Why PlatinumGames’ President Left His Job At Capcom

By Ishaan . April 16, 2013 . 12:30pm

PlatinumGames president Tatsuya Minami used to work at Capcom, like a lot of other Platinum staff members. Minami stayed with the publisher for 20 years, working on franchises such as Resident Evil, Devil May Cry and more, until his departure in 2006.

 

“At Capcom I was working on lots of titles, and a lot of those were just things that needed to be done for the company,” Minami explains in a Polygon interview, regarding why he left Capcom.

 

“And in the process of doing that, I started to feel more and more frustrated. My biggest personal motivation for leaving was I realized that if I started my own company and brought in a whole bunch of new people, we’d be able to make original and new things.”

 

Now that Platinum are a recognized developer, Minami is happy with his studio’s output when it comes to the quality of their games. He gives his staff members an “A” for putting out high-quality games. However, he says, the business side of things leaves much to be desired.

 

“Whether we’ve sold as well as we would have liked, or whether the company has the amount of money that everybody would love to have in the company, I think I’d probably rate it as a C or even a D,” Minami admits. He even provides an example of a game that he feels should have sold better—Bayonetta, published by Sega.

 

Bayonetta didn’t sell what we wanted it to sell,” Minami says. “We were hoping it was going to do a little bit better than that, though you can’t put it all on the game itself. I think there were a lot of issues with when it came out, the kind of marketing behind it.”

 

On the bright side, Minami expects Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance to sell better than Bayonetta did, thanks to the strength of the Metal Gear brand and effective marketing. PlatinumGames are also working on two titles for Nintendo—The Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2, both of which Nintendo are funding.

 


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  • Sentsuizan_93

    Hmm. A very good interview. And a very understandable reason for his departure. I think Platinum can only get better with their game development. And hopefully there is a bright future for the company.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Obb/100001994017630 Jimmy Dean

    He left right around the time I lost all respect for that company. Capcom, Square, Tecmo, they’re all just hollow shells of what they used to be.

    • almostautumn

      I get Tecmo, but Capcom and S-E are still churning out dynamite titles. S-E moved to handheld, sure, but their games there are the finest available for the PSP/DS. And Capcom; Asura’s Wrath and E.X. Troopers are two of the slickest games this gen, and Remember Me looks insanely good. Also, Lost Planet is a wayyyy overlooked series; the first one is rough via single-player, but the 2nd one is aces, aces, aces in just every way. Plus, their PSN/XBLA offerings are just terrific.

      • Richard N

        Despite the quality of the titles, the way those companies have managed their assets and interaction with the fans have made me lose some respect for them. I’m sure that’s what Bob is referring to as well.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          Despite the quality of the titles, the way those companies have managed their assets and interaction with the fans have made me lose some respect for them.

          I don’t think this is a fair claim to make, in part because prior to this generation, there was no interaction with fans. There is arguably more interaction with fans than ever before, owing to things like forums, Twitter, Facebook and more high-profile websites than ever through which interviews and features are conducted. If anything, I would say that interacting with fans can actually be detrimental if you aren’t careful what you say.

          • Edzo04

            i miss the pre-social networking era :(

          • Richard N

            Perhaps I was jumping the gun abit when I said interaction with fans.

            “I would say that interacting with fans can actually be detrimental if you aren’t careful what you say.”

            You gotta learn to #dealwithit Ishaan. lol

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Yeah. Like that. :P

          • KuchikiSentou

            Tell them.
            I personally don’t like these general statements like “losing respect” etc. I want to read concrete reasons following such statements.
            Ragging on established companies [EA for example] is an internet fad; to my mind. Sure there is a degree of substance; but that substance is rarely reflected in comments such as the top.

            The reader lost respect around the time Minami-san left. What was Capcom doing wrong then? Okami? Onimusha?
            Exactly how are these companies shells of what they used to be? Could it not be that the industry has changed, the sensibilities of what players are and what they look for? Is it as a result of decisions these companies made?

            What drives these sentiments?

          • Richard N

            Well I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a problem with Capcom since like 2004. Megaman X was getting worse and worse. There really wasn’t really going on in the Street Fighter world except for the rerelease of 3rd Strike. There was Resident Evil 4 though, and that was amazing.

            Clover was there yeah and they did great stuff. And then Capcom shut down the studio because they didn’t sell good enough.

      • ShadowDivz

        The second one was a let down for me. I mostly bought it to fight giant akrid and was left VERY dissappointed. I think you fight like… 6?
        As for SE, 13 one was totally meh(i have it right now) 13-2 (judging from the demo) is pretty awesome. And 13-3 looks like it will be even better.
        But i wish we could final fantasy ver–TYPE-0! Did i get you?
        I honestly dont care for versus anymore itl come out when its out(assuming it does) but i really want type-0 for the vita.

      • Matenshi

        Besides Bravely Default (which is basically original-style Final Fantasy) what exactly has Square-Enix put out recently on handhelds that’s so amazing? Square used to be THE JRPG company; now we get a bunch of FF titles that don’t feel like FF anymore (with way too many in the XIII continuity), a million KH side-games/spin-offs that needlessly complicate the story, stupid social games out the ass that bilk you in every way, and the few enjoyable gems that come out like The Last Remnant (the PC version; the original 360 version was poor) get overlooked by both marketing and players. It’s no comparison to the days of games like Chrono Trigger, Xenogears, Super Mario RPG, Parasite Eve…

        Asura’s Wrath and Remember Me are actually developed by other companies (and E.X. Troopers probably won’t even see release outside of Japan) so it’s a tad hard to accept those as examples of Capcom’s greatness. Even if you did, that’s sad compared to what they used to be. They were one of the most preeminent game developers around, making amazing titles of every genre imaginable. Mega Man was one of the staple platforming series, Breath of Fire was a competent RPG series, they had great licensed games like DuckTales and Rescue Rangers, they had awesome quirky combinations of genres like the Gargoyle’s Quest/Demon’s Crest series, they had Resident Evil for survival horror, they had really original things coming out of Clover studio like Okami and Viewtiful Joe, etc. And I won’t even get into the on-disc DLC crap or how they apparently are absolutely horrible to their employees.

        • almostautumn

          S-E Handheld Greats (PSP/DS);
          Final Fantasy Type-0 (PSP)
          The World Ends with You (DS)
          Final Fantasy 4: Complete Collection (A truly definitive remake) (PSP)
          Kingdom Hearts: BBS (PSP)
          FF7: Crisis Core (PSP)
          Tactics Ogre (PSP)
          FF: Dissidia 012 (PSP)
          Valkyrie Profile” Lenneth (PSP) *Static port, sure, but the original game is so damn rare that this is a great entry*
          And I’ll say it; The 3rd Birthday, for PSP, is an awesome game. It may not do the PE series justice in terms of story-telling, but the game itself is just amazing. Easily one of the most climactic, intense, and enjoyable games for the system.
          And I dunno about Vita, but S-E seems to be keeping this trend with the 3DS. With Bravely Default kicking a** all over the place, as well as Terry’s Wonderland, they’ve also their new IP coming up, Gyrozetter, which looks like it’s going to be a ton of fun.

          And with Asura’s Wrath— wasn’t Capcom directly connected to CyberConnect’s development of it? I remember seeing that it was a joint effort, but maybe not…
          E.X. Troopers won’t be localized, but the game is 100% playable without knowing Japanese; well worth it, dude! It’s an amazing game.
          Also, I’ll give that Capcom have made extremely strange choices with letting beloved series like Viewtiful Joe and Ominusha go completely dormant, as well as botching the RE series into a disorganized, identity-crisis product (although 5 was profitable for them), but still— they made up for it with RE:R, if ya’ ask me, and I’m glad to see them pursuing it with the HD gloss-over, as well as recognizing they’re mistakes with RE6.
          Also, Capcom are responsible for churning out some serious new ideas this gen. “Dead Rising” is an awesome series; “Bionic Commando” was a really rad and fresh retail title; and “Dragon’s Dogma” is just dope to the umpteenth level! Beside the above mentioned Asura and E.X. Troop, they’ve also kept it real with expanding the Monster Hunter Franchise to some seriously deep and inspiring levels, spanning multiple platforms—
          I dunno. They don’t just “churn ‘em out” like they used to, I agree, but this is a new era also; videogames take forever to develop, and the money it costs really is pretty crazy. I mean, looking at all the other companies, in terms of retail console titles, I think Capcom really has been the most daring of them all. Not for handhelds; they’re lineup there is pretty simple. But with consoles? Maybe they didn’t work out all of the time, like Dark Void and RE:Operation Racoon, but hey— they’re trying, or I think so at least, and I can really dig their efforts.

      • puchinri

        I agree with this. I may not like all of SE’s recent decisions and handling (same for Capcom), but I do think quite a few of the titles from the last two gens have been pretty good (great, even) and I’m thankful for those.

        It also took quite a bit of balls for Capcom to pick up Remember Me (in general, but I feel that especially after hearing what the devs had to say about other publishers). I think they could be handling some things a bit better and there’s room for improvement, but I do think they will improve anyway so I’m not that worried.

    • Odin

      There are still a lot of core members working at Capcom. In regards to their franchises, I believe the guys who worked on Monster Hunter, Lost Planet, and Resident Evil (among others) are still around (or haven’t left), so to say that is kind of odd.

    • KuchikiSentou

      I haven’t lost respect for any of these publishers. They’ve put out great titles over the past 5 years, to my mind. Perhaps one not as many as others.

      I think whatever slump there is with them, is also applicable to the industry in general. I think that the landscape changed and expectations are different now than they were in ’06. Recognising those changes is one thing; responding to them is another.

      Games-wise, I can’t pick out any major falters from those publishers, aside from Ninja Gaiden 3; and perhaps the staling Dynasty Warriors franchise. Probably Resident Evil 6 and Lost Planet from Capcom.
      Can’t give any of these guys stick. People popularly rag on Square, but I still haven’t seen why. The complaints I usually hear are about the XIII games, which I enjoyed, so I’m often mystified.
      Capcom brought out Ultimate Marvel and SF, DmC, Dragon’s Dogma, Asura’s Wrath.. games I thoroughly enjoyed.

      So I humbly ask, why do you view these companies as hollow shells?

      • Raos

        Didn’t you get the memo? it’s the cool thing to do these days, and with sensationalist sites helping to spread it (mostly Kotaku but there are others) it’s gonna get worse.

        • KuchikiSentou

          I too share that sentiment. I don’t know about specific sites, but there is this tendency for repeating some mantra regarding a game company.

  • landlock

    “Bayonetta didn’t sell what we wanted it to sell,” Minami
    says. “We were hoping it was going to do a little bit better than that,
    though you can’t put it all on the game itself. I think there were a lot
    of issues with when it came out, the kind of marketing behind it.”

    I can’t imagine Bayonetta 2 outselling the original. The fact that’s it’s exculsive on one console won’t help. Let alone the WiiU.

    • ShadowDivz

      Personally, i can’t imagine playing an action game like Ninja Gaiden or Bayonetta with a WiiU controller.

      • landlock

        Well you should be able to use the WiiU pro controller which would be better then the actual WiiU controller for Bayonetta 2 I would think.

        • ShadowDivz

          didn’t know about another controller

        • Ibi Salmon

          How is the Pro controller any better from the Gamepad(aside from the battery life)? Touchscreen aside, the gamepad has the same set of buttons and analog sticks you would find on the pro controller.

          • DiosFancifulRomp

            Because it’s less hefty and just like the PS360 controllers. Although I think the Gamepad is pretty light and I have no complaints about it myself.

          • Ibi Salmon

            Well, it certainly is bigger if that’s what you mean.

    • Urien (仙人をリンク)

      Well, I might as well share this info with you. I’ve run this time and time again on many sites, and even YouTube. Though I’ll give the short version.

      Bayonetta 2 got picked up by Nintendo because SEGA fucked up. SEGA had spent most of their budget on Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed, which only did mediocre in it’s sales after it’s release. As such, PlatinumGames didn’t have the money to cover all of that, so they were faced with two decisions: Gamble their money, and multi-platform in order to break even, or they had to cancel Bayonetta 2 within it’s current state of development (and we don’t want that <_<).

      However, Nintendo saw this, and essentially stuck their hand out to help them. Though, like a lot of companies/businesses, there's always a catch. They had to make it exclusive to the Wii U, in order to achieve the funding in which they so desired. While I'm upset at the fact that I can't get it on PS3, I don't mind this.

      I've personally grown up with Nintendo all my life, and I've noticed something Nintendo is famous for, other than making video games family oriented: Eliminating the competition, or making them work with them, in order to thrive. Despite what people have to say about them, they know what it's like to run the gaming industry around their fingers, because they do it at a corporate level, and have been doing so for decades.

      • landlock

        I read on multiple sites though SEGA has a small fortune stored away for a rainy day. I’m guessing they just weren’t interested in Bayonetta 2 for whatever reason and like you said Nintendo stepped in.

        • Urien (仙人をリンク)

          Yeah, that small rainy day money? Most likely for Phantasy Star Online 2, whenever they decide to release it (and stop pushing back the damn title).

  • Solomon_Kano

    Hopefully Platinum achieves the success they deserve. Rising’s already looking to go beyond most of their output. Hooking up with Konami for MG was a power move and it’ll only grow their profile. Sadly, I don’t see Bayo 2 doing any better than the first, but partnering with Nintendo means it won’t hurt them as much. The Wonderful 101 though, I think that has potential to be big. It looks like the sort of title Ninty could whip up a killer marketing push for.

    I look forward to Platinum taking their rightful place as one of gaming’s top talents.

  • Zal_Yagun

    One thing I noticed with platinum is that with Anarchy Reigns and Rising they dont have much to go on to make Fantastic environments, compared to Bayonetta and Vanquish.

    Hopefully Bayonetta2 will have that covered. And hopefully I eventually wont need a WiiU to play it

    • AkuLord3

      Yeah you will

  • d19xx

    They made Bayonetta for the most unpopular console in Japan and let Sega port it poorly on the PS3. Now their making 2 games for a struggling console.

    They could just hope that Nintendo has turned the WiiU around by the time they release those games………..

    • Edzo04

      the wii u will turn around this year.

      • Ibi Salmon

        It better. Otherwise, it’ll be left in the dust.

    • puchinri

      I don’t think it’s struggling, it’s just not doing as phenomal as its older sibling. But I am hoping that there will be a bigger audience and better chances for the game by the time it does come out (although I guess we should also hope that they don’t set its date for something too close to any of the larger Ninty titles coming out later).

  • Ben Chau

    Platinum Games are one of the few companies left I respect. These guys really deserve more.

  • Edzo04

    still cant believe bayonetta didnt sell well. people are weird

    • Tom

      And I can put together a list of great games that failed at metascore and sales but deserve more and fans love them. For starter, Nier, Valkyria Chronicles, Binary Domain…

      • AkuLord3

        well besides Valkyria Chronicles (Japanese wise) there are many reasons why some titles don’t do the justice they deserve usually its Marketing

      • TrevHead

        Well I would say that gamers wanted different things back then, as gamers and the media were too busy praying to the alter of western game devs to notice anything niche and original. Time have changed though, the west is in a slump and gamers are wanting something different, so now they are going back and playing these cult classics and becoming fans themselves. Just look at this thread of the top 10 games of last gen from a forum of supposingly PC centric gamers, http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.405860-Your-Top-10-Games-of-this-Generation

        That sad thing is that now is the right time for sequels of these cult classics to come out, (but with tight budgets), unfortunately the only one to surface is Bayo 2 and that’s WiiU exclusive.

  • Tom

    I bought Vanquish, Bayonetta and MadWorld as a used copy. Then I realized that Platinum had something special. I really liked the MGR demo but I wasn’t really into buying it too early then finally decided that these guys deserve my pre-order purchase and my full price money.

  • puchinri

    Good for him, and I do hope things improve for the company overall. It’d be great to have an A on both fronts~.

    I’m looking forward to both titles, and I can’t wait to see what else they have in store.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jraimey Justin Raimey

    I see where this guy is coming from. Capcom needs to focus on new things so more good employees like this one will stay. Dragon’s Dogma was new, and it was really good. They need to do more of that.

  • MrJechgo

    Platinum could use a boost actually. Making a 3D beat-em-up that isn’t called God of War is tough these days…

    • AkuLord3

      …because GoW was the father of 3D beat em ups/Hack and Slasher : P

      • Kelohmello

        GoW sells. It has a big name in the west because of what it is. The game’s actual quality need not be discussed, the fact is in the west, it makes money.

        • Göran Isacson

          Although who knows, maybe not even God of War can sell big anymore. I heard that the latest title “only” sold in the hundreds of thousands instead of the millions other games in the franchise sold in, and maybe that’s not enough for Sony so… maybe even they’re on the way out now.

  • SilentMC

    Hmm interesting. Didn’t Keiji Inafune say something similiar shortly after he left Capcom? Looks like it’s something that not only he felt

  • http://jromanrex.com/ Jesus Roman Leal

    Mostly been buying Monster Hunter and ports from older games (non fighting games) from Capcom lately. I miss games like Okami and Viewtiful Joe but we’ll probably see some soon after the slowdown with the fighting games and patches for them.

  • Happy Gamer

    I always go on and on about how much I love Bayonetta and all my friends and random people I meet on net, when I compare trophies or xbox games, I so far have never seen bayonetta on their list. It is honestly one of my favorite games in the past 15 years or so, others including Okami as well (from “same” developers)

  • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

    Did Kamiya ever explain why he left Capcom? I heard he was not happy with Devil May Cry 2 but I don’t know what happened then.

    • z_merquise

      Yeah, but at least he still able to direct 2 more games, Viewtiful Joe and Okami even after DMC 2.

      More likely he joined the rest of the people after Capcom dissolved Clover Studios. Maybe they no longer like the new direction of Capcom’s management after the studio’s closure.

      • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

        Was Clover dissolved due to bad sales? Okami was pretty awesome but I heard it didn’t sell well.

        • z_merquise

          Yes. That’s the sole reason why the studio was closed. The staff (or most of them, I think) then left Capcom after that.

  • TrevHead

    It’s amazing just how many ppl are fans of Platinum and From nowadays. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.405860-Your-Top-10-Games-of-this-Generation

    These Japanese studios are hot things right now, it would be a shame for them to not capitalise on it.

  • Adam I.

    I know VGchartz isn’t perfect but according to them Bayonetta sold roughly 1.8m copies between both consoles. That’s not bad at all, considering it’s a new IP

    • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

      Maybe their expectations were bigger since they released it for two consoles.

  • z_merquise

    I think Metal Gear Rising is their most biggest seller in Japan. I don’t know how it sold in other countries.

    Still, I’m happy that Platinum Games is getting more and more recognition these days. Though it’s kinda sad that most of their games aren’t huge sellers, they always develop the kind of games I really wanted to see and play.

    I wish them the best of luck in the future and hope that they became more successful. They’re one of the few game developers that I really wanted to support.

  • konsama

    Wonderful 101 looks freaking fun and interesting, i really look forward to it.

  • le0nsz

    Man, i missed Viewtiful Joe and Okami which Clover Studio made..
    Both is in my top 10 list the best franchise..

  • gamefreak86

    They earned my attention with Bayonetta. Got it for 360 originally. I dumped my 360 and went back to ps3. Bought Bayonetta again, Anarchy Reigns day one, mgsr collectors. Will have wonderful 101 and bayonetta 2 day one. Fav dev for me.

  • z_merquise

    This is one of the most interesting part of the interview:

    Minami says Platinum has also developed several game concepts in its office that never got off the ground, including one that made it far enough into development for the team to create a trailer. But he can’t give details because “it was based on somebody else’s IP. It was kind of a major thing and we don’t want to upset them.

    I wonder what IP is this, from what company and why it’s never completed.

  • Göran Isacson

    I will clap my hands and open my wallet to Platinum games because they are good and deserve it in my opinion. I just… want all the best for them, I really do. Hearing this story just enhances that feeling like having a fistfight on top of an ICBM enhanced Bayonetta into an experience I will never ever forget.

    FISTFIGHT ON AN ICBEEEMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

    Sorry, I have to do that whenever I reminiscince of Bayonetta. At any rate- what was the Kotaku-article that got Kamiya so mad?

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