Famitsu.com interviews Platinum Games
Reasons for siding with Sega and couple of shots at Capcom.
Sega sent the Platinum Games staff across the great Pacific Ocean for the full unveiling of the hot-shot developer's first three games this past week. It seems that the editorial staff of Famitsu.com followed them, and managed to return to Japan with a lengthy interview. Here's a recap of the site's question and answer session with Shigenori Nishikawa, Hifumi Kono, Tatsuya Minami, Atsuhi Inaba, and Hideki Kamiya.
The site first asked Team Platinum, whose core staff originates from Capcom and the now defunct Clover Studio (Viewtiful Joe, Okami), why they went with Sega as a publisher. Minami shared that the company was in talks with a number of publishers, but the biggest reason that they ended up going with Sega is because the freedom offered to them would be high. "Looking at the current game industry, there are a lot of sequels, and many publishers want these," explained Minami. "If we were to make sequels, we wouldn't have left our previous company. We just wanted to make original titles, and Sega was best for realizing that desire."
Asked if they're afraid of the risks involved in creating original titles, Minami responded, "We previously worked in-house as a publisher, but now we are an independent development studio. In other words, our number one mission is to create software of high quality. Delivering this to game players and selling it is Sega's job."
Inaba chimed in here with some clarification on all this talk about fresh new titles, explaining that while Platinum's games may seem "too fresh," the freshness comes atop a solid game base. "They're not difficult to understand," he assured. The reason Platinum can do this, added Minami, is that the staff members have a track record of making solid games.
Perhaps noting the oddity of the situation, with a Japanese website interviewing a Japanese development studio on American soil, Famitsu asked about Platinum's apparent push for a worldwide development mindset. "Seeing as how the North American and European markets are bigger [than Japan's]," said Minami, "we believe a worldwide push is necessary. Also, at our previous company, we were told that we must be accepted worldwide, so we've been trained that way."
The site also had the development staff comment individually on the three fully announced titles, Bayonetta for the PS3 and Xbox 360, Mugeno Kouro for the DS, and Madworld for the Wii (a fourth game is in development under Resident Evil and Dino Crisis creator Shinji Mikami, but specifics beyond this have not been revealed). Nishikawa's description of Madworld was particularly notable. In the words of the director, "Madworld is being developed for the Wii, so we're aiming for a brutal game that can be enjoyed by the whole family. We hope to make a game that, ten or twenty years later, will remain in the memory of those who played it."
Closing off, the site quizzed the other side of the publishing deal, asking Sega's domestic (as in internal to Japan) consumer software head Hiroyuki Miyazaki about the new partnership.
As Miyazaki explained, things first started about a year ago when Platinum selected Sega as its partner. "I believe that 'worldwide' was the key word," said Miyazaki. "Excluding Nintendo, Sega has the largest overseas software sales among domestic makers. Looking at Platinum Games, it's clear that they're considering overseas markets, and with that, we believe Sega is the best partner."
Asked the reverse question, where he feels the charm of Platinum Games lies, Miyazaki said, "Action. When making action games, they're number one in the world, we believe."
As Minami suggested earlier in the interview, Sega is giving Platinum full freedom. Explained Minami, Sega will, as the publisher, offer suggestions on what elements need to be in the game when selling it, but Platinum is free to reject or accept those suggestions. "When it comes to game development they're pros, so we're entrusting the content to them."
Miyazaki also revealed to the site that Sega expects big things in particular from Mugen Kouro, the DS game, in the Japanese market.