No, Death Stranding isn't being turned into some kind of cloud exclusive. Relax. But in a new interview, the legendary designer-auteur Hideo Kojima has praised the possibilities of game streaming services like Apple Arcade and Google Stadia, and that he has a cloud gaming project he'd especially like to work on.
The interview with Nikkei Business, which was first picked up by Dualshockers, was centred primarily on 5G, and the various industries and technologies that will become more accessible with the rollout of the new mobile network. Just about every ISP has talked about the improvements to mobile gaming (through lower latency), so it was only natural that Kojima was asked about this as well.
The Metal Gear Solid creator was fairly adamant that consoles will still be a thing of the future, but the nature of cloud gaming will allow for new experiences and techniques that existing games can't use, or simply haven't thought of.
"As streaming keeps evolving, games, movies, documentaries and any type of video content will all be on the same platform. This is the future I’ve always wished for," Kojima reportedly said.
He also noted that the movie industry adapted around user behaviour, and that video games will do exactly the same with cloud gaming. "For example, the average screening time of about 2 hours for a movie was necessary because it was a movie theatre," Kojima said, according to a Google translation.
"I have to sell popcorn, and after three hours I'm tired and want to go to the bathroom. If the movie is for a long time, the number of screenings per day will be less and the earnings will be harsher."
An example from TV was the need for directors and producers to have a "grab" or some kind of enticing footage from the very beginning. Viewers can change the channel or open up another piece of content within seconds, so it's important to keep people engaged as quickly as possible. When that ability to rapidly switch over from one game to another becomes commonplace - particularly with streaming services like Apple Arcade - it's likely that we'll see more blockbuster games designed to take that behaviour into account. (It's already prevalent in free-to-play mobile games to a degree, with reduced timers and lots of unlocks and things to open in the first hour of gameplay.)
"We’ll start seeing completely different games these next five years as 5G spreads. There’s one big thing I have in mind related to streaming as well. I can’t say anything more as I don’t want to spoil though," Dualshockers quoted Kojima as saying.
If you're a natural Japanese speaker, you can read the untranslated interview in full over at Nikkei Business. If not, Dualshockers has a good summarised translation of their own. It's worth reading regardless, not just for the immediate thoughts on cloud streaming but also the technologies that Kojima expects to have the most impact (AI being front and centre). The Metal Gear Solid maker also expects more streaming services will blur the line between movies and games, like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, which seems pretty logical.