Today the PC version of Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding was announced by 505 Games and Kojima Productions, and the timing is peculiar.
In most cases, when a game is coming first as a console exclusive and then gets a PC port, the PC version is either announced at the same time as the console version, or after its release.
The reason is fairly obvious: having a confirmed PC version coming may encourage some to hold back on the PS4 version to get a possibly better and more customizable experience down the line.
On the other hand, not knowing for sure whether the game is coming to PC or not likely encourages those on the fence to secure a PS4 copy and then double-dip when the game comes out on PC later.
This announcement, while transparent and certainly consumer-friendly (so props should be given to whoever decided on it), isn’t ideal for the purposes of trying to sell as many PS4 copies of the game as possible.
A good example is NiOh, which was announced as a console exclusive, with the Complete Edition announced only six months after the original release. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony and Koei Tecmo will go the same route for NiOh 2.
It’s impossible to precisely gauge how many potential customers will now hold back on buying the game on Sony’s console to wait to get it on Steam (or whatever digital Storefronts 505 will use), but some certainly exist.
The fall window is crowded enough as it is, and this adds to the very real possibility that Death Stranding may also come for PS5 at some point in the future.
A PC version was mentioned before, but the article was quickly snuffed, showing just how critical the timing of the announcement is.
It’s quite probable that a PC version was always in the plans, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the idea of announcing it just before the console release was already included in the initial contract, which likely means that Sony was very willing to accept less-than-ideal launch conditions in order to bring Hideo Kojima under its wing.
After his departure from Konami, Kojima-san’s biggest asset was arguably his name and the brand power coming with it. He didn’t have a team, an office, or even the tech to make his next game.
Yet, Sony opted to support him both on the financial and on the promotional sides. The company eve sent its system architect Mark Cerny with Kojima-san on a tour among its top studios to fish for technology he could use, resulting in Guerrilla Games providing the Decima Engine for Death Stranding.
That’s an absolutely massive and pretty much unprecedented effort to support a developer who doesn’t have the assets in place to make his game just yet.
The fact that Sony was willing to make that effort despite less-than-ideal platform conditions just goes to show the absolute power of Hideo Kojima’s name as a brand.
Either they thought that it was worth it despite the fact that some may hold off on buying the PS4 release to jump on the PC version later, or they simply evaluated that Kojima-san’s brand is so powerful that an overwhelming percentage of his fans would not wait, and they’d probably just buy the game as soon as possible on console, and then perhaps double-dip later.
Whichever the case, it’s another element showing that Hideo Kojima has risen to such a legendary status that publishers will do pretty much whatever they can to accommodate his needs.
On our side, we can certainly enjoy the result that we now have a more transparent idea of the platforms we’ll be able to enjoy Death Stranding on, and we can take an informed decision on which version to grab.
The only question mark remaining is on whether it’ll come to PS5 as well down the line, but I guess an announcement on that front now would likely be asking too much.