E3 – A Message from Tatsuya Minami

Platinum Games

Filed: Games, PlatinumGames

E3 is the biggest event in the games industry, and I am very pleased to announce our development of multiple new titles during this year’s show.

Each of the titles we announced is a new kind of challenge for our studio. The reason we’ve taken on these projects is simple. We believe that they are all opportunities for us to exercise our strengths as developers, and collaborations like these lead to final products that both we ourselves, and our fans, will find thrilling.

Our forte is innovative and satisfying action mechanics delivered in an exhilarating package. By playing to our strengths, we believe we can help these beloved IPs shine even brighter – nothing would make us happier than giving our fans exciting new gameplay experiences with these titles.

Finally, even though we haven’t shared anything new with you at this year’s E3, we are working full steam on the development of Scalebound, our next flagship, original creation. We’ll probably be able to share some new information with you at this year’s Gamescom in August.

We can’t wait to continue showing you what is next for PlatinumGames.

PlatinumGames, Inc.

Tatsuya Minami, President and CEO

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Office Closed for a Company Event! (Off we go flower-viewing!)

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

Our yearly flower-viewing party got postponed due to rain, so we didn’t get to enjoy the cherry blossoms in full bloom, but we had a great time under the beautiful new green leaves at Osaka Castle Park!

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As always, our venue was Nishinomaru Garden, located west of Osaka Castle. The mansion of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s wife, Kita no Mandokoro, was said to be located here. Approximately 300 cherry trees are planted on these spacious grounds. Needless to say, this is one of the biggest cherry blossom spots in Osaka! (Next year it would be nice if we actually got to see some flowers. Haha.)

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Including our outsourcing partners and the new grads who joined the company on April 1st, this was a massive party of about 200 people in all!

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It had been rainy since the beginning of April, but on the day of the party, we were blessed by good weather. It was so sunny it was almost hot!

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Sitting around a delicious meal with friends while relishing the change of the seasons is one of the true pleasures of Japanese party culture. You get the chance to talk to people you don’t usually converse with, which could be helpful at work too!

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Here, a new programmer (left) and the lead programmer Kazunori Morita (center) are greeting CEO Tatsuya Minami (right). At PlatinumGames, no one ever needs to worry whether their senpai is noticing them.

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As a groundbreaking new initiative, we have decided to hire a pigeon this year. We thought it would be coo’. (Sorry.)

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A generous employee donated sake for our own little sake tasting corner. This was lovely.

Ever since the founding of PlatinumGames, we’ve held three big yearly events: the flower-viewing party, the new employee welcome party, and the end-of-the-year party. But the flower viewing party is the only one that we close the office and make a huge occasion for! (Sorry for closing the office on a weekday afternoon…)

Today was our biggest festivity of the year, and we enjoyed it to the max!

Extras:

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Lunch with the President

Platinum Games

Filed: Community, PlatinumGames

The latest employee event here at PlatinumGames is birthday lunch month with the president! As the name implies, all employees who have their birthday that month are treated to lunch by president Minami.

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The company started 9 years ago with 40 or so members, but now, with over 170 employees, it has turned into quite a sizeable establishment (from our perspective, anyway). The president suggested this event because he wanted a chance to sit down and talk with all of the employees.

The lunch might also be a way of expressing his gratitude for our work? In any case, it’s a voluminous bento box that looks pretty fancy! (I’m getting jealous…)

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For lunch this time we had quite the range of participants: from new employees who only entered the company in April to veterans who’ve been with the company since its founding, for a total of 8 people.

First of all, the president wanted to know how everyone was doing! So he asked about what they do for lunch. One employee who usually brings her own lunch said, “I’ve been having trouble getting up in the morning to make my lunch these days…” The president shot back with: “But you’re not that busy right now!”

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Then there was some chat about the early days of the employees who’d been with the company since the beginning.

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Next, the president badgered a nervous new employee in his typical fast-talking Kansai dialect. “Don’t you feel homesick, living away from home? Are you doing okay?” It turns out the new employee’s first name is the same as his beloved daughter. His familial feeling must have kicked in, and he just kept spouting out the cantankerous old dad phrases. “Don’t have too much fun!” he chided, chuckling.

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By the time everyone had finished eating, the talk turned to serious work matters. Concerns about how to train new staff, the difficulty of sharing information throughout the development floor, how to pass on expert know-how, how to use lessons learned on subsequent projects… the topics just kept on coming. The lunch had turned into an exchange of opinions that crossed all boundaries of job type and position.

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At one point it got so serious that the president and the CTO, Ohmori, were both holding their heads in their hands in desperation!

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Well, the lunch was only an hour and a half long, so there’s no way all the issues were going to get solved. However, by continuing these opportunities, we hope that horizontal and vertical communication will become smoother, and employees will feel even more comfortable and motivated working here. And of course, we want to create amazing games to pass it back to all of you!

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This was a little longer than our usual lunch hour of 12:30-1:30, but it sounds like it was really worthwhile. Everyone’s looking forward to next month’s lunch!

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A New Year’s Greeting from PlatinumGames

Platinum Games

Filed: Community, PlatinumGames

Happy New Year!

This year, we have a greeting from the president and a video from all our staff. See both of them below!

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Hi everyone, Happy New Year from PlatinumGames.

 

In 2014, we were able to see the sequel to Bayonetta, our flagship title, released to the world, as well as the release of The Legend of Korra, a game available only outside of Japan.

I’d like to express my thanks to all of our fans who supported us by purchasing and playing these titles, and to the staff who worked so hard to make these games’ releases possible.

As a video game developer, a new year doesn’t actually mark an achievement in the history of our company. Our milestones are made when we finish a game and can release it to our fans. Each of those successive milestones has brought PlatinumGames to where it is today.

One way we gauge the success of a game is if our users finish it and think, “I want more.” We strongly believe that Bayonetta 2 would not have been possible without the critical reception of the first. Both of these games represent important milestones for our company, and we are deeply proud of them.

Our other release of 2014, “The Legend of Korra,” involved the game adaptation of a highly popular TV show in the west that has never been released in Japan. The fact that we, a Japanese company, were entrusted with this property, reaffirmed our faith that PlatinumGames is respected across the world. This too, may have been a major turning point for us.

Looking back on last year, PlatinumGames may have advanced from where we were before 2014. Something tells me that, at least. To use videogame parlance, I feel we’ve come to our second playthrough.

In video games, there’s a term called “New Game +”. This is a term for starting the second run of a game with all the experience from your first playthrough carried over.

In a New Game +, you’re powerful enough that you can mostly button mash your way through the repeated areas of the game with little trouble at all, but that’s not what we mean when we say we’re on our second playthrough. We intend to challenge ourselves and explore possibilities we may not have been able to realize until now. This is the attitude we try to maintain everyday as we come to work.

The video game industry is one that is ever-changing. New technology and approaches to game development are introduced daily, constantly giving our staff volumes of new study material. We can’t rely on our past experience to get us through everything. We intend to press forward strongly in 2015, experimenting with new ideas for how to give our fans across the world a thrilling user experience that could only come from Platinum. Thank you as always for all your support.

 

PlatinumGames President and CEO

Tatsuya Minami

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Also, take a look at this New Year’s message from our whole team:

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Happy New Year 2014

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

Happy New Year, everyone!
And thank you for your continuously amazing support!

So how has the past year treated you?
I feel that 2013 has been a year of expansion for us here at PlatinumGames. Last year, we released 3 titles in the west: “Anarchy Reigns,” “Metal Gear Rising Revengeance,” and “The Wonderful 101.” The latter two were handled by completely new publishers for us, and I’m sure they were the first PlatinumGames experience for a lot of gamers out there. Expanding into new territories like this is an extremely positive thing for people working in videogame development, and we’re very happy to have received your support. Thanks, everyone.

2014. I think this will be a year of change for the game industry.

The PS4 and Xbox One have already been released overseas, and the PS4 will see the light of day here in Japan in late February. I’m sure the Xbox One will follow suit as well in the course of the year. The software market is sure to change significantly as well this year, and it is inevitable that we’ll get to see new environments and new technology related to videogames. In order to keep up with these changes, I think we will have to put a lot of effort into taking new challenges this year. Perhaps this is the same feeling we had when we first started PlatinumGames. We have to return to our original intentions. This is how we want to go into the New Year.

Last year, Tokyo was chosen as the venue for the 2020 Olympics. The entire country was filled with joy and energy at this wonderful news, so we get to start the New Year with fresh and renewed vigor. Since we strive to be “The Japanese Standard Bearer in Global Competition,” we intend to devote all of this new-found energy to make 2014 another exciting and action-packed year. We hope you will continue to provide us the same enthusiastic support throughout this year as well.

President & CEO

Tatsuya Minami

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Happy New Year 2013

Platinum Games

Filed: Community, PlatinumGames

Hi everyone. Tatsuya Minami here. Happy New Year’s from PlatinumGames. First of all, thank you for all the amazing support over the past year. We hope you will continue to provide us the same amazing backing in 2013.

It’s been a year already!?
That’s how I felt on New Year’s this year. It is hard to believe how fast the past year went by.

Even though a year is a set period of time, it can feel longer or shorter depending on your own situation. Or age. A year felt like forever when I was a child, but once I became an adult, especially after I turned 30, time seems to be speeding up for me. Time really has flown since we started PlatinumGames… But maybe that is just how I feel.

Time is a funny thing. This past December we had elections in Japan. It was a landslide for the previous ruling party, the LDP, against the party that was in power, the DPJ. Three years ago, the DPJ had their own landslide victory, only to see their fortunes change in 2012. Three years may sound like forever, but I’m sure it was an instant for some. However, no matter how it feels, three years is three years. In three years, fortunes changed rapidly for those in power based upon what they had done until that point. And that is what is important — What have you done?

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It’s been a year already.
But there is no time to be sentimental about it. We’ve spent the last year working hard on Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and now its release is right around the corner. Our collaboration with Konami is finally coming to fruition, and gamers everywhere will be able to play the results. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished, and I hope you take the time to check out the end product of our efforts.

We also continue to work hard on our titles alongside Nintendo – The Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2. We can’t wait to share some new details about them with you soon.

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The 2013 work year began today for us at PlatinumGames. I wonder how we will end up feeling about these upcoming 365 days. We will continue to focus everyday on our mission to make great games and give gamers everywhere things they will enjoy. With that in mind, we can’t wait to take advantage of 365 more days.

Tatsuya Minami
President/CEO, PlatinumGames Inc
January 7, 2013

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Bayonetta 2 joins The Wonderful 101 on Wii U

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2, Games, PGTV, PlatinumGames, The Wonderful 101

Nintendo held their Wii U Preview on September 13 and PlatinumGames () was there to provide full support.

Hideki Kamiya’s band of heroes are ready for action as Project P-100 (working title) is now THE WONDERFUL 101!

We also surprised fans by finally announcing the much anticipated BAYONETTA 2 was a Wii U exclusive to be published by Nintendo. Bayonetta 2 will be produced by The Wonderful 101’s Atsushi Inaba and directed by Bayonetta producer Yusuke Hashimoto.

Our team wanted to connect with you and give a heads up on this surprising announcement.

On September 13, 2012 Bayonetta 2 was announced as an exclusive title under development for the Wii U during the Nintendo Direct Wii U Presentation held on the same day.
As game developers, we are incredibly excited to be able to announce a new title to all of our fans; however, we are aware that the announcement may have come as a surprise to many of you.
As with Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2 is under development and production here at PlatinumGames, and is a true sequel to the acclaimed first game in the series. Bayonetta is one of our most beloved titles, and it played a large part in establishing PlatinumGames as an emerging game studio in the minds of users worldwide. Bayonetta has fans the world over, and we would never dream of alienating them from participating in the future of PlatinumGames.
That being said, the console games market is in a state of upheaval, so establishing a new game franchise requires a considerable amount of will, determination, and love. Bayonetta is a brand that we want to see become stronger, reaching the hands of more and more gamers, so we have continued to consult with SEGA, the previous game’s publisher, on how we can make sure this takes place. Our answer was a new partnership with Nintendo.
Along with their new hardware, Nintendo, as a company, is dedicated to establishing a new future for the games industry, as you can tell by their record of passionate support for gaming. Alongside Nintendo, we hope to grow the Bayonetta brand beyond where it stands today, allowing even more gamers around the world to experience the action of our beloved witch. As developers, we are working hard to make this a reality.
We hope that you will look forward to what we have in store.

Tatsuya Minami
President & CEO, PlatinumGames Inc.

I’m Yusuke Hashimoto, director of Bayonetta 2. It has been three years since Bayonetta, a title I was also a part of… I’m incredibly happy to be able to announce that we are working on a sequel. Alongside Bayonetta’s creator, Hideki Kamiya, I’m working on everything from creating a compelling world to character designs (I will be designing the enemies again), and everyone on our talented team is united around the core of Bayonetta, Climax Action, in an effort push the series forward. For empowering our heroine with incredible new action to introducing new characters (which you may have noticed in the teaser trailer), Bayonetta will further expand on the mythology of the Trinity of Realities – Inferno, Paradiso, and our human world. I can’t wait to take the journey with you.

Yusuke Hashimoto
Director, Bayonetta 2

After Bayonetta was released, I was coming back on the bullet train with Yusuke Hashimoto, pondering various ideas for sequels or spin-offs to Bayonetta over a beer. I never thought we’d actually get to announce a sequel to her story, so I am absolutely over the moon.
Even though there has been a bit of a gap since the release of the last game, but I still got lots of request for a sequel from gamers. We were secretly making one the entire time. While I am not the director of this game, I am still supervising the world, story, characters, etc. in close coordination with Hashimoto, and I have been from the very beginning. You have nothing to worry about on that end. And of course, plenty of members from the first Bayonetta are on-board and working hard under the direction of Hashimoto, so I look forward to work every day, coming in and seeing all the progress they have made on the game. With new hardware, we look forward to expanding on the Climax Action of Bayonetta, so sit tight and get ready!

Hideki Kamiya
Supervisor, Bayonetta 2
Director, Bayonetta

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PAX Prime 2012 Report

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

From August 31 to September 2, the PlatinumGames crew headed to Seattle to help Hideo Kojima and company celebrate 25 years of Metal Gear history; however, there was lots of Platinum goodness to be had on hand, and lots for our team to learn.

For instance, we were honored to spend part of Friday touring the headquarters of the incomparable Valve. Their lists of honors and awards is incredible, but it is even more amazing when you see them lined up.
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Their halls are a testament to creating incredible games and supporting the incredible people that make those games, so being able to learn how other talented teams do things/exchange ideas with these incredible people was inspiring to our team. Thanks to  Gabe, Alex, Erik, Dario, Jeep, Anna, and Matt and everyone else at Valve for sharing, caring, and for spending time with our team.

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Once Saturday hit, it was time for the real show to begin, starting with Mr. Kojima’s talk with Geoff from Spike TV going over the amazing longevity of the Metal Gear franchise. The anticipation was on high with over 3000 people filling the Paramount Theater for the discussion.

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The talk started up and Mr. Kojima had great things to say about PlatinumGames, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and even revealed the future of the Metal Gear Solid series, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, in an absolutely stunning trailer.

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After the show, we even had the opportunity to meet some great fans, including a Raiden cosplayer, and some fans who had their PlatinumGames collection ready to go. 

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Mr. Kojima also signed for a huge number of fans. It really made the team feel how awesome the opportunity, and the responsibility, of working on the Metal Gear franchise really is.

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However, it seems that the fans felt we were up to the challenge as the filled the Rising booth and lined up to pre-order the game and score a limited edition tshirt at the booth. 

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Rising wasn’t the only PlatinumGames title on display, as Project P-100 (Working Title) also was on hand in the Nintendo booth. Fans seemed to have a great time getting their hands on the awesome Wii U and our team of superheroes and lines were long every day of the show!

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Lots of other great games were on display; we were all especially excited to see our friends at Naughty Dog and their spectacular The Last of Us. The game looks amazing and their display area was equally creepy.
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We also got to catch up with our friends from Mega 64! They do a great job of making us laugh, and everyone at PlatinumGames are huge fans of their work.
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Finally, we checked out the final day of Valve’s DOTA2 “The International.” With seven figures of cash at stake, the Benaroya Hall was thick with tension, and the level of production Valve brought to the event spoke to how gaming can truly captivate not only gamers, but an audience. (JP: Now if only i had an idea of what was going on in the game… I will soon enough!)
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Thank you, Seattle! We had a great time and we hope to see you soon!
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PAX 2012

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

You will be joining Konami in celebrating Metal Gear at PAX 2012 this Saturday and Sunday, but we also know that there are tons of PlatinumGames fans out there, so we wanted to do something fun for you guys.

JP will be walking around with a bag full of PlatinumGames t-shirts and stickers. Just look for the red polka dot messenger bag on the show floor and say hello; he will be sure you don’t leave empty handed.

If you happen to bring something PlatinumGames games with you for us to sign or are cosplaying a PlatinumGames character, he will make sure you get lots of fun stuff for your dedication to our games. We really appreciate it.

on twitter to get updates on where you might find him. (Here’s a hint: He will definitely be at Hideo Kojima’s panel on Saturday.)

And while you are at the show, make sure to pre-order Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance at Amazon.com from the Konami Booth! Everyone who pre-orders will receive a Metal Gear Rising t-shirt, and the first 50 pre-orders will get tickets to attend the Metal Gear 25th Anniversary party on Saturday (21 and over). Check http://www.facebook.com/mgrising for more details!

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PlatinumGames New Offices

Platinum Games

Filed: Community, PlatinumGames

As our President and CEO, Tatsuya Minami, alluded to in his New Year’s greeting, we’ve got new offices.

We’ve moved from the 9th floor of the Umeda Sky Building down to the 8th and with it comes a whole new look for our studio.

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