For years, Platinum Games has been responsible for the creation of some of the most visceral action titles out there, including the Bayonetta series, Vanquish and NieR: Automata. But it sounds like for future releases, the company may try a different approach to its games.
Last year, the team announced that it would be focusing more on games in which it owns the rights. That doesn't mean it was going to give up on popular franchises. But that could lead to a future in which it works on titles directly for itself.
GamesIndustry International recently spoke with Platinum co-founder Hideki Kamiya and head of development Atsushi Inaba about this new strategy. Inaba noted, "When you have a publisher and they fund the entire game, it comes with strings attached and those strings are that sometimes you can't make a sequel. Sometimes it's all up to them. So to really have control over what you've made, you have to fund it and make it yourself. That allows you a lot of freedom, a lot of different options. That's why, if you're a developer of our size, it's why you would want to do more self-publishing and self-funding."
Kamiya then added, "Wanting to create our own content and our own IP... Even when I was making the first Bayonetta, there were some frustrations that were occurring between not funding it ourselves and being controlled in certain areas by other companies. We have the confidence and the selfish desire to make something that is ours and control it 100 per cent - we've had that for a long time."
The studio was in dire straits last year when Microsoft cancelled its ambitious Scalebound; and if it weren't for Automata it probably would've been shut down. So in the face of such business hiccups, it's considering trying something on its own terms.
"It's not been one individual event, it's been all of them collected together," said Inaba. "You definitely realise if you're a creator and you want to give the director all the control, if he really wants to be able to make something 100 percent free, the only way you can do it is this way. Because there are strings attached - no matter what - if you're going to do it on somebody else's dime."
It's not walking out on big IP's completely. There's Bayonetta 3 for Nintendo Switch to consider (which is in development) and whispers of a NieR: Automata sequel are circling. "We're not opposed to doing licensed games at all," Inaba noted. "It has to be a licence we like - everyone in the company has one or two licences they think is really cool and would love to work on.
"If that connects, and the opportunity is there, we'd certainly pursue it. Or if there's an opportunity to do something with a licence that evolved it, expanded it, do something that had not been done before - which is often very hard with licences because there are lots of limitations preventing you from doing that - then that would be another creative reason for us to potentially go in that direction."
But it sounds like, at some point in the future, Platinum Games may try something all its own. It's like that it's this new mobile project, World of Demons, which is currently in development. After that though, we'll have to see what's coming next.3comments