Sony obtains patent for method of terrain construction invented by Hideo Kojima

when developing Death Stranding, Game Director Hideo Kojima created a system for building routes and terrain radar. Where you would expect Kojima to patent this system himself, it seems that he has not. As noted by NME, it appears that Sony has instead been granted a patent for the terrain system and that Kojima has been listed as its inventor, possibly suggesting Sony has further plans for the franchise.

The patent was first filed by Sony in 2019, but was only granted a few days ago on December 7. While the official description of the system is fairly jargon, it can be translated as a method for other players to influence another player’s world, even in a single-player game. For example, a path can widen if it is walked by many players, even though those players only travel the path in their own version of the world. These individual versions of the worlds would be delivered to players via a cloud system. The jargon-filled description is below:

A method of influencing a video game game world. The method includes cross-pollination of a first path using an inter-game communication medium across multiple virtual environments of multiple asynchronous gameplays of multiple players playing the video game. The method includes determining that a first path has been traversed one or more times by one or more characters of the plurality of players in the plurality of asynchronous games. The method involves correcting the first path based on the number of times the first path has been traversed by the one or more characters. The method involves cross-fertilization of the first path enhanced across the multiple virtual environments.

The patent also describes player-built bridges and climbing ropes similar to those in Death Stranding. The granting of the patent seems to indicate that Sony has more plans for the franchise and that Kojima may even expand this system in future games. While rumors about Death Stranding 2 been circling for a while, nothing confirmed yet. However, actor Norman Reedus who played lead actor Sam Porter Bridges in Death Stranding had already said in August that a sequel was “under negotiation”.

[Source: US Patent and Trademark Office via NME]