Sony successfully patents ‘Death Stranding’-style environment changes

Sony and Hideo Kojima could have bigger plans for 'Death Stranding'

Sony has been approved a patent for player-influenced gaming environments alike to Death Stranding, suggesting that the studio and Hideo Kojima have more plans for the universe – perhaps with the long-rumoured Death Stranding 2.

The patent, submitted by Sony Interactive Entertainment in 2019, was granted yesterday (December 7). It credits Hideo Kojima as the inventor, and a summary of the patent describes the invention as a “terrain radar and gradual building of a route in a virtual environment of a video game”.

Going into more detail, the summary describes it as “a method for influencing a gaming world of a video game” and plots out a way for online players to affect the terrain of single-player worlds, which are delivered to localised (single-player) versions of the game through a “cloud gaming system”.

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Death Stranding Directors Cut
Death Stranding Director’s Cut. Credit: Kojima Productions

“The method [includes] determining that a first path has been traversed one or more times by one or more characters,” and explains that it then changes “the first path based on a number of times the first path has been traversed by the one or more characters.”

These “characters” seem to refer to other online players, as the filing describes “cross-pollinating the first path” after it has been “improved across the plurality of virtual environments”.

Further down, the patent describes pathways that physically widen based on how many players have walked along it – an existing feature in Death Stranding.

Death Stranding Director's Cut
Death Stranding Director’s Cut. Credit: Kojima Productions

In total, this all sounds very similar – if not identical – to how players can affect the environment of others in Death Stranding. In Kojima’s last game, players could build bridges, tread paths and leave other useful supplies to help others who followed after, despite being in separate single-player worlds.

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Again, evidence submitted alongside the patent – including screen shots of player-built bridges and climbing ropes – sound identical to gameplay features included in Death Stranding.

Locking down these features with a patent suggests that Hideo Kojima and Sony could have more plans for the world of Death Stranding, and may perhaps be working tentatively on a Death Stranding 2. Even Norman Reedus seems to think a sequel is in the works, as earlier in the year he shared that Death Stranding 2 was in a “negotiations phase“.

In other news, Warzone has released patch notes for season one, detailing plenty of new content that’s launched with the Caldera map.

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