Sony granted patent for Death Stranding-style online environmental changes
Before Death Stranding's release back in November 2019, Hideo Kojima claimed his new game was the first in a new genre: the Strand genre. The essence of the Strand genre is that while players are on their own solo journey, all playing the same character in a single-player narrative experience, they're never truly alone. Anyone else playing in the same area of the game as you who builds a bridge, trods a path, or leaves a cache of supplies will affect your version of the world, with those bridges or supplies available to you.
However, it's looking like it may be hard for other games to join this genre, based on a new patent granted to Sony. Filed in 2019, five months before Death Stranding's release, Sony's patent "Terrain radar and gradual building of a route in a virtual environment of a video game" was granted recently, on December 7. Though it does not mention Death Stranding or the Strand genre by name, it does describe the sort of collaborative world-building present in Death Stranding, and credits Hideo Kojima as its inventor.
The abstract describes it as “a method for influencing a gaming world of a video game” and goes on to describe a plurality of ways for a player to affect an environment, and how these effects can "cross-pollinate" via a "cloud gaming system." This patent, along with Norman Reedus reportedly letting slip in a Portugese interview that Death Stranding 2 is "in negotiations," seem to indicate that Sony and Kojima have lots of plans for this system and world.