Kojima Productions' Death Stranding is shrouded in mystery. We still don't have a proper synopsis of the game's plot and characters, but rumors still hover around the game's potential release like seagulls on a beach. For gamers out there trying to figure out the release date for the game, there's some new evidence that suggests that it might be arriving in 2019.
The news comes from a cryptic message sent out by voiceover artist and performance actor Troy Baker on his official Twitter account, who tweeted out a hashtag with the phrase 2009vs2019. The tweet is referencing who Troy Baker voiced back in 2009 versus the character he's voicing in 2019. The photo comparison is between the character Snow Villiers from Final Fantasy XIII, which came out back in 2009 for the PS3 and Xbox 360, and the mysterious golden skull-face character he's playing in Death Stranding.
The key to this comparison is that we know that Final Fantasy XIII came out back in 2009. The implication from the tweet is that Death Stranding would be released in 2019. However, there's a caveat to this presumption.
Baker ends the tweet with an ellipses and a question mark. So, he hints at the game launching in 2019, but the question mark means that it's not necessarily solidified. It's the equivalent of saying "2009vs2019 or maybe not."
The tweet does seem to gain some additional weight when measured against Hideo Kojima's statements given to Famitsu at the tail end of 2018, where he said that 2019 was the year of the whale and to "Please look forward to Death Stranding!" That would seem to indicate that the game is locked into a release in 2019... right?
It's all kind of a toss-up right now. The release will mostly be dependent on how far along the gameplay design is and how close to finished the cinematics are. Kojima originally got underway working on the game after doing some engine shopping with Mark Cerny back in late 2015 and early 2016.
The team didn't land a proper engine until later into 2016, when Kojima Productions settled on the Decima Engine from Guerrilla Games, which powered Horizon: Zero Dawn. This meant the team didn't have to entirely start from scratch after Konami kept Kojima's in-house built Fox Engine for its own projects.
Even still, the question continues to loom: is three years enough time for the game to have cooked in the developmental oven and come out well done in time for a 2019 release? Well, it all depends on the extent of the gameplay, the range of the mechanics, and how long the game is. We won't find out for sure until more info is released but Kojima is keeping a tight lid on Death Stranding for now.