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The real-life island of Tsushima has awarded two senior members of the Ghost Of Tsushima development team an incredible honour. Sucker Punch game director Nate Fox and creative director Jason Connell are to be come permanent tourism ambassadors of the city of Tsushima in Nagasaki as a reward for their work on the PlayStation 4 title.
As reported by VGC, the island announced this week that the developers are to receive this award, along with a letter of appreciation, at a digital event. This is the kind of thing that would usually be held in person, of course, but the world is what it is right now.
In a statement, Tsushima mayor Hiroki Hitakatsu spoke a little bit about why they decided to honor Fox and Connell for their work.
"[Fox and Connell] spread the name and history of Tsushima to the whole world in such a wonderful way," the mayor explained. "Even a lot of Japanese people do not know the history of the Gen-ko period. When it comes to the world, the name and location of Tsushima is literally unknown, so I cannot thank them enough for telling our story with such phenomenal graphics and profound stories.
"The appointment of Tourism Ambassador is from today until Mr. Jason and Mr. Nate no longer wish to have it. In fact, I had been thinking and discussing about appointing the role to them ever since I discovered they were using Tsushima's name as the name of their work.
"I did not appoint them for the purpose of having them do anything in the future. Thanks to the two of them, Sucker Punch Productions, and SIE, I have heard from people all over the world who have learned about Tsushima through their works, and now want to see, know, and go to Tsushima."
The city is also set to begin an exciting new collaboration with Sony aimed at creating a new tourism campaign based entirely around Ghost Of Tsushima. It will be designed to encourage fans of the game to learn more about the real-life island and its many landmarks.
This isn't the first time Ghost Of Tsushima has won praise for its depiction of the island and respect for history. Last year fans of the game helped raise over $260k to repair a damaged torii gate on the island. Yuichi Hirayama, a priest at Tsushima's Watatsumi Shrine, thanked the fans for their help and acknowledged the game's role in driving support that might otherwise have not existed.
With Ghost Of Tsushima 2 almost certainly in development as we speak, this honour is bound to be a major morale boost for the entire time.
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