When developing Death Stranding, Game Director Hideo Kojima created a system for building routes and terrain radar. Whereas you would expect Kojima to submit a patent for this system himself, it seems like he didn’t. As spotted by NME, it looks like Sony has been granted a patent for the terrain system instead and Kojima has been listed as its inventor, possibly hinting at Sony having further plans for the franchise.
The patent was first submitted by Sony back in 2019 but was only granted a couple of days ago on December 7. While the official description of the system is fairly full of jargon, it can be translated as a method for other players to influence the world of another player, even in a single-player game. For example, a path might get wider if traversed by many players despite those players only travelling the path in their own versions of the world. These individual versions of the worlds would be delivered to players through a cloud system. The jargon-filled description is below:
A method for influencing a gaming world of a video game. The method including cross-pollinating a first path using an inter-game communication medium across a plurality of virtual environments of a plurality of asynchronous game plays of a plurality of players playing the video game. The method including determining that a first path has been traversed one or more times by one or more characters of the plurality of players in the plurality of asynchronous game plays. The method including improving the first path based on a number of times the first path has been traversed by the one or more characters. The method including cross-pollinating the first path that has been improved across the plurality of virtual environments.
The patent also describes player-built bridges and climbing ropes similar to those in Death Stranding. The granting of the patent seems to suggest Sony may have more plans for the franchise and Kojima may even expand on this sytem in future games. While rumors of Death Stranding 2 have been circling for a while, nothing is yet to be confirmed. However, actor Norman Reedus who played protagonist Sam Porter Bridges in Death Stranding had said a sequel was “in negotiations” back in August.[Source: US Patent and Trademark Office via NME]
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