Tag Archives: death stranding

Twitch Isn’t Just For Watching Games, It’s For Waiting For Them

Earlier this week, Sony announced the Death Stranding release date via a nearly day-long Twitch stream that mostly just showed handprints appearing on a black screen. The reasons why fans would watch this is obvious: Anticipation is exciting, and infectious. The reasons why it is encouraged by publishers is also obvious. Marketing on the internet has always sought to use fan enthusiasm to some corporate benefit, and anticipation is often the easiest way to do that. Countdown clocks, trailers, alternate-reality games and puzzles are all ways to excite fans and get them talking about a game.

Twitch has become so central to video games that publishers have made it a vital part of their marketing efforts. Twitch streams can be watched in places and times where games aren’t an option; they can also be watched as games are played. It’s a locus of attention that’s irresistible to a company with games to sell, which then makes it beneficial for these companies to find ways to get fans to spend even more time on Twitch. They don’t even have to engage with a game that’s out now. Which is how we get to Death Stranding.

The Death Stranding effort was confusing, as a lot of Kojima hype tends to be. The stream was mostly a black image, with a few outlines of handprints and eerie music. At noon, the full video was released, a nearly nine-minute trailer for Death Stranding. The plan seems to have worked, and the Death Stranding trailer racked up nearly five million views in a day’s time.

There was no real reason to watch the livestream—no mystery to solve, no real audience participation beyond showing up. What’s more, anyone who is online enough to watch a stream is also arguably online enough to know when the stream’s end result is achieved without bothering to tune in. The stream recalls another absurd livestream marketing moment, when HBO decided to reveal the premiere date for Game of Thrones’ seventh season by hiding it in a block of ice, which would eventually melt and show the world a date. A date fans would’ve eventually learned anyway, and posted about anyway.

Twitch is already something of a closed loop, integrated into the machines we play games on, so we can stream games and watch games that are streamed. But publishers have increasingly made an effort to control the contours of that loop, using their resources to tip the odds in their favor.

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If you watched the Borderlands 3 reveal stream on Twitch last month, you had the chance to win in-game loot. Last fall, watching affiliated streamers on Twitch for an hour could have netted you early access to Black Ops 4’s Blackout beta. Rocket League fans can earn exclusive customization rewards by linking their accounts and watching streams. Those rewards are offered through the Twitch Drops program, which has also been integrated by other publishers and developers. When The Division 2’s first raid went live earlier this month, fans who watched select streamers run the raid could earn items in the game. In the Twitch attention economy, publishers have vast capital that no one else does: information on highly anticipated games to disseminate, and plenty of door prizes for players of games that are out.

As big-budget games move away from static, discrete products towards a “games as a service” model, attention has become a scarce resource. There are only so many games one person can pay attention to at a time—and when said games are persistent affairs, so many future games that can be anticipated. Thus we have hype as a service, and all the things publishers will try in order to keep their audience fixated on an upcoming game, in the hopes that long-term anticipation might translate to long-term interest once that game is out. And what better place to see that unfold than on Twitch—the best place to watch and wait for games.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Internet Reacts To Whatever That Death Stranding Trailer Was

We now know when the highly anticipated Death Stranding comes out and what it’s about (kind of), which ends some of the mystery around this absurd and fascinating-looking game. But not all of the mystery has been unraveled yet, so we can all still make jokes about it.

After Kojima left Konami in 2015, people wondered what he’d do next. The answer, we all soon learned, was Death Stranding. Until now, most of the trailers left us with more questions than answers. Now we know: it comes out on November 8th of this year, somehow, and it’s about a nation divided by… something, that main character Samuel Bridges (played by Norman Reedus) is trying to bridge. Also, the enemies are called Homo Demons (representation is so important). Yesterday’s trailer shows off more gameplay and way more details about the plot, although the whole thing remains enigmatic and kinda bonkers.

The internet never saw anything enigmatic and kinda bonkers that couldn’t be joked about. The jokes started immediately, and I hope they do not stop before November.

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I’m along for the ride on Death Stranding. It will probably make me groan as much as it truly amazes me, but I can’t help but respect a project that is so openly horny for Mads Mikkelsen, and which also has a character named “Die-Hardman.” It’s like Kojima reached into my brain and made the game I was dreaming of.

Source: Kotaku.com

Death Stranding Is Going To Make No Sense And That’s Just Fine

This week on Kotaku Splitscreen, how could we not dive into the delicious insanity of yesterday’s nine-minute Death Stranding trailer?

First we talk about some video games we’re playing, from Dark Souls 3 to Observation, then dive into news of the week (29:00) including Death Stranding’s ridiculous new trailer (and 2019 release date!), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and EA Play. We hear from a listener who does game analytics for a major video game company, then we get into off-topic talk on Veep, Educated, Fleabag, 24, 24, and 24 (1:04:54).

Here’s the trailer, in case you missed it:

And here’s an excerpt from the pod:

Jason: …What did you guys think of that batshit nine-minute trailer, in which a guy takes off a mask to reveal another mask?

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Maddy: It ruled. It ruled.

Kirk: It was a very good video game trailer.

Maddy: I think this is the first trailer where I started to be like, OK, I think I can understand some of the threads of this wacky sci-fi universe that this game is going to entail. There’s some sort of traveling between dimensions, babies are involved, and there’s a grid laid across a huge area that is also involved in traveling between dimensions. More of those plot points, if we can call them plot points, are introduced here, and also the idea of Homo Demons as antagonists, whatever the fuck that is. It’s also probably the closest to an actual story trailer for this game that we’ve gotten so far—it’s not just a series of bizarre images. But don’t worry, it’s also still simultaneously a series of bizarre images… And there’s some actual gameplay footage. We’ve seen a little bit of that, characters running around, in the sense that they’ll be able to climb, and have a backpack and stuff like that.

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Jason: They’ll have a backpack!

Maddy: Now we know they can hit each other with briefcases. That’s part of it too. And also people can climb through a swamp and be a skeleton. I dunno. It’s exciting. It’s great. The game looks good and weird.

Kirk: I thought this trailer was a reminder of how unimaginative a lot of video game trailers are, or just a little of video games are. It’s something Kojima does well—I think he serves a useful function in the creative space of the industry, because I know there are a lot of creative people out there, people have a lot of wild ideas, but there’s no one else showing ideas like that. You can watch any three seconds of that trailer and walk around thinking, ‘What the fuck was that? That was the weirdest thing I’ve seen in a long time.’ And that’s really cool, to just be in the imagination space of this total weirdo, whose whole goal is almost to come up with the most bizarre things. And then there’s the question of will this tie together into something that makes sense?

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Maddy: Probably not!

Jason: There’s a maybe 0.1% chance that this game makes sense. I think it could be cool and fun and good, but the chances of it making it sense—

Maddy: I’ve been known to like games that don’t make sense, so that’s fine by me.

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Kirk: I guess when I say ‘make sense,’ I don’t even mean you walk away with a complete sense of what happened. I just mean it ties together in a story that moves from point A to point D and ends. I think it’ll do that; most of his games do that. And it doesn’t have the baggage of the Metal Gear universe, so it’s a whole universe, which is nice, to play the first game in a universe that maybe— I’m assuming this won’t be a standalone. It’d be kinda nice if it were, and if it just began and ended and he went and made something else instead of establishing a thousand narrative threads that are then going to go on for the next two decades over all these games. I sort of would like it if it ended. I did get from the trailer a sense of it as a video game—there were stealth elements, there was shooting, there was sneaking around in the tall grass.

Maddy: There was building. This is going to be the next Fortnite.

Jason: Don’t you play as a postman who’s carrying things around, babies and boxes or something?

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Maddy: Yeah.

Jason: So that’s what it’ll be. It’ll be a delivery simulator.

Kirk: I like that there’s a character named Die-Hardman.


For much more, listen to the entire episode. As always, you can subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts and Google Play to get every episode as it happens. Leave us a review if you like what you hear, and reach us at splitscreen@kotaku.com with any and all questions, requests, and suggestions.

Source: Kotaku.com

Death Stranding Will Be Out In November

Death Stranding, the bizarre next game from Metal Gear Solid director Hideo Kojima, will hit PlayStation 4 on November 8, 2019, publisher Sony said today.

In a strange new trailer that ostensibly contains gameplay but makes very little sense—as you might expect based on previous looks at Death Stranding—Sony revealed the news that Kojima’s next game will be out sooner than many people might have expected. You can watch the nine-minute bonanza right here:

What does this mean for Sony’s other remaining announced PlayStation 4 games? Well, The Last of Us 2 was planned for a 2019 release but I recently heard from a person familiar with goings-on at Sony that it’s been delayed to early 2020, likely February. And Ghost of Tsushima will follow in the next few months, with the PlayStation 5 likely launching next fall.

Source: Kotaku.com