In a recent interview with PlayStation Access, Hideo Kojima discussed the mixed reactions to his recent project Death Stranding. The game released on November 8th, after almost four years in development. It is the first game released by Kojima and his development studio Kojima Productions since his departure from Konami.
Death Stranding has received deeply mixed reviews from critics. Despite earning several perfect scores from a variety of sources (including Screen Rant itself) the game currently has an aggregate review of 83/100 on Metacritic. Clearly, everyone has something to say about Death Stranding, but not everyone has something good to say about it. It's clearly one of Kojima's most divisive projects to date.
In a recent interview with PlayStation Access (via VideoGamesChronicle), Kojima remarked on his feelings about people actually playing Death Stranding. He says that he expects a mix of positive and negative reactions because this is a typical response to, in his words, "something new." He goes on, "If people are faced with something they haven't experienced before, it can be challenging." Kojima compares the experience to the first time he did a stealth game, and notes that he hopes the positivity about the game will spread with support from his fans.
When asked to comment on earlier statements the developer made about Death Stranding belonging to an entirely new genre of video game, Kojima clarified that he had no intention of creating a new genre. He states that the genre of a game is "something for others to name." What was more important to him was departing from his perceptions about mainstream games, where "the trend is battling together or battling each other." An emphasis on less direct and more positive connections between players was clearly something Kojima valued more than conflict and combat. This was also brought up at the end of the interview when Kojima was asked what about Death Stranding he was most proud of and he discussed, of all things, the impact social media has on modern society. "What you see today is people anonymously fighting each other or discriminating against each other," Kojima said. He compared this to the online component of Death Stranding, where interactions with other players consist entirely of positive feedback. Kojima stated that he had heard feedback from people who found that the game made them a little nicer as people, and that this was what he was most proud of about the project.
Death Stranding has been a deeply strange project ever since it was first announced. Up until its release, audiences have puzzled over just what the game is, how it plays, and what the story is. The game's confusing and cryptic ad campaign has only stoked the fires of curiosity, and made people more desperate to get their hands on the game and discover just what it's about. Now that the game is released there are many people who aren't satisfied with the answer they've received. But Hideo Kojima is clearly proud of what he's created, and the negative reviews don't seem to have diminished that pride one bit.