Death Stranding has a theme of connecting players, not separating them. It’s only natural, then, that Death Stranding’s PC release is dodging the storefront wars and releasing on multiple platforms. Pre-orders for the PC edition of Kojima Production’s first game have appeared on both the Steam storefront and the Epic Games Store.
On both platforms, the game costs $59.99 USD, and the release date lists as “Summer 2020.” Both stores show an image of the protagonist, one of the game’s logo, and one of Kojima Productions’s logo. In addition, neither storefront has listed its minimum nor recommended requirements yet. Steam fanatics will be glad to know that the platform lists achievements.
Worth noting also, the Steam storefront lists “partial controller support.” In this case, it likely means you’re supposed to use the PlayStation’s DualShock controller, and not an Xbox or Steam one. Death Stranding uses some of the DualShock’s unique layout and features in gameplay.
There’s also no word on whether the player-to-player features will be cross-platform between PlayStation 4 and PC. In the game, players can build components, such as ladders or climbing ropes, for others to use to traverse the game’s tough terrain. While players don’t actually see others in the game — Death Stranding is otherwise strictly single-player — lore implies that these are from past delivery people. In short, we don’t know if we’ll be seeing PS4 ladders on PC or vice versa.
Kojima Productions already announced the PC version late last month, but there was no indication as to which stores would be available in. It’s one of the, if not the, first time a studio working directly “under” Sony sees a PC release so soon. The port will be handled by 505 Studios, which was in charge of publishing Control, Stardew Valley and Abzû.
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The multi-store strategy may be a welcome setup for everyone involved. The Epic Games Store, barely reaching a year of its release, has faced backlash for being an “incomplete” product, lacking a “cart” and reviews among other features taken for granted on the Steam storefront. Meanwhile, Epic has given financial incentives for games to become store-exclusive — at least for a time. Developers that opted for this route have received feedback as harsh as literal death threats. However, even developers already on Steam have added to EGS for a hearty 88% profit share. Especially independent developers are saying it’s a plus in a turbulent industry.
Death Stranding is one of the rare recent major titles that commits to neither fully. Games like Metro Exodus, Borderlands 3 and Detroit: Become Human have popped up as EGS exclusives. Meanwhile, games by publishers Square Enix, Frontier Games and Bethesda haven’t made the move from Steam. We’ll just leave the explanation to Death Stranding being a game that’s about connecting people.
The PC port is not unprecedented. Those with crystal-clear memory recently recalled that in late 2015, Kojima Productions shared in a press conference that the studio’s first game would be on PC, after a brief period of exclusivity on the PS4. However, due to the intrigue around the rest of the game’s details, most are forgiven if they’ve forgotten.
Regardless of the Sony collaboration, fans have been vying and begging for that port. The graphics alone may justify it for hardware buffs. The game released several trailers in 4K, plus images taken via the PS4 Pro, to tantalize Pro console owners. Plus, reviews, including our own, have already raved about “gorgeous” and “breathtaking” environments. If it’s anything like the Red Dead Redemption 2 port that was just released (to many bugs, unfortunately), players can hopefully fiddle with the graphics settings — and they’re in for some gorgeous eye candy.
More importantly, Death Stranding is one of the most anticipated games of the 2010s. Hitting one more platform allows it to reach more people — and again, connecting people, even through media, is one of the themes of Death Stranding.