Last year in July, the midpoint of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Sucker Punch Productions released their massive action-adventure game for the PlayStation 4, “Ghost of Tsushima.” An epic adventure set in 1274 Japan during the Mongol invasions, the game set players on a dangerous quest as a lone samurai organizing a desperate resistance on the island of Tsushima against a vicious Mongol Khan. “Ghost of Tsushima” was positively received; and while created by Western developers the game got plenty of praise in Japan. In fact, the local government of the real island of Tsushima was so impressed that he gave two of the development team quite the uncommon honor.
IGN tells us that Jason Connell and Nick Fox of Sucker Punch Productions, leaders of the development team for “Ghost of Tsushima,” were named as permanent honorary ambassadors of tourism for Tsushima City on the same-named island in Japan as of last week. Said honor was bestowed on them by Tsushima Mayor Hiroki Hitakatsu, who noted that Fox and Connell helped spread the name and history of the island to the world “in such a wonderful way.” They are also the first honorary Tsushima tourism ambassadors to be named such for promoting “through their works.”
The accolades for the “Ghost of Tsushima” developers were done online due of course to the pandemic. However, the Tsushima government is looking towards the future, when travel restrictions might lighten up as more people are vaccinated against COVID. With the help of Sony interactive, the Japanese island city is developing a new tourism ad campaign using the PS4 videogame as a base, encouraging visitors to Tsushima to explore the island and the real-life historical landmarks featured in its game version. Mayor Hirakatsu has even extended invitations to their new permanent tourism ambassadors and the rest of Sucker Punch Productions to visit the island someday.
Tsushima is located just north of Kyushu Island between it and South Korea, along the Korea Strait. Known as one of the first islands of Japan in its mythological creation, Tsushima was among the locations invaded by Mongols during the 13th Century. At present it is completely encompassed by Tsushima City (established in 2004) and is part of Nagasaki prefecture.
Image from PlayStation Lifestyle