Hideo Kojima appeared on stage during Sony's Tokyo Game Show press conference to discuss upcoming PS4 and PC title Death Stranding. His portion of the presentation included a cryptic image potentially revealing some more of his collaborators on the game.
While discussing the game's themes (something to do with ropes, we'll get to that further down) the image above popped up.
In the middle we can see clearly the game's star Norman Reedus on the left and Kojima on the right, but what of the other two?
On the far left is a fairly clear depiction of director Guillermo del Toro, famous for directing Pacific Rim and Pan's Labyrinth. He was once set to work with Kojima and Reedus on Silent Hills, which was teased with the excellent PT (Playable Trailer) in 2014 before the project was cancelled last year.
Del Toro's friendship with Kojima is still well-known, and his appearance in the image above may well hint that he's involved with Death Stranding in some capacity.
As for the figure on the far right, he is tougher to identify, but certainly looks like Mads Mikkelsen, who was rumoured to be part of Death Stranding thanks to two social media posts and an orange hoodie.
Said hoodie was seen worn by Mikkelsen in a selfie taken with a fan on the same day Kojima posted a picture on Twitter from the production of Death Stranding, which depicted an obscured actor facing away from camera, but wearing a very similar orange hoodie.
At the show, Kojima confirmed Death Stranding would be an open world action game with online elements, as had been alluded to by comparisons to Tom Clancy's The Division and Uncharted. He also discussed the game's themes using the same bizarre language he's used at previous events.
"Talking about action games in early days, a game was really the player and the PC hitting each other with a rod or a club," said Kojima (via Sony's translator), referencing a story called Rope by Kobo Abe, which refers to mankind first inventing a club to keep things away, then inventing a rope to brings things together.
"Next, players were connected to one another online, later emerged the concept of co-op where players co-operated with each other against the CPU as a common enemy. Although players were connected, still the connection was based on clubs or rods. In Death Stranding I want to propose the next step. Here I am to offer a new game where players are connected by a strand or rope-like element. Of course, clubs will still be used in battle but at the end of the day I want to offer an action game where people are connected by different elements."
Kojima also confirmed 4K and HDR support, in line with Sony's new PS4 Pro console, which makes sense given the game won't be ready for release for at least three years – possibly much longer.