Death Stranding has sold through five million copies worldwide on PS4 and PC, developer Kojima Productions has said.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, head of publishing Jay Boor says the game has performed 'quite well', and the studio is optimistic about the release of the Director's Cut on PlayStation 5 in September.
"With Death Stranding being the first title developed out of Kojima Productions, from a sales perspective, it has performed quite well," he says. "As of March 2021, Death Stranding has sold through over five million units worldwide on PlayStation 4 and PC."
As revealed last month, the upcoming Director's Cut does more than just some visual improvements, with new features, weapons and modes. While the game's central 'social strand' feature has also been improved.
Boor continues: "Hideo Kojima once said in an interview: "I'm very prone to loneliness. I think there are similar people around the world - especially gamers. When they're alone playing video games in their living room, they don't feel like they fit into society or their community. So when people play this game they realize people like them exist all over the world. Knowing that even though I'm lonely, there are other people like me - and that makes you feel at ease. That's what I want people to feel when they play this game."
"Death Stranding's core component is its Social Strand System, which is a unique asynchronous multiplayer feature that enables players to connect with other players from around the globe through a variety of in-game actions. The Director's Cut will expand on this system and we will be sharing more on that in the weeks to come.
"In addition, Director's Cut will also include visual and performance upgrades that take full advantage of the PlayStation 5's next-gen features, as well as a variety of new content developed from the ground up. We're introducing new missions and added storylines, more weapons, vehicles and equipment, we've even added a racing mode and online leaderboards as well.
"The aim for Director's Cut was to introduce new content that would further expand the world within Death Stranding while at the same time enhance the core game experience and its features."
Boor says that the core Kojima Productions team hasn't change significantly since the game has launched, although obviously the way it operates has been transformed.
"Although we've expanded slightly in a few operational areas, our team overall has relatively stayed the same in terms of actual size," Boor says. "In terms of how we operate though, the studio has changed significantly, as the pandemic brought many unforeseen challenges. Like everyone else, we have to constantly adapt and look at how we continue to work and build things safely."
Despite the challenge of the pandemic, Boor feels that COVID-19 has brought a new-found perspective on the team's first game.
"One of the things that impacted me the most was seeing reactions to Death Stranding before the pandemic started, versus after the pandemic began," he tells us.
"The main character in Death Stranding, Sam Bridges, isn't your typical hero on paper -- he makes deliveries, he doesn't care about making connections - and suffers from a disease called Aphenphosmphobia, which is the fear of being touched, or touching another human being. As you play the game, things unfold and you begin to realize Sam's true potential and how he overcomes that.
"We're all sort of going through a similar journey to some degree because of the climate we're living in at the moment. In addition to the realization, or reminder, of how essential package deliveries are to society, more of the world is also having to deal with overcoming the fear of touching other people and feelings of isolation.
"Players felt this connection to Sam, a character who ironically doesn't care about connections, and we could all sort of relate on some level to what he was going through. Speaking with players through social media and sharing those experiences continues to be very humbling. Although we are still unable to host physical events, which is normally the time you get to meet other players face to face, we can still establish and maintain deep connections, and at its core that is essentially what Death Stranding is all about."