Death Stranding Director's Cut Axes Monster Energy Drink Partnership
For those who feel like they need a bit of an energy boost, we'd advise you don't play the latest release of the Death Stranding Director's Cut. While Hideo Kojima's courier title might not seem like the most obvious place for product placement, its 2020 release was rammed with sponsorship.
In 2021, with the Director's Cut promising to add more than just a performance boost, eagle-eyed (and thirsty) players have noted that Kojima has removed all references to Monster energy drink from the game. Maybe it was giving Sam Porter Bridges the jitters.
Why has Monster been removed from Death Stranding?
When Death Stranding first brought its eerie COVID-inspired story into our lives last year, the green flash of Monster was a constant reminder of the real-world, with the drink being found in Sam's hub. As noted by several players, Monster has been swapped out for a generic energy drink in the Director's Cut.
The Gamescom Opening Night Live presentation included a glossy eight-minute trailer of the Death Stranding Director's Cut, however, one of the biggest talking points was the lack of Monster. In one scene, Sam is seen drinking an energy drink in a hideout, but instead of that garish branding, he's slurping down something called "Bridges Energy".
Back when Death Stranding first released, Monster was a major addition. As well as a Monster-branded backpack, the energy drink became an internet sensation in meme form. We've not seen how the Monster branding will be phased out, but we expect to see a lot more of Brides Energy when the Director's Cut releases.
Why did Monster appear in Death Stranding?
In late 2019, Polygon called Monster's product placement in Death Stranding an "act of vandalism". Here, the site referred to the case of five women who were suing Monster for harassment, sexual misconduct, and wrongful termination. Still, the drink was prominent in the original game, Monster had its own neon booth at the Tokyo Game Show, and Sam's canister was regularly filled with the drink for a stamina boost.
It's unclear why Monster has been quietly erased from Death Stranding, but it's possible the deal between the company and Kojima simple expired. We don't imagine it's cheap to have your product featured in a AAA title like Death Stranding. Despite its divisive reception, the original sold over 5 million copies and official turned a profit for Kojima.
Sony, Kojima, and Monster haven't commented on the drink's removal from Death Stranding, but either way, the Director's Cut looks like it'll be a very different version of Kojima's dystopian nightmare.