While everyone gets excited about PlatinumGames making games exclusively for Wii U, it's easy to forget that Platinum's first two games were released only on Nintendo consoles. First up was the comic book violence of Madworld and it was followed up by the vast DS sci-fi RPG Infinite Space. From those two games alone, it's easy to see that Platinum are a bit different.
After a hiatus on Xbox 360 and PS3, Platinum are back making games for Nintendo consoles once more, starting with The Wonderful 101, a game that would appear to fuse Pikmin with the visual style of Viewtiful Joe. Yet it was the news that Bayonetta 2 is coming exclusively to Wii U that really shook the gaming world. This is a game that could bring back those who have lost interest in Nintendo gaming but for the hardcore Nintendo fans, the news that Bayonetta 2 will maximise the potential of Wii U is very exciting.
With Nintendo on publishing duties, Satoru Iwata has been chatting with President Tatsuya Minami and Producer Atsushi Inaba about what makes Platinum tick in the latest Iwata Asks. Here are five things we learned about the company whose goal is to make Japanese games great again.
1. Platinum's philisophy - quality over profits
The latest Iwata Asks taught us what drives an indepedent studio like Platinum. Minami wants to show people that Japanese games can be great but aims to achieve that with a studio that merges the best of Japan and the rest of the world.
Despite being based in Japan, Platinum are influened by European and American developers. "I want to achieve as an independent developer what can't be done at a large organization such as a publisher," he says. "The model we aim for is the relationship between Western development studios and publishers. The people at development studios in Europe and America are being funded by publishers but won't do everything they're told."
It's this independent spirit that has enabled them to make cult games such as MadWorld, Infinite Space and Bayonetta. This is a company focused on creativity and quality over profits. "If a large-scale company makes video games, there are all kinds of factors, like when profits need to be made and when something has to be released," added MInami. "Then depending on the circumstances you start cutting corners somewhere and have to hurt the quality somehow. But we couldn't stand that, so for that reason, as an independent developer, I want to make demands and be a group that makes things."
According to MInami, there is only one way to ensure profits (which can be ploughed into making more games): Quality. "If you don't keep making good things, the players will look the other way and the company itself will no longer be able to exist."
Minami also laid out his long term goal. "With what we make, I want to show the world the strength of what it means to be made in Japan and to play a part in that work, and I think that has great significance for developing PlatinumGames on a worldwide scale. As a result, having people say, "Japanese games really are great," was one of my purposes in founding PlatinumGames, so my goal is to achieve that."
He's well on his way...