Platinum Games needed to make other studios' games to survive

platinum games original ip is hard scalebound
Platinum Games, the developer behind Bayonetta and Vanquish, among others, has become a popular choice for publishers looking to spice up a franchise by handing the reigns over to a third-party developer. While the unique aesthetic and gameplay sensibility reflects the developer’s original vision, Platinum Games CEO Tatsuya Minami explained that the studio had originally planned to stick to its own ideas, but left that aspect of its vision behind to become the company it is today.

“We used to have the idea that we wanted to be a studio that only made 100 percent original games,” Platinum Games CEO Tatsuya Minami said, according to Kotaku. “However, it turns out that only doing that is considerably difficult, and so now we take on various work.”

From 2009 to 2012, Platinum only made original IP, including the original Bayonetta. In 2013, the game applied its signature fast-paced action mechanics to its first third-party collaboration, the Metal Gear spin-off, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Since then, the studio has adapted a number of popular franchises in its house style, such as The Legend of Korra and Transformers, while working on original titles, such as Wii U exclusives Bayonetta 2 and The Wonderful 100. While taking on work related to previously established franchises generally leads to publishing constraints, Platinum Game Director Eiro Shirahama said the studio’s reputation has afforded them artistic freedom that other work-for-hire developers generally don’t receive.

“The IP holders also are like ‘Let Platinum Games do what they do for the action parts,’” Shirahama said, “so we are given tremendous freedom with development.”

Taking on projects for other publishers has allowed the studio to expand from 60 people to 180, who are currently working on four games, Star Fox Zero, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan,  Nier: Automata, and Scalebound.

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