Update 07/11: This article has been updated to include Death Stranding’s three producers.
Of the some 120 core developers who worked on the game at Kojima Productions, 67 worked at Kojima’s former Konami studio – and 62 worked on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
The new Kojima Productions’ president, Shinji Hirano, was also previously a Konami executive and division president.
[UPDATE: Hideo Kojima has suggested that American reviewers may have found Death Stranding difficult to understand compared to critics in other regions.]
Virtually all of Death Stranding’s lead design and art positions came from former Metal Gear staff, with most newcomers working in programming positions.
A core team of around 250 people worked on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Hideo Kojima left Konami under difficult circumstances in 2015, after he was reportedly ordered to spend the final six months of his employment working alone on a different floor from his team.
The publisher eventually disbanded Kojima Productions, but Kojima later reformed the studio as an independent company to work on Death Stranding.
The new studio has up until now been funded by Sony Interactive Entertainment.
More than 70 Guerrilla Games developers worked on Death Stranding, the game’s credits reveal, as well as a various motion capture and CGI support studios.
More than 40 Guerrilla engineers worked on the game, including Horizon Zero Dawn’s lead game programmer (Tommy De Roos), lead programmer (Frank Compagner) and technical director (Michiel van der Leeuw).
Horizon’s art director (Jan-Bart Van Beek), lead environment artist (Kim Van Heest) and technical art director (Maarten van der Gaag) also worked on Death Stranding.
- Related: Game credits are still a broken mess
Horizon’s senior quest designer, James Kneuper, is even credited for “guest design” on the Kojima title.
The Death Stranding credits also mention first-party Sony studios Insomniac (Spider-Man) and Bend (Days Gone) as “support partners”, however unlike Guerrilla no actual personnel are listed. Bend added Death Stranding items to Days Gone to celebrate its release.
VGC’s Death Stranding review was published ahead of release.
Hideo Kojima has said he expected a mixed reaction to Death Stranding because of its unique design.
A PC version of Death Stranding will release in Summer 2020. Publisher 505 has confirmed that Death Stranding PC will release for both Steam and Epic Games Store.
Death Stranding Kojima Productions credits
(Former Metal Gear staff in bold)
Lead level designers
Hajime Antoine Umemura
Game balance designer
Technical art director
Lead environment artist
Lead character artist
Lead mechanical artist
Lead cinematic artist
Lead VFX artist
Lead lighting artist
Lead UI artist
Casey Tsuyoshi Matsumoto
Lead game programmers
Fabian Lorenzo Baytion Dayrit
Lead game system programmer
Game system programmer
Lead UI programmer
Lead system programmers
Lead graphics programmer
Lead VFX programmer
Lead animation programmer
Lead network programmer
Lead sound programmer
Lead tools programmer
Technical sound designer
Nick Van Kleef