At today's Summer Game Fest Hideo Kojima gave the vaguest of teases about his next new project, and all but confirmed that it won't be a Death Stranding sequel. Responding to a question from host Geoff Keighley about the next era of "Hideo Kojima entertainment", the head of Kojima Productions expanded on how the current state of the world has changed his creative process, and will make whatever's next very different.
"I can't really say specifically," said Kojima. "It won't be like the past, it won't be one step at a time. [The pandemic] is a drastic change, just like after 9/11: we have to adapt and think about new ways of creating as entertainment can't fall behind.
"I have to think about what's going to happen in the future. If it was something like an alien coming into my game, it wouldn't matter much about the current state of the world. We could just make up any concept or ideas."
Obviously Kojima is keeping his cards close to his chest, but it's hard not to think about how bonkers Death Stranding was made to appear at first: long before we had any notion of what the game was, it was promoted through its horror elements and otherworldly enemies. These were big parts of the final product but hardly the whole, and Death Stranding's more fantastical elements are arguably the weakest element of the game. Don't @ me.
Kojima went on to talk about this more grounded approach to thinking, having mentioned the pandemic and current state of the world several times during the interview.
"But I always want to put some societal elements into the game as a base into the game to introduce the players to what's happening and maybe they'll think about it.
Of course, all the while be entertaining. With this speed of change I need to really consider which prediction I make and which ways I introduce ideas to the player."
From the man who warned of information overload in the internet era, and then came up with a game about social disconnection just before the pandemic hit, it's food-for-thought. Kojima's undoubtedly had his share of luck, but you can't knock the guy's Nostradamus hit-rate.
Kojima also announced Death Stranding: Director's Cut (opens in new tab), a new edition of PC Gamer's PC game of 2020 (opens in new tab) that, initially at least, is exclusive to Playstation 5: though it's almost inevitable this will, as with the original, find its way to PC.