Hideo Kojima reveals that Death Stranding will enter full swing development in 2017, putting to rest any speculation the upcoming title might release before 2018 at the earliest.

Ever since Hideo Kojima officially revealed his next project, Death Stranding, fans have been asking questions. Granted, most of those questions have been about the content of the game, but many are wondering about its development, and, more specifically, when it might release.

Obviously, fans know that Death Stranding is in active development, but Kojima just recently revealed that the real work has yet to begin. According to the prolific creator of Metal Gear Solid, development for Death Stranding will enter full swing in 2017.

Kojima shared the development update as part of IGN’s coverage of Death Stranding, which included the developer’s world tour wherein he visited many developers around the globe and sampled a variety of new technology like VR. At the time, most had no idea what Kojima was up to, but his close connection to PS4 architect Mark Cerny makes sense in retrospect.

While this will come as no surprise to most Kojima fans, it does put things into perspective. No matter how excited gamers might be at the thought of a new game from Kojima, the fact of the matter this is a game that is very early in development. Moreover, though the game might seem more put together thanks to compelling and lengthy trailers, those pieces of marketing footage were likely assembled as proof of concept or art style.

As gamers just recently learned, Death Stranding is using the same graphics engine as another PS4 exclusive, Horizon: Zero Dawn, so it’s very possible the extended trailers are first evidence of Kojima Productions’ work on the project. The trailers could also been seen as cast announcements, with actors like Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, and director Guillermo Del Toro joining the project.

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To that point, fans know very little about Death Stranding’s gameplay; they only really know the visuals and some of the themes that Kojima is said to be exploring. Perhaps Kojima doesn’t even know that at this point, but he will soon have to start making some of those important decisions.

More than anything, though, getting into the flow in 2017 helps put into perspective when Death Stranding might release. At the earliest the game could hit store shelves in 2018, but quick turnarounds has never been part of Kojima’s M.O. Most of his games are announced and spend at least a few years in development, including a few delays, before they eventually hit. Some could even argue that Kojima might still be working on Metal Gear Solid 5 had it not been for Konami.

So here’s hoping that Kojima gets as much time with Death Stranding as necessary, even if it means a long wait for his next project. If nothing else we know that things will start moving next year, and we’re sure Kojima will have plenty of teases along the way.

Death Stranding currently has no release date but will be available exclusively on PS4.

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