Hideo Kojima loves to tease his fans. The auteur game developer behind the Metal Gear Solid series and Death Stranding has a knack for creating elaborate reveals for his projects that send the gaming community into tinfoil hat theory-crafting territory. In the midst of the 2022 Tokyo Game Show — which is basically E3 this year with the number of announcements — Kojima shall not be outdone.
With numerous breadcrumbs being laid out by the (evil?) genius that is Kojima, there is a high chance we will be learning about a new project soon — hopefully, it's something other than a podcast! Based on some genuinely compelling teasers from Kojima this week, it sure seems like Death Stranding 2 may be a strong possibility in the near future.
The case for Death Stranding 2
After parting on bad terms with publisher Konami, Kojima’s first independent project was the post-apocalyptic AAA walking simulator Death Stranding. Before its release, there were a lot of questions about whether Kojima and his new studio would be able to pull off something that lived up to his legacy — and they did.
Death Stranding is a weird game. It is unchained Kojima who’s willing to go completely off the rails. Full of weird references to film and books and with a star-studded cast, the game eschews traditional action-adventure gameplay and forces players to deal with a frustrating but rewarding walking and packing system.
A sequel to Death Stranding seems inevitable, and there have been leaks that suggest it has already started production. Lead actor Norman Reedus even let slip in May 2022 that he’d “just started part two” of Death Stranding.
Of particular — and more recent — interest is a tweet from full-time Kojima BFF and part-time gaming personality Geoff Keighley on September 14. It features a character shrouded in darkness with the excruciatingly teasing question “Who am I?” and the Kojima Productions logo.
Fans have theorized that the character is actor Elle Fanning (perhaps best known for her starring role in Hulu’s The Great), which wouldn’t be all that surprising considering Kojima’s pension for working with A-list celebrities. You can easily follow the threads Six Degrees of Separation style from Kojima to Fanning. Fanning starred in the film “I am Sam” (as a toddler), and Sam Bridges is the protagonist of Death Stranding.
Death Stranding 2 confirmed! (Not clickbait.)
While this sort of theory-crafting is what Kojima thrives on it is a real possibility this tease does have to do with Sam. The ending of Death Stranding leaves the door open for a sequel and it could pull a Metal Gear Solid 2, introducing players to an entirely new protagonist in the form of a grown-up Lou.
A new logo at the bottom of the teaser photo also bears a resemblance to the architecture of a drawbridge, Bridges is a prominent organization in Death Stranding.
But what if this is an entirely different project?
The case for Overdose
The other possibility is that this has absolutely nothing to do with Death Stranding but instead is a tease of Kojima Productions's rumored second secretive project. In early June 2022, leaked footage was reported to show a new game from Kojima titled Overdose. While never confirmed by Kojima Productions, the company did request the article be taken down (it was not).
Overdose is rumored to be a horror game, which would allow Kojima to finally explore some of what Silent Hills might have been before its cancellation. The leaked footage allegedly features actor Margaret Qualley who starred in Death Stranding as Momma. Overdose allegedly has no ties to Death Stranding, however. And yet, Kojima has a history of working with the same actors on multiple unrelated projects.
In the context of Overdose, the teaser photo from Keighley could be Qualley in shadow. The picture itself is so nebulous that it is easy to make a case for either Fanning or Qualley.
In addition to the teaser, Kojima himself tweeted a photo the same day that showed a zoom call with BFF Keighley as well as director Jordan Peele. While Kojima is a huge film nerd and the three could just be having a heated discussion about the criterion collection, it does seem possible that Peele is discussing some kind of project with Kojima. Peele is the most successful horror director of the past decade with films like Get Out, Us, and Nope. If Overdose is in production and is a horror game, then Peele’s involvement feels like a no-brainer. Kojima’s Silent Hills was to be co-directed by Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro, so maybe this is a similar creative approach?
Even if Kojima Productions does not show off anything concrete at TGS, which it seems like they won’t be based on the official Twitter account, Kojima is happy to keep fans guessing with this series of new teases. Hopefully, an official announcement isn’t too far away or we all might go too deep in our theory-crafting before getting a chance to actually play whatever it is!