„For Bridges’ sake, you’re connecting from east to west and they want you to join the UCA. [Death Stranding is] about America, but I made that map deliberately not correctly America. Maybe it looks like Japan from that angle. I want people to not think ‘America,’ but ‘where you are.’ Because it depends on who is seeing it. And of course, it’s in the future, and everyone’s connected via the internet, but everyone is fragmented. That’s kind of a metaphor as well. When you connect, you can use UCA [United Cities of America] services, but at the same time, they’re retrieving your information 24 hours a day. It’s like [George Orwell’s] 1984. Some people may not like that, and say ‘I’m not going to connect to UCA because we’re going to repeat the same thing that we did.’ Like Trump, or the EU (Brexit), these things. It’s a metaphor,” Kojima says.
He talked about the like system, which isn’t used for currency or competition: „I had a big argument with the staff. In a game, you get more money, or you get more fame, or you get more kudos, right? That’s what game systems now days are about – you want something in return if you do something. In the beginning, the Asian staff said, ‘That’s why I want people to do it in the game.’ So all these staff members said to me, ‘we have to give them kudos points or whatever,’ but that would be like a normal game – any other game. So I said, ‘giving ‘likes’ is giving unconditional love.” But, of course, you can see how many likes you get, so that’s maybe a little reward. If you just use [something another player placed], one like will be sent automatically. But also you can send more, like a tip. I don’t want to say I’m brilliant for thinking of this idea because it’s a mix of the Japanese way; we don’t have tips, but you know you get really good service in Japan. Whereas in America, there’s a tip system where waiters try their best because they want to be tipped. So it’s a cross-lateral in the game. The world setting is the dark and lowest world you can think of. Your solitude, you’re alone–the storyline itself is a worst-case scenario. So why don’t I put in a system where it’s more positive than negative?”
To GameSpot, he revealed that sequels might be on the table: „I’m not sure [about Death Stranding becoming a series]. The most difficult part is, when you create something new, you have to create a sequel and then a third version or it [will] not remain as a genre. When this game comes out there will be a lot of pros and cons, and [these elements could become the essence of the core part], but I think it’s better that I keep it going in a sequel,” Kojima says. He added that the first game might require a revised version: „Yeah, probably at least [Death Stranding] 1.5, and then 2, maybe, at least so that it remains and people are aware of the genre. There are a lot of other projects that come up like TV dramas and things like that. A lot of pitches come my way. Why I can’t say it’s definite is because I only have one body, and there are many projects that I have to be involved with. And it’s tough for me physically to do many things at once.”
Death Stranding, which – according to Kojima – is inspired by the Japanese omoiyari concept (compassion for others), will be creating a genre, he thinks. It will launch on November 8 on PlayStation 4.
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