Sony Now Owns Patent For Death Stranding's Path-Building Feature

Sony patented a method for building in-game environments that looks similar to the one from Death Stranding.


Sony just patented a collaborative path-building feature that appears to be the one from Death Stranding. The patent (via NME), titled "Terrain radar and gradual building of a route in a virtual environment of a video game," credits Hideo Kojima as the inventor and describes many familiar features from the game such as the ability to see and traverse other players' paths.

In the summary, it delves into further detail on the mentioned "method for influencing a gaming world of a video game." Patented methods include identifying which paths have been used, improving paths based on the number of players that have used them, and so on. Death Stranding enabled porters to identify routes that other players had plotted and interact with them. Despite the relevance to Kojima's latest masterpiece, the document doesn't name drop the game anywhere in the text.

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The patent could mean that Sony and Kojima could have more in mind for Death Stranding. However, it's hard to tell considering that the patent application was filed even before the game was released. Sony submitted the application for the patent back in 2019, but it was only recently approved on December 7, 2021. At the very least, it looks like developers won't be able to use any of the specifically described features used in the game's path-building technique without risking legal action from Sony.

Death Stranding launched on November 8, 2019 for PC and PlayStation 4. It received generally positive reviews for its inventive premise and gameplay, even though it starkly differed from Kojima's famous Metal Gear Solid series. The Death Stranding: Director's Cut, which wasn't really a director's cut, released for the PlayStation 5 earlier this year on November 21, 2021.

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