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One of 2020's best games may be getting a sequel

2020 has been a remarkable year for video games. The industry has seen releases such as Persona 5: Royal, Hades, Doom Eternal, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and many gamers are expecting great things from upcoming releases like Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Cyberpunk 2077. But, one of the best games so far is probably Ghost of Tsushima. The title released to rave reviews and sold 2.4 million copies the weekend of its launch, officially making Ghost of Tsushima "PS4's fastest selling first-party original IP." 

This success has not gone unnoticed within the halls of Ghost of Tsushima developer, Sucker Punch, as the company might be gearing up to produce a sequel. A new job opening popped up in the career portal of Sucker Punch's website. The position is labeled as "DESIGN – Narrative Writer," and it initially comes across as fairly standard. The posting asks for applicants who can do things like "write high quality dialogue under tight deadlines for a diverse cast of characters who live in the time period provided" and "remotely collaborate with writers and other designers to create open-world story content."

At first glance, these requirements don't appear to definitively indicate Sucker Punch is producing a Ghost of Tsushima sequel. After all, open-world games are the studio's bread and butter. Even though Sucker Punch started its promising career with platformers such as the Sly Cooper trilogy and the underrated Rocket: Robot on Wheels, the company experienced newfound fame with the open-world superhero franchise Infamous.

Ghost of Tsushima is the first non-Infamous game Sucker Punch has released in over a decade. Moreover, writing dialogue for characters "who live in the time period provided" is standard for any video game — it's difficult to immerse players in a medieval fantasy if characters speak in surfer lingo. However, the wording of two specific details (and a healthy dose of speculation) have tipped off audiences.

The job posting's final requirements say applicants should have a "desire to write stories set in feudal Japan," and it implies that applicants will get a leg up on the competition if they have "knowledge of feudal Japanese history." Ghost of Tsushima is essentially Feudal Japan: The Video Game, so the job listing makes a sequel seem like a foregone conclusion. However, according to some gamers, Ghost of Tsushima 2 isn't likely just because of some job listing but also because of history itself.

Ghost of Tsushima takes place in the late 13th century and focuses on the attempted invasion of Japan by the Mongol empire. The Mongols' first stop is Tsushima Island, and the main character, Jin Sakai, rises to the challenge of rebuffing them. While the game features a few anachronisms such as the katana (which was reportedly invented as a result of the Mongol invasion), it is still based on the real-world Mongol invasion of 1274. And as reddit user braynsy15 pointed out, it was only the first of two such events.

While the Mongols weren't really pushed back by the actions of one man, they still retreated fairly quickly despite having vastly superior forces and weapons. Historical research varies on the reasons the Mongols retreated — some believe it was due to demoralization caused by the death of their general; others think the invasion was actually a recon mission — but the fact remains that the Mongols left Tsushima almost as quickly as they arrived.

More importantly, the Mongols returned to Japan in 1281 (after repeatedly failing to absorb Japan into the Mongol empire through diplomacy), and one of the first Japanese provinces to get hit was Tsushima. This time, however, the Japanese were prepared and dealt with the bulk of the Mongol forces before they could secure landfall.

The job listing at Sucker Punch is by no means proof that Ghost of Tsushima is receiving a sequel — it could simply be the precursor to more DLC in the vein of Ghost of Tsushima: Legends. However, the historical basis that the Mongols tried to invade Tsushima twice lends credence to the theory. In fact, since Ghost of Tsushima is firmly rooted in Japanese history, a sequel would likely follow suit and replicate the second invasion's emphasis on naval warfare. Or — since the second failed Mongol campaign targeted more regions than just Tsushima — a sequel could give players new locations to explore.

Only time will tell if this job posting (and the historical record) is indicative of a Ghost of Tsushima sequel.