New Death Stranding sequel report is mired in years of speculation and rumor

Hideo Kojima
(Image credit: Mega64)

A new report claims a Death Stranding sequel was intended to be a Google Stadia exclusive, and past comments and reports surrounding Kojima Productions paint an interesting picture.

Earlier today, 9to5Google published a report which claimed Death Stranding 2 was originally intended to be exclusive to Google Stadia. The report, which only cites a single source, claimed that the sequel would ditch the online functions of the original Death Stranding, which is ultimately what caused Google Stadia general manager Phil Harrison to cancel the deal to fund the sequel.

What's interesting is that last year in 2021, a report from VGC also claimed Kojima Productions was developing a horror game for Google Stadia. A Death Stranding sequel was never mentioned in the report, but instead claimed Kojima had pitched an "episodic horror game" to Google, which was eventually blocked by Harrison in 2020.

This report lines up with previous comments from Kojima. In 2020 in an interview with Livedoor News (and translated by GamesRadar+), Kojima revealed that a "big project" had just recently fallen through. Kojima's comments of a game being cancelled relatively recently in 2020 line up with VGC's report, which also claimed a Kojima-led game had been cancelled that year.

Obviously, Kojima never made mention of Google being the one to cancel the project, or that the project was either an episodic horror game or a Death Stranding sequel. 

Then there's the debacle surrounding Overdose. Earlier this year in June, a new report claimed knowledge of a new Kojima-led horror game featuring Death Stranding actor Margaret Qualley. Shortly after publication, the original reporter was contacted by Kojima Productions, and asked to take down the report, which they then refused to do.

That new report appears to line up better with the past report of an "episodic horror game" from Kojima Productions, instead of the Death Stranding 2 claim. Of course, it's entirely possible that the report claiming knowledge of the Qualley-led game was actually the cancelled Google Stadia project, instead of an ongoing project at Kojima Productions in active development.

This is all complicated by the matter of recent Death Stranding 2 comments from Norman Reedus. The lead Death Stranding actor appeared to accidentally let slip earlier this year in May that a sequel had just been started. If these comments from Reedus are accurate, it's somewhat strange that Death Stranding 2 would have a two-year gap between being cancelled by Google Stadia in 2020, before resuming production in mid-2022. 

What we're left with are somewhat conflicting reports, with some being backed up by more circumstantial evidence than others. We have claims of a Death Stranding sequel being canned by Google, claims of an Kojima-led episodic horror game at Google, and finally claims of a Kojima horror game called Overdose, separate from both Google and Death Stranding. 

Kojima's past comments seem to back up the report about the episodic horror game at Google being cancelled, rather than the other two reports. Additionally, the comments from Reedus seem to contradict the report about Death Stranding 2 being cancelled at Google, due to the time gap between Google Stadia shuttering internal development in early 2021 and Death Stranding 2 just having been "started" earlier this year.

Onto what we know for certain, then. Kojima announced earlier this year that Kojima Productions would be partnering with Xbox for a cloud-based game, and later on, the developer revealed that "multiple" new games were being worked on at his studio. What Kojima Productions really is working on, with Microsoft or otherwise, will be left to our imagination for a while longer yet.

Here's what we hope Death Stranding 2 changes from the original, if it is actually real. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.