Hideo Kojima, one of the only true auteurs left in gaming. After the surprise announcement of Death Stranding 2 at The Game Awards earlier this month, gamers have been abuzz about what the veteran game developer is up to- and an exclusive interview with IGN has pulled back the curtain just a bit. The entire thing is worth a read, but this passage in particular stands out:
IGN: […] You also mentioned this during the DS2 reveal, but it seems that the pandemic had a major effect on your creative output as well.
Kojima: It was the same with 9/11. Fiction changes when something that big happens. When something takes place that nobody thought was possible, works of fiction written before it become less effective as entertainment.
That's why I completely rewrote DS2 from its themes up as well. You can't pretend that something this big never happened. While the games themselves are based on characters who are not bound by our reality, the players themselves have gone through the pandemic, and a story written before that experience just wouldn't resonate with them in the same way, whether it was a fantasy story or a sci-fi one.
After Metal Gear Solid 2 and Death Stranding seemed to be oddly prescient about the rise of algorithmic social media and the self-imposed isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic respectively, it seems Kojima is taking steps to no longer predict the future, but accommodate the present in his games. We'll see at some vague point in the future if Death Stranding 2 manages to accidentally foretell a second age of dinosaurs or some other classic brand of Kojima weirdness.