Death Stranding Player Reaction Changed After COVID-19 Pandemic, Kojima Productions’ Head of Publishing Says

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Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding isn’t a game for everyone, but according to the studio’s Head of Publishing, Jay Boor, player reaction changed after the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Boor talked about the game’s global sales ahead of the recently-announced Director’s Cut edition launch. As revealed by the Head of Publishing, being the studio’s first title, Death Stranding has been performing “quite well” and has sold over 5 million copies globally across PlayStation 4 and PC as of March 31st.

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"With Death Stranding being the first title developed out of Kojima Productions, from a sales perspective, it has performed quite well," Boor told GamesIndustry.biz. "As of March 2021, Death Stranding has sold through over five million units worldwide on PlayStation 4 and PC."

The game launched a few months before the global pandemic, and as pointed out by Boor, there’s a difference in how players reacted to the game following the global outbreak of COVID-19.

"One of the things that impacted me the most was seeing reactions to Death Stranding before the pandemic started, versus after the pandemic began," Boor pointed out.

He continued, “The main character in Death Stranding, Sam Bridges, isn't your typical hero on paper -- he makes deliveries, he doesn't care about making connections - and suffers from a disease called Aphenphosmphobia, which is the fear of being touched, or touching another human being. As you play the game, things unfold and you begin to realize Sam's true potential and how he overcomes that.

"We're all sort of going through a similar journey to some degree because of the climate we're living in at the moment. In addition to the realization, or reminder, of how essential package deliveries are to society, more of the world is also having to deal with overcoming the fear of touching other people and feelings of isolation.

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"Players felt this connection to Sam, a character who ironically doesn't care about connections, and we could all sort of relate on some level to what he was going through. Speaking with players through social media and sharing those experiences continues to be very humbling. Although we are still unable to host physical events, which is normally the time you get to meet other players face to face, we can still establish and maintain deep connections, and at its core that is essentially what Death Stranding is all about."

Death Stranding initially only launched on PlayStation 4 with the PC version releasing back in July of last year. The upcoming Director’s Cut is slated for a release on PS5 on September 24 - interestingly, Hideo Kojima has expressed that he doesn't really like the naming of this upcoming new edition.

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