PlatinumGames recently revealed Project G.G., an entirely new, self-owned, and self-published game that is being directed by veteran director Hideki Kamiya. Project G.G. is part of a series of reveals that Platinum has dubbed the “Platinum4,” which kicked off earlier this year with the announcement of The Wonderful 101: Remastered.
Now, Platinum has also revealed that its third “Platinum4” announcement isn’t a new game, but a new studio.
While PlatinumGames’ main studio is in Osaka, Japan, this new studio is being set up in Tokyo and will begin operations April 2020. According to Platinum, the Tokyo studio will explore the possibility of developing “console live ops game development,” referring to games as a service. On the Platinum website, Studio head Atsushi Inaba states:
So far, the name PlatinumGames has been nearly synonymous with single-player action games. But going forward, we’re looking to expand into new genres and styles of play. One of these new challenges for us is console live ops game development. These aren’t games we’d work on until they were done, and that’s all – rather, we’d continue working on them to provide new content long after release. We want to explore this ongoing development pattern in the home console space.
Inaba adds that the Tokyo studio will “play a major role” as PlatinumGames expands into live ops game development, and that the starting core members of the studio’s future live ops team are already in place. Among them is director Motoi Fujita, who has worked on “around 8 different sports games for mobile platforms that were LiveOps”.
Service games aren’t quite as new to PlatinumGames as one might imagine. In 2016, mobile game developer Cygames announced Lost Order, a strategy game that was being worked on in collaboration with PlatinumGames and Yasumi Matsuno of Tactics Ogre fame. The game went into closed beta in 2017, following which there has been no further news, indicating that it might have been cancelled. Then, in 2018, Platinum announced another mobile game it was working on: World of Demons, developed in collaboration with DeNA. This game, too, appears to have been cancelled following a soft launch in parts of Asia. The difference, of course, is that these were mobile affairs, while Platinum’s Tokyo studio intends to target consoles with its service games.
PlatinumGames CEO Kenichi Sato states: “In December 2019, PlatinumGames entered into a capital alliance with Tencent Holdings. This allowed us to start work on Project G.G., our first entirely original IP, in earnest. It also contributed to our decision to establish PlatinumGames Tokyo – a pillar of our new commitment to building our power as a developer. Between our Osaka office and PlatinumGames Tokyo, we’re poised to make use of the sharpest creative minds in games in both west and east Japan, and expand to even greater possibilities.”
Update, 9:17 PM: It is presently unclear just how involved PlatinumGames’ new Tokyo studio is with Project G.G., or if the two are related at all. We’ve edited our report accordingly.