Looks like we have another piece of puzzle to decipher in the form a color-coded pattern to decoded.
A few of the folks at the subreddit have come to the conclusion that Kojima-san wants us to review Lindsay Wagner’s necklace, both from the trailer and in the official poster, should we desire to really find the answers that we’ve deserved all this while.
So the saga still continues and the mystery remains…
We are still at the point in Death Stranding’s marketing cycle where all we have are bits of clues here and there about the plot details, the little cast that’s working on it and promises of a bold and brave genre-defining experience that will bring players together to cooperative in moving forward.
The secrecy is undeniable; however, what is less vague is what lies outside the game, the meta of it.
Thanks to how things are being handled differently in the sense of the different type of marketing campaign orchestrated by the gaming giant, Hideo Kojima, Death Stranding has already made its mark in the video game industry as leaping outside the general traditions and bounds, and on towards innovation.
Of course, there are other factors at play as well, all of which reflect the ingenuity and originality that Death Stranding has brought to the game even before it is actually being released.
Let us analyze the importance of what we have on our hands since Death Stranding’s announcement in E3 2016 as we ‘play’ Hideo Kojima’s game before its launch.
The Game Has Already Begun
Mr. Kojima seems very intent on the statement above as he emphasizes on the social interactions that are happening related to the game itself.
This is already pretty evident by his comparison of Death Stranding as a video game and a math problem which he puts succinctly when expressing his views on the audience’s desire to get answers:
“It’s like a math problem where knowing the answer is not that important. The important thing is the process of getting to the answer.”
Judging by the above statement, it is pretty clear Kojima wants us to consider the value of the process that will lead us to the actual game. Taking an insightful look at how things have to proceed so far and in what capacity, we can derive the simple formulas or tools that we are utilizing to solve this math problem.
The first answer lies in the mysterious, almost uncanny, nature of the game’s marketing and how impactful it has been to the gaming world.
A Special Strand With the Audience
We are all familiar with exposition-heavy video game announcements, developer series explaining the features and functionality of the game and content-heavy marketing leading up to a game’s release.
This has become the norm of how games are marketed nowadays where quantity is prioritized over the quality of promotion for the product. However, Kojima Studios had a different approach in mind and the trailers we have to date have been ever so reflective of that fact.
Being extremely light on exposition, the few snippets of video footage that we were happy to glance over, it has been rather to get a ‘feel’ or ‘tone’ of the game without knowing even the littlest about the characters and the world(s) they inhabit.
Even the experience that we have gone through so far cannot be described as something coherent or explainable but what is there is unlike anything we have come across before when it comes to video games.
We still have not a clue about the release window of the game, though some clues point to a release early next year. These hints take into considering the fact that Sony has not seen a game developer faster than Death Stranding to Norman Reedus’ thoughts about the game release early in December which he expressed in a podcast to Troy Baker’s comment stating Kojima had the entire game in his mind for 2 years.
We should also not overlook the notion that the mo-cap sessions seem to have finished with Japanese voice-overs now commencing which further testifies that the game is closer to launch than ever.
Moreover, not to mention that Kojima now spends a chunk of his time making adjustments to the game while he sits in front of his PS4 with the controller, according to his statement at TGS 2018, implying the game is in the polishing phase and is fully playable.
Of course, you would not know all these intriguing little details if you would not have walked the extra mile, which is to break the bad habit of being lazy enough to expect the studio bombard you with game-related content to build the hype, but rather to look in the places you normally wouldn’t.
The primary sources for these advancements related to the game lie at the heart of the game’s official subreddit, Kojima and co.’s Twitter accounts, the speculative collaboration with Conan O’Brien and a bunch of YouTube channels that love to, at times, over-analyze the meta of Death Stranding to the point of creating questionable but credible correlations between DS and Silent Hills or the Metal Gear series.
Hell, the audience was even hard at work decoding Lindsay Wagner’s necklace in the official poster which served an arguable cue Low Roar’s ‘Give Me an Answer’.
This is where the true marketing efforts of the team behind the game lie, the social media. We are being told repeatedly to work together and collaborate for a single common interest if we are to acquire more information about the game that seems to be hidden and not just in plain sight.
Such a secretive, cryptic, and expansive marketing campaign is a ‘first time’ for the video game world and a fresh approach like this is all about forming strands between the developers and their audience and among the community itself.
When, after multiple tweets that teased the appearance of Death Stranding at TGA 2018, the game was not even mentioned once at the awards ceremony, there was an overall feeling of dismay and disappointment that everyone shared as a community.
Although it must have hurt leaving us wanting more, sharing the sadness meant it was divided among the audience and so at least we were all in it together, counting towards a weird sense of consolation.
The next chapter in the marketing saga seems to be involving the Archillect, an AI operating out of Twitter that posts random images and the picture count is soon to reach a prevalent number and code that’s been present in most of Kojima’s work: 204863.
I, among the many fans, on /r/DeathStranding are looking forward to it as we continue to find clues, analyze the info. at hand, and make valuable strands or connections along the way.