PlatinumGames is known for its stylish fast-paced action that we’ve seen throughout the years in titles such as Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, NieR: Automata, Bayonetta, and more. While they’re mostly known for work on licensed titles, PlatinumGames’ head of development and producer Atsushi Inaba recently talked about the company’s current focus, which involves creating its own IP and self-publishing in an interview with GameInformer.
Here are some points of interest from the interview:
So what has Platinum been focusing on lately?
Atsushi Inaba, head of development and producer: One of the things Platinum is focused on is we’re looking into creating our own IP, creating our own game. Up until now, obviously we’ve worked on original IPs for a wide variety of publishers. We’ve also worked on other Hollywood IPs for other publishers as well. But we’re becoming more and more interested in the idea of self-publishing and doing our own title.
So how would that look? What would that process look like for you guys?
Over the last year we’ve pretty much opened the company up to “Anybody can pitch a game,” and so over the last year we’ve gotten about 70 design documents from different people. And if you’re going list out the other random ideas, the scratched stuff on paper, that’s a hell of a lot more. So this year has been about us basically diluting which stuff we wanted to focus on and not focus on, and drilling down to the point where we now have two designs that we’re genuinely focused on.
Are those all ideas for bigger games, or do you guys kind of look at what the indie space is doing? Are you thinking about doing a small, indie-style game?
We can’t put together a AAA, $10 million-plus game, because we just don’t have that sort of cash as an independent developer. However, we don’t plan to go the indies route with just a few people on a team making a game, so it’ll be somewhere in the middle, looking at probably about 20 people on the staff making the game, so that’ll still be a healthy [size].
Are you guys looking at what people are doing elsewhere in Japan, or anywhere in the West, for examples of what those kinds of games could look like?
Rather than looking at other companies and how they’ve done it, for us the reason we want to do it is we want to motivate the people that work here. We want to give them an opportunity to make their own game. That being said, if you’re going to put 20 people on the development, it has to be something that’s on brand and on topic, and obviously when people think of the Platinum Games brand, they expect crazy hardcore action, right? That’s what they’re looking for. And so we have to be reticent of that. We want to surprise them by the fact that we’re doing this independent title and hopefully get support from the fanbase. But we don’t want to surprise them by, say, doing a princess-clothing-making game or something like that. It would totally not be what people want from Platinum Games.
I would be interested to see what you guys did with a princess-clothing game.
You know, as we got down to the selection process, there was actually a game that was kind of in that direction, but when we made the final round picks, it was just like, yeah, this one’s not going do it [laughs].
Does this change your direction for releasing big AAA games? If you’re going to self-publish, does it affect your relationship with other publishers as well?
First off, we will continue to do AAA games for other publishers and that’s because, again, we don’t have the cash flow to take on the risk to only do self-published games. In order to do a AAA title with that amount of risk, you need to be with a big company, a publisher so to speak. We don’t think that us doing self-published titles, just based on the scope and scale of what they are, is going to interfere with relationships with other publishers because, again, the style and the size and scope of games that we do with them is going to be much bigger compared to this to the point where they realize we’re not really competing in the same markets.
Doing something on our own, self-publishing it, releasing it, all of that is a challenge for us, but right now everybody is incredibly motivated and working on that. So all the fans, anybody who looks at the website or reads the magazine, look forward to something cool in the future from Platinum.
You can check out the full interview over at GameInformer.