Death Stranding biggest Japanese IP launch this generation

Despite some stumbling blocks with a subset of the gaming public, it seems like new Hideo Kojima release Death Stranding struck a chord with gamers in Japan. According to sales data gathered by Game Data Library on Twitter, the PlayStation 4 exclusive toppled such titles as JudgementSekiro, and Bloodborne to reach the top spot. Stretching back in time beyond the PS4, this is the biggest new IP in the region since the original Dark Souls and Wii Fit.

Game Data Library goes on to clarify how impressive this is considering that Death Stranding doesn’t draw from previous titles made by its creators. Both Judgement and Sekiro can be regarded as spiritual successors to Yakuza and Dark Souls, but Death Stranding is firmly a franchise all its own with few gameplay ties to Metal Gear or any other Kojima work. They also discount Knack on the list of new IPs since that game was a Japanese pack-in, which inflates its sale numbers considerably.

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Those fans who wanted more out of Death Stranding may be pleased to hear that the game did not outsell any Kojima-led Metal Gear Solid at launch. In fact, the game is the worst launch for the auteur developer in Japan since Zone of the Enders back in the PlayStation 2 days.

It’s also worth noting that this generation hasn’t exactly been keen on developing new franchises. Although there are a few contenders that would hit a similar list in America, publishers have been content with reworking and revisiting existing IP rather than taking a risk on new franchises. Even some newer games are borrowing names from older titles in an attempt to gain some form of brand recognition. This environment makes the development of Death Stranding that much more impressive, but it also tells us a bit about the field that it’s competing against.