By Adam Smith on September 25th, 2012 at 3:00 pm.
The first thing that should be said when considering the possibility of Platinum Games self-publishing on PC – and that is the exciting future we are considering this postnoon – is that the company no longer retains the IPs that were originated at Clover Studio, its ancestral home. Those IPs are Okami, GOD HAND, Viewtiful Joe, GOD HAND and GOD HAND. A wiser man than me can tell you why that’s a shame. They do own the rights to Vanquish though and Bayonetta, the game that Devil May Cry occasionally aspires to be, and there’s an abundance of talent and imagination at the studio. So, executive director Atsushi Inaba, take it away: “I was thinking – with our own money – about creating a PC title for Steam.” Do tell.
Before continuing, it’s worth pointing out that there’s almost certainly more to this than the recent trend of abandoning of the aged console generation for a brief period while the new generation shuffles in the starting gates. It is tempting to invoke Carlyle when looking at the state of the console market – “the Old has passed away: but, alas, the New appears not in its stead” – but Platinum, and Clover before them, have never seemed particularly comfortable in the pocket of a major publisher. Bayonetta 2 is a Wii U exclusive because a “strong, cooperative partner” was needed, but Inaba recognises that not all projects need such a budget, as he said to CVG.
“Console game development budgets are really big, so we need publishing partners to create those games. I was thinking – with our own money – about creating a PC title for Steam. It would give us the possibility to become a publisher, which is very attractive to me.”
Platinum’s output feels more Cactus than Capcom, and the thought of seeing Godhand reimagined as a sibling of Hotline Miami is hugely exciting. Of course that’s what I immediately imagine a PC version of God Hand would be like, which says more about my metaphysical indie-punk tattoos than the actual state of the industry, but let me dream.
There may be some parallels with From’s porting of Dark Souls, which will hopefully lead to a closer relationship between developer and platform, and Platinum do recognise the size of the market as well as the freedom of self-publishing.
“If you think about the console market in Japan, and compare it to the world, it’s not that big. So I view the PC as an area with huge potential. It would be great if we could do a Kickstarter and gather enough money for a game to be released on Steam.”
It’s not just about reaching the existing PC market though – Inaba recognises the huge potential of the slumbering scene in his own country. It’d certainly be another huge chapter in the Kickstarter story if Platinum were to act on these ambitions. It wouldn’t be too much of a leap, as Digitalspy learned:
“We create the basic framework of our games on the PC, so even though the hardware changes it doesn’t influence the creation of our games…”