The meaning of "strand" has changed for Death Stranding 2, and the COVID-19 pandemic is partly responsible, says Kojima.
In an interview with J-Pop idol Nocchi (from the group Perfume) for the Japanese outlet Music Natalie, Kojima gave a small insight into Death Stranding 2's development. On the topic of the sequel's themes, the head of Kojima Productions says (machine translated): "In Death Stranding, connection was justice," however following the COVID-19 pandemic, "remote and other pseudo-connections became more important."
"On the other hand," the developer continues, "I felt that this pseudo-connection alone was not enough to achieve human-like fulfilment in life. I felt that human beings need to get out into the outside world and move."
Further down in the interview, Kojima elaborated: "Isolation and fragmentation are ongoing, and the world is changing dramatically. With the inability to return to the world as it was, the meaning of 'strand' is changing in [Death Stranding 2] as we rethink about 'connectedness'."
Kojima then explains the message present at the end of the sequel's first and only teaser, adding: "At the end of the teaser, the message 'Should We Have Connected?' [appears] and that's the message we want to convey in 2."
Elsewhere in the interview, Kojima also talks about Death Stranding 2's music, explaining that, in the first game, the team "wanted to incorporate things that have never been done in games or films before" and that they're "thinking of doing more new things in the sequel." The developer also touched upon the plans for the upcoming Death Stranding movie that was announced as in production back in December 2022.
"If it's going to be made into a film, I want it to be something that only film can do," Kojima tells Nocchi in the interview, "so I'm going to make it completely different." We already know that Kojima won't be directing the Death Stranding movie, but he will be playing a supervising role. We also know that the movie is set to introduce new characters and that it might even ditch the game's lead protagonist Sam Porter Bridges.
We don't have a release date for the movie yet, but according to its producer, we’re about to get "very exciting news" on the Death Stranding movie.