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After the first trailer for the game was shown at The Game Awards 2022, Kojima spoke on stage and revealed that he had to rewrite the game’s story, but was vague as to the reasons for this.
“I had the story written before the pandemic, but after experiencing the pandemic I just rewrote the whole story from scratch,” he said at the time. “I also didn’t want to predict any more future, so I rewrote it.”
Now, in a new interview with Japanese entertainment news site Natalie, Kojima gives more information on the impact the pandemic had on his interpretation of the story.
“Before the pandemic, I’d actually already conceived the narrative for Death Stranding 2,” Kojima said (translated by VGC contributor Robert Sephazon).
“Wait, what?” asked his interviewer, Japanese pop star Nocchi. “But Death Stranding came out right on the brink of Covid-19. I was under the impression that Death Stranding 2’s plot was developed with the pandemic in mind.”
“Not exactly,” Kojima replied. “However, when the pandemic did strike, it led us to restructure the entire script. In Death Stranding we championed the act of connection. But, as the pandemic took hold, digital connections like remote work gained prominence.
“I also realized that digital connections alone couldn’t satisfy human needs. We are inherently explorers.”
He added: “Right now, we’re dealing with seclusion and division, and the world is undergoing significant transformations. We can’t rewind to our pre-pandemic reality, so we’ve had to reassess the concept of ‘connection’.
“In Death Stranding 2, the interpretation of ‘strand’ evolves. You’ll notice, at the end of the teaser trailer, a message that says ‘Should We Have Connected?’ That’s the crux of what we’re trying to articulate in the sequel.”
A Death Stranding movie is currently in the works. Kojima recently said he’ll be heavily involved in its production, but won’t be in the director’s chair.