Hideo Kojima announces the release window for the mysterious Death Stranding at TGS 2016, suggesting that the title will launch before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
So far, Death Stranding has proved to be something of an enigma for interested gamers, and it's easy to see why. The title, from acclaimed developer Hideo Kojima, has resulted in mystery and theories over everything from the game's abstract teaser trailer through to even the meaning of the name Death Stranding. Now, however, fans of Kojima's work are able to hook on to something finite with the project, as the game now has a release window.
Of course, announcing a simple date would not quite be in-keeping with the way that Death Stranding has been handled so far, so instead the release window is more than a little nebulous. Speaking at Tokyo Game Show 2016 during a Q&A session, Kojima kept things cryptic by stating that the game would be released before the Tokyo Olympic Games. This means that Death Stranding is currently scheduled to arrive before summer 2020.
That's not all that Kojima announced with regards to the release window, though. As well as the Tokyo Olympics deadline, the developer also teased on Twitter that the game would be released before the year in which Akira is set. Fans of the anime and manga classic will know that Akira is set in 2019, so that puts a release date of some time in 2018 or 2019. The Kojima Productions Twitter account also stated that the game would be released before the new Akira movie, but given that the film project has no set release window or even production time planned, this may well have been an error.
Kojima also discussed other aspects of Death Stranding, including that casting is underway for a female protagonist. Given the prominent role of Norman Reedus in the game's marketing thus far, this suggests that Death Stranding could have some kind of dual playable character system in the works. This certainly ties in with Kojima's suggestions that the game would be both single player but also include online gameplay, with perhaps one player taking on each of the characters - although this still means that Mads Mikkelsen's potential role remains a mystery.
Death Stranding already had a release date pencilled in, at least according to the musician behind the E3 2016 trailer's music. Nonetheless it's interesting to see that there is a finite plan of action for when the game will launch, even if this schedule has been announced early in the project's development period.
Although a three-to-four year development cycle may seem like a short amount of time for such an ambitious project, there are a couple of things that will work in the favor of Kojima Productions. After all, the title is being developed on a third-party engine, so that will have cut out of a lot of the preparation time that would have come out of building entirely from the ground up. Then again, a lot can change when a title is this early in development, so perhaps the best bet is to wait for a more solid release date before a 2018/2019 launch date is expected.