Before Google shut down the division in 2021, Stadia Games and Entertainment turned down the opportunity to have an exclusive follow-up to Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding.
When Stadia was first announced in 2019, Google did so with aplomb, presenting a grand vision of what cloud streaming technology could enable, with ideas such as Flow connection to instantly see your teammates’ gameplay. Rather than relying on third-party companies to see the merits of these ideas, Google formed Stadia Games & Entertainment – led by an industry veteran Jade Raymond – to create experiences that could only be possible on Stadia.
Just over a year into Stadia’s existence, however, the service is said to have missed user targets by “hundreds of thousands“, Google began to wind down the Stadia Games and Entertainment division. Prior to this shutdown, Google was working with a number of well-known developers in the games industry to create Stadia-exclusive titles.
Some companies like Harmonix had been publicly confirmed to be working on Stadia titles while names like Yu Suzuki and Hideo Kojima were reported as an afterthought. These efforts were presumed to result in second-party titles published by Stadia Games & Entertainment, as opposed to in-house games developed by Shannon Studstill’s team and Google’s star labs.
A source said 9to5Google that the game Kojima was working on was supposed to be a Stadia-exclusive sequel to Death Stranding, a game that originally launched as a PlayStation exclusive in 2019. Where the original Death Stranding was an asynchronous multiplayer game – where actions taken in your world can have an effect on other players, such as building signs to help others find their way – the proposed game would be strictly a single-player experience.
In fact, our source claims that it was this single-player nature of the game that led Google to cancel Stadia’s collaboration with Kojima, as the company believed there was no longer a market for single-player experiences. Apparently, the game had gotten initial approval from Google and started the early stages of development. However, shortly after the first mockups were presented in mid-2020, Google abandoned the project entirely.
Previous report Kojima Productions’ planned Stadia effort called it an “episodic horror game,” and Kojima himself was excited to work with the cloud’s potential. In the end, it was said to be Stadia General Manager Phil Harrison who made the final call to cancel the Death Stranding follow-up.
Since that cancellation, with its most recent PC re-releases, Death Stranding has become a much-loved game with a full sequel now. said to be under construction. Beyond that, the enduring popularity of games like God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Control shows that single-player games continue to be a key market, especially for platform exclusives.
Even in hindsight, it’s impossible to know if an exclusive Hideo Kojima game would have made a difference to Stadia’s future as a platform. According Kojima’s Timelinethe original Death Stranding entered development in 2015 and didn’t launch until 2019. If the follow-up required a similar schedule, it wouldn’t even have released until Google pulled the plug on Stadia.
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