Kojima explained that during play testing, people who found the bike wanted to keep it. “They’d customize it and get it looking really nice, too. If they came to a spot they couldn’t get through on a motorcycle, they’d keep charging it up and try anyway.”
But, Kojima continued, the motorcycles are meant to be shared. “You’ve customized it really nicely, and now it’s time to share it with the world. Everyone wants to ride a nicely customized motorcycle, after all. Each motorcycle will be marked with the name of its previous owner, and you’ll get a “like” when someone rides it.”
Death Stranding releases in just a few days, on November 8, for PlayStation 4.