Last night the official PC Game Pass Twitter account made a change to his social media profile that has been wagging tongues and making everyone a little dubious about what the hell is going on.
The account, with A message that said “sometimes we just like a good landscape photo #newprofilepic” leads you to the new icon – which has a landscape seemingly reminiscent of Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding.
If you click through to the image and look beyond the Game Pass branding, you’ll see a landscape much like the Icelandic-inspired landscapes seen in Kojima’s latest sci-fi epic. For example, the tweet below highlights some similarities to the image and what you’ll see in the PlayStation and PC game.
But could this really be a hint that Death Stranding is coming to Game Pass? Is this a nod to Death Stranding and maybe not some offbeat Starfield promo or something? Could it be linked to Hellblade 2? If so, why did only the PC side of the Game Pass account change the icon?
You might think the idea of Death Stranding – one of Sony’s most notable previous-generation PlayStation exclusives – coming to Game Pass is far-fetched. Why would Sony, as it were, put cards in its former rival’s hand? But it wouldn’t be the first time this has happened – in fact, we’ve already seen two games from Sony arrive on the Game Pass service in the form of MLB The Show 22 and MLB The Show 21.
And let’s not forget that this whole deal works both ways: Bethesda is now owned by Microsoft, and the publisher has given two exclusive games to PlayStation to use (at least) as timed exclusives. Deathloop and Tokyo: Ghostwire both arrived on PlayStation after the Bethesda/Microsoft deal was formalized. When it comes to rights between the console platforms, nothing is as simple as it seems.
It’s also worth noting that PlayStation no longer sees PC as the enemy: Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, has bluntly said the company is making acquisitions with the explicit goal of bringing more PlayStation games to PC. Hermen Hulst, head of PlayStation Studios, has also suggested more PlayStation exclusives will come to PC as the company continues to explore the growing multiplatform market.
To complicate matters further, it was 505 Games that published the PC version of Death Stranding – not Sony. This means that there is an outside chance that another kind of deal is going on here. In that regard, it’s also worth bearing in mind that another PlayStation first game – the meme-generating Forspoken – is coming to the Windows Store with Xbox Achievements et al when it launches; technically not an Xbox game, but a game that works within the Xbox ecosystem. Will that happen with Death Stranding?
It’s impossible to know at this point. Whatever this minor update turns out to be, it’ll result in something remarkable: either PC Game Pass has fooled an entire fandom, or we’re getting a major Sony game on the service. Win win, right?