Famitsu’s Hirokazu Hamamura has a cameo in Death Stranding that creates a conflict of interest.
Amongst them is Hirokazu Hamamura, mostly known as the longtime editor of Famitsu, the biggest games magazine in Japan. Although Hamamura now heads up the magazine’s publisher Enterbrain, his face continues to be associated with Famitsu.
In Death Stranding, Hamamura is one of the NPCs Bridges has to deliver items to over the course of the game. He’s called the Collector, and he collects retro consoles.
— ゆーしゃ (@Dead_end_ran) November 10, 2019
According to users on Japanese site 2ch and social media (via Kotaku), the subtitle that shows up when speaking to him reads – as translated by Kotaku “(Since before Death Stranding went on sale), [it] will surely get in the Hall of Fame.”
The text uses the same Japanese characters (dendou iri) that Famitsu uses for games that it awards a high score. It means Hall of Famer, and Famitsu has since awarded Death Stranding a 40/40, making it one of only 26 games to earn the perfect score.
As you might imagine, this is awfully close to being a conflict of interest, and many Japanese players agree. Others, however, don’t see much of a problem with it because they consider Famitsu to be part of video game PR.