New PlayStation First-Party Art Suggests Kojima Productions Acquisition

MS Paint red arrows have been added to clarify what's new on the official PlayStation Studios site starting this week.
Enlarge / MS Paint red arrows have been added to clarify what’s new on the official PlayStation Studios site starting this week.

PlayStation Studios

An update to the official PlayStation Studios website, dedicated to Sony’s proprietary software list and the global studios that make it, began this week with a new game creator. But it’s not Bungie, the studio Sony plans to acquire in a deal worth $3.6 billion.

Instead, Sony’s official banner now includes Death Stranding, the 2019 adventure developed by Kojima Productions in partnership with Sony Interactive Entertainment. And this is the strongest indication that Sony and Solid metal gear Creator Hideo Kojima is moving forward with a stronger partnership than ever.

The banner in question was refreshed at some point this week, as a commenter on gaming forum ResetEra spotted on Wednesday, to reflect Sony’s new releases from last year. The updated image in question remains live on the main PlayStation Studios site at press time. Much of the banner remains identical to its 2021 version, but its MLB The Show the icon has been updated for the cover star of its 2022 edition, Shohei Ohtani, while the images for Horizon and Grand tourism received updates to reflect their 2022 sequels.

The 2020 reissue of Demon’s Souls appears now, which is a good reminder that its developer Bluepoint was acquired by Sony in September. That means Death Stranding is the only game in this boot image which is not made by a fully acquired PlayStation Studios company.

Hence the sudden appearance of Death Stranding in a far left corner, we wonder if Sony has once again slipped new megatons into an accidental image upload, just as it did with its eventual acquisition of Bluepoint in July 2021. At this At that time, Sony’s Twitter announcement that it would acquire Housemarque, the makers of Returnincluded a Bluepoint image which was quickly removed.

Hoping for a PT spiritual successor

Just like the other aforementioned acquisitions, Kojima Productions would make sense as an official Sony studio, since its production so far has been closely tied to PlayStation. Kojima Productions started after Kojima’s public and messy divorce from his best-known employer, Konami, and Sony was part of the flurry of announcements of the new studio. Death StrandingSony’s reveal was hosted by Sony in 2016 with an indication that it would be developed in conjunction with Sony’s game studios – and even counted Sony development legend Mark Cerny among its contributors.

At the time, Kojima insisted that the game could eventually appear on other consoles. So far, it remains a PlayStation console exclusive, although its original version and director’s cut, like other recent first-party games from Sony, have finally found their way to the PC. (These PC ports were released by 505 Games, not Sony.)

The ever-enigmatic Kojima left fans grasping at straws to guess what might happen next. Kojima’s April 2020 suggestion for a “horror” game had fans hoping the game’s creator could revive his notoriously delisted horror experience. PT. Could a partnership with Sony lead to something as “groundbreaking” as Kojima teased in this interview? And could such a hypothetical game take advantage of Sony’s proprietary technology like PlayStation VR2?

Meanwhile, other journalists aren’t ready to dismiss rumors that Kojima recently struck a deal with Microsoft to release a game on Xbox. Giant Bomb podcast host Jeff Grubb said on his first subscriber podcast this week that an agreement between Kojima and Microsoft was “still in effect… a few weeks ago.” Grubb also said that a formal acquisition by Sony could still happen with such an online deal, much like how Bethesda finished its work on Playstation console exclusives. Death Loop and Ghostwire Tokyo after being acquired by Microsoft in 2020.

Sony representatives did not immediately respond to questions from Ars Technica regarding the PlayStation Studios location change.