Unlike MGS, Death Stranding Production Took Less Than 3 Years

The hype for Kojima Production’s Death Stranding is off the charts right now. Fans still want more Death Stranding information even after its release date and pre-order trailer published a few days ago. Hideo Kojima took to Twitter and posted an entire timeline of Death Stranding’s development cycle which took less than 3 years.

As Kojima’s Tweets highlight, development on Death Stranding began almost immediately after Kojima left Konami. It seems that Hideo had Death Stranding’s main concept somewhere in his mind during the time he worked on Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain. Perhaps it was an idea he always wanted to work on. Of course, conceptual development on Death Stranding had started around 2014-15.

According to Kojima’s Tweet, Kojima Productions was the first major step in Death Stranding’s development. It allowed Hideo Kojima the creative freedom to make important decisions with the game and make it a reality. Without having the burden of previous studios and their narratives from other titles like Metal Gear Solid, Kojima Productions was the first building block necessary for Death Stranding.

  • 2015/12/16 established KJP & started recruiting
  • 2016/1 searching for engine
  • 2016/4 making LUDENS CG
  • 2016/5 moved to office
  • 2016/6 announced 1st trailer
  • 2016/7 announced KJP trailer
  • 2016/fall engine decided
  • 2016/12 announced PV by DECIMA had to stop shooting due to SAG strike

After deciding on the game’s engine and the technical aspects of Death Stranding’s development, the next major step was picking out a face for Death Stranding. After much consideration, Kojima picked Norman Reedus famously known from AMC’s The Walking Dead.

In 2016, Kojima met Reedus in Los Angeles and pitched Death Stranding to him. At this point, Norman Reedus already knew who Hideo Kojima was, he was familiar with his work on the Metal Gear Solid games. Not only that, but Norman Reedus was also going to be the main protagonist in Kojima’s canceled Silent Hills game.

Guillermo del Toro was also set to co-direct alongside Kojima. When Kojima pitched Death Stranding to Reedus, he was clearly impressed and came on board.

A month later, Kojima Productions did several scans in order to capture Reedus’ likeness for Sam Porter in Death Stranding. Facial capture with dynamic lighting, full body scans, and performance capture was extensively used for Death Stranding’s first trailer.

Since no great story is without a great villain, Kojima Productions then went with Danish actor, Mads Mikkelsen as Death Stranding’s main antagonist. According to Kojima’s Tweets, almost six months after the debut trailer, Kojima pitched Death Stranding to Mads over Skype and he came on board. The same scans and captures were used to put Mads in Death Stranding’s second trailer.

The second trailer also featured Guillermo del Toro. After capturing his likeness for the second trailer, Kojima, del Toro, and Reedus, all reunited for K.P’s highly ambitious Death Stranding.

After the birth of Kojima Production, deciding on DECIMA engine, bringing Reedus, del Toro, and, Mikkelsen to the table, Death Stranding went into production and the rest is history.

It is likely Kojima will reveal more information about Death Stranding’s development cycle soon, perhaps in similar Tweets like these. Death Stranding is being developed by Kojima Productions and Sony Interactive Entertainment exclusively for PlayStation 4. Pre-orders for the game are now open with a November 8, 2019 release date.