Platinum Games: 'Difficulty of making original IP led us to licensed work'

Platinum Games: 'Difficulty of making original IP led us to licensed work'
Matthew Jarvis

By Matthew Jarvis

February 5th 2016 at 10:05AM

Bayonetta and Scalebound creator explains the freedom that building on existing franchises can offer

The studio behind some of the most distinctive experiences in games has revealed the challenge of innovation.

Platinum Games is best known for its creation of unique series such as action franchise Bayonetta and Wii U oddity The Wonder 101, as well as upcoming Xbox One exclusive Scalebound.

However, in recent years, the developer has turned to working within other companies’ IP. It released a hack ‘n’ slash spin-off to the Metal Gear Solid series, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance in 2013, as well as an ‘80s-flavoured Transformers game in last year’s Transformers: Devastation.

It’s currently set to release Star Fox, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Nier in 2016 alone, with another Wii U-only title, Project Guard, planned for the future.

“We used to have the idea that we wanted to be a studio that only made 100 percent original games,” CEO Tatsuya Minami told Famitsu (via Kotaku) in an article celebrating the outlet’s tenth anniversary.

“However, it turns out that only doing that is considerably difficult, and so now we take on various work.”

While working with existing IP may seem limiting for a studio usually regarded for its originality, game director Eiro Shirahama revealed that excelling in certain areas can open new doors.

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

Minami revealed that over the studio’s lifetime its workforce has tripled, booming from 60 staff in 2006 to around 180 today.

He said that, whether through original IP or licensed work, gunning for growth has always been the top priority.

“If you don’t have that kind of feeling, you can’t keep on going,” he stated.

“Ten, 20 years from now, I want to aim even higher.”