Filed: Games, TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan


Nickelodeon’s Half-Shell Heroes Return for Four-Player Online Co-op Action This Summer

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Jan. 26, 2016 – Activision Publishing, Inc. and PlatinumGames Inc. have joined forces to create Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™: Mutants in Manhattan, a third-person action game featuring New York City’s crime-fighting Heroes in a Half-Shell. Players will protect The Big Apple from aliens, mutants and the Foot Clan in a single-player campaign or partner with up to three friends in four-player online co-op. But be prepared – defeating Bebop, Rocksteady, Shredder and other iconic bosses won’t be easy.

PlatinumGames’ flair for stylish visuals and fluid combat are on full display in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. Fast-paced, team-based brawling will challenge gamers of all skill levels. Each Turtle has a distinctive combat play style and can be customized with a unique set of Ninjutsu moves, combat items and special bonuses.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan also features gorgeous, cel-shaded art design, with an original story from prolific author of IDW Publishing’s acclaimed ongoing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, Tom Waltz.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is expected to arrive this summer as a retail and digital release on the PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows PC via Steam.


About Activision Publishing, Inc.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading global producer and publisher of interactive entertainment. Activision maintains operations throughout the world. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s website,, or by following @Activision.


About Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon, now in its 36th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in almost 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 20 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Publishing’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Activision Publishing’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Activision Publishing and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Activision Publishing nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision Publishing or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.

© 2016 Activision Publishing, Inc.  All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.

Media Contact

Amanda Young

Sandbox Strategies for Activision Publishing, Inc.

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Let’s welcome the new recruits!

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

The annual rainy season has ended, and it’s finally time for summer in Osaka!

But rain or no rain, at this time of the year, PlatinumGames always organizes a big welcoming party for all of the new talent that joined the company in April, and today we’d like to show you a glimpse of the insanity that tends to go down at these parties.

The first thing that is worth pointing out is that, despite this being a welcome party for the new employees, it’s actually the newcomers themselves who have to provide the entertainment to their seniors and superiors for the evening.

This year we had a total of 9 fresh, new recruits! Last year, it was pretty evenly distributed between men and women, but this year, for some reason, only a group of guys had made the cut.
This meant that some of the existing male employees at the company did not expect much to look at (cosplaying female employees are always popular at these events), but as it turned out, they got an eyeful.


For some reason, the opening act involved Isao Negishi, who’s been a game designer at PG for 5 years, being summoned to the stage with veteran programmer Noriyuki Ohtani to do a bizarre (and painful-looking) stunt with a rubber band.


But fortunately, the audience was placated with a pair of pretty legs in a school uniform when one of the guys sang a lovely AKB 48 medley.


As you can see, it went down a storm.


And the crowd got perhaps a bit too rowdy.


Some acts were even more risqué and featured pretty much full frontal nudity.

Don’t worry, he was wearing underwear.





All in all, the crowd had a blast, and it was a very successful and entertaining event. The new recruits had apparently spent weeks preparing and rehearsing their acts, but fortunately, the pay-off was proportionate.

Thanks everyone, and welcome to the club!

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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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Creating the Next Generation of PlatinumGames (Part 2)

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

Sharing your Vision

Funahashi: It’s my 4th year here at Platinum, and I can finally say I’ve gotten the hang of my job. Thinking back to when I just started, every day was a struggle. I had no idea what the director was trying to convey… I would make exactly what they told me to, only to have it thrown back in my face with a “This isn’t even close!” I just had no idea what was what back then.

Ohkura: Yeah, we’ve all been there. Problems like that can be solved by properly sharing your ideas regarding the overall feel of the world, but most people will have no idea how to give form to that when they’re only just starting out.

Shindo: In order to give a game’s world the proper feel, you must infer the intent behind the director’s words, and find your own answer to that somehow. That’s all much easier said than done, obviously. At first I was so preoccupied with trying to understand the game world and doing exactly what the director told me, that I couldn’t make any progress at all. I remember being surprised listening to the sounds my seniors came up with all by themselves, and thinking “Yeah, I guess that works too!” That’s how I started coming up with my own ideas as well, because I figured that it was okay to make mistakes sometimes.

Funahashi: For example, let’s say the director asks you to make a chair. You have to consider, do they want something with the shape of a chair, or something with the function of a chair, i.e. something people can sit on? If we’re talking about the function, even a simple wooden log or a guard rail could be considered a “chair.” If the vision of the game world is clearly shared between all of the staff, you will begin to understand it by nature, and you will no longer be constrained by the words you are given.

Shindo: On the other hand, there were times when, even if I asked the director what kind of sound he was looking for, I would just get a vague answer like “Hmmm, I dunno… something that sounds cool!” That’s not much to work with, haha. What sounds “cool” is obviously highly subjective, so in order to find a cool sound that fits within the world of the game, the only thing you can do is to just create a massive number of different sounds and see what sticks.

Funahashi: Yeah, I’ve also been given instructions like “Gimme something that looks nice!”, which tends to fill me with joy and terror simultaneously, haha. If you don’t have a proper grasp on the game world, nothing you propose is going to work. However, knowing that you’ve been given this chance, despite the risk of failure, can be invigorating. It makes you want to create something that will live up to expectations.

Ohkura: I often start working on projects before they even have a solid world or character details, so I begin by just getting my pen moving and seeing what takes shape. Explaining things verbally is not my strong suit, so when the director and I share our views of the game world, I make sure to bring plenty of visual aids. It makes me so happy when I finally hear, “Yes! Let’s go with this!”

Shindo: In that sense, it feels like you’re shaping the world with your own hands. There are a lot of things that you come to understand when the team shares the flow and overall direction of the game with each other, while going through a process of trial and error. It really feels like all the individual parts come together to form the whole.

Ohkura: I know what you mean. I love when I’m trusted with a task that I have full creative control over – most of the time. Based on a character’s back story, I imagine how they would react in certain situations, and over time the little details of the game’s world are formed. Of course there are times when one of my ideas doesn’t work in the established world setting, but there’s nothing stopping you from thinking up additional back story as you go. To do this, we’re always being challenged to be more creative, and I’m sure the director has this is mind when he gives us these vague directions.

Shindo: Yeah, and they always choose simple key words for you. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t still spend a lot of time having no clue what direction to take things in. And it’s times like that that the people around you often help you out by making suggestions. Instead of just banging your head against the wall alone, it’s more like a team searching for the best way to smash through the wall together. Uh… not literally of course.

Funahashi: There are certainly times when your idea ends up getting struck down, no matter how well it seems to go down during the team meeting. Those moments where everyone is excited about a certain idea are important, though – it’s a great way of reaffirming a shared vision of the game, which keeps the team going strong.

Shindo: In that sense, the development for Bayonetta was really exciting. It started out as a very serious world, but there were some funny parts as well. I would make some weird sound thinking, “Man, it’d be hilarious if we could use this,” and then the director, Kamiya, actually ended up putting it in the game. When he heard the sound he went, “Heh, this sounds so dumb… let’s use it!” I’ll never forget how happy I was that day.

Ohkura: While developing Bayonetta, there were a couple of times when the sounds Shindo created directly inspired my designs, actually.

Shindo: For example, I thought it would be cool if two of the characters could communicate with each other during a shooting stage. However, this wasn’t originally part of the game, so after I made the sounds, Ohkura actually came up with designs for communication devices they could use. As a sound designer I never thought I would be able to have that kind of influence on a game’s design.

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Looking at Things from a Programmer’s Perspective (Part 3)

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

Debugging the Company

Since the olden days, different hardware has always had different programming rules, meaning that programmers have had to familiarize themselves with completely new sets of rules every time they started working on new hardware, so they needed to have a flexible mind. So I started thinking: maybe we can focus on the creative aspect in order to reduce this kind of burden. I’ve actually always wanted to create my own game engine at home, and back when PlatinumGames was still in the preliminary stage of starting its business, I would work hard on creating an engine by myself whenever I had some time to spare.
There’s a system called “DirectX,” and I used it to create a system capable of forgetting what kind of hardware it’s running on. I did that just as a hobby.
Then, when we started working on Bayonetta and we had to reduce the startup time, I brought out this engine I’d made, and used it to create pretty much everything we needed. This actually made me realize how large an influence the production environment itself has on the production process.

There are a lot of programmers at PlatinumGames that are very strongly inclined towards the creative side of things. These types of people are the ones who take the company forward, so the last thing you want to do is to obstruct other people with technological problems. Creating video games is a craft, so personnel expenses are obviously the highest. If you’re going to spend a set amount of time and a set amount of money, you’ll want to make the best product you possibly can. So the question becomes: what can we do to increase the efficiency of the production process? When I was part of a project, I always thought to myself: “If I do my best, the quality of the parts that I’m involved in will increase.” However, this is actually not enough when you look at the whole picture. So if there are any employees doing something that they think is really bothersome, it’s our department that offers to come up with an appropriate solution. In a certain sense, I think we’re the department that “debugs” the company, so to speak.

Right now, I’m super busy, and I can hardly get around to all of the tasks I need to handle, but I’m getting by because other staff members are helping me out. Personally, however, I want to extend my area of expertise even further. Compared to the days of yore, there are so many more elements to the production process nowadays, be it music, video, or whatever, it isn’t even funny. Video games have become unbelievably complicated over the past 20 years. This means that you have to reconsider the game creation process pretty much every 2 or 3 years, in order not to fall behind. We’re entering our 10th year since the establishment of the company, and the 6th year since the establishment of the Technology Strategic Planning Team, so it’s about time we started reconsidering the process again. We have to look at both the management of the company and the way we make games, and tie our game creation process in with the technological side of things, in order to decide what kind of technology we can use next, what kind of structures our games will run on, and what we should be doing from here on out.

PlatinumGames is like a child caught between playing field and a laboratory. By playing field, I mean a location where we can use the skills we’ve cultivated and test their potential. The playing field is where you get your first chance at showing the results of what you’ve learned. By laboratory, on the other hand, I mean something like our own small castle. A place where we can do whatever we want, mess around a bit, and be pleased with the things we pull off. It’s an important place for finding out where your capabilities lie, for trying out many different things, and for generally going “I wonder what happens when I do this…?”

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PlatinumGames enters its tenth year!

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

Today was April 1st, the first day of a new term at PlatinumGames. Every year on this day, we have a company-wide meeting where the leaders of each section reflect on our successes of the past year, and on areas that can still use improvement.


The meeting starts off introducing the new graduates that have joined our staff.


A look at the new staff up close. One of them proudly mentioned that he comes from a small fishing community in the North of Japan, but this may just have been a load of codswallop.

1-151Next, our president Tatsuya Minami talked about layout changes within the company, staff with newly appointed positions, and approaches to improving product quality even further this year.


Following the president, the head of development, Kiyohiko Sakata, talked about his plans for strengthening our development staff. He ended his speech with this year’s slogan: “Surpass this generation.” Make way into a new generation the world has yet to see.

1-111At the end of the meeting, the president awarded a plaque to each staff member entering their fifth year at the company.


On February 2, 2016, PlatinumGames will celebrate its ten-year existence in the industry. Today, we discussed how we will improve our infrastructure and educate our younger staff to secure a place in the industry for the decades to come as well.


Thank you for your support as always!

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Looking at Things from a Programmer’s Perspective (Part 2)

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

Pursuing a Creative Ideal

I programmed by myself for the first time when I was in around the fourth grade of elementary school. It all began when I started playing around with the educational programming software called “Family BASIC”. But of course, being an elementary schooler, I couldn’t comprehend programming. At the time, I bought a monthly programming magazine and just typed in whatever was written in it. Of course, sometimes it didn’t work even when I typed it in, so I checked every character one-by-one to fix my mistakes. Re-typing that over and over again, I naturally learned how to program. Later on, for example, when I learned about one-point perspective in a high school class, I went home and made a 3D dungeon. I applied the rules I had learned and drew lines on the screen, and made it so that I could move around using the keyboard. I really enjoyed this type of amusement, because I just created things to satisfy myself. I didn’t have any grand goals in mind.

There are two pieces of shared understanding among programmers, and the first one is that the computer is never wrong. Unless it’s actually broken, the reason the computer isn’t doing what you want is within yourself. Programmers don’t just think this way about computers – it forms the basis of the way we think about life. When a problem happens, we make sure to question ourselves before looking for the cause in the outside world. The second one is that programmers are basically patient. By that I mean that programmers can’t create anything just by ourselves. For example, we can’t work without game designers to come up with the game design, or graphic designers to create graphics. The position of a programmer is to receive requests from all the different groups and respond to them in the best way possible. If that doesn’t go well, it’s our fault. While handling a large workload, we need to continually respond to requests, add our own flavor to the content, and finally remove bugs.

omori_1This isn’t just about programmers, but I think it’s extremely important to be aware of your own deficiencies. If you know your ideals, and the things you’re aiming for, you can make the effort to approach them. If you want to become a decent programmer, you need to go through the disciplined training of polishing the programming into a final form, as well as reflecting that in the actual product. This is something you acquire through tens of thousands of repetitions of putting together a program and then testing it. Because of this, if you want to live on your programming skills, if you want to make games fun, you need to cultivate your sensibilities and be interested in everything. It’s meaningless if you can’t maintain your interest. Especially at PlatinumGames, everyone is expected to be like this. That sounds like a high bar, but I believe that’s why we are able to create high-quality, deep games.

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Looking at Things from a Programmer’s Perspective (Part 1)

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames


Wataru Ohmori, CTO & Head of the Technology Strategic Planning Team

Looking at Things from a Programmer’s Perspective

Including announced but not yet released games, PlatinumGames has worked on 10 titles to date. The skills our employees have cultivated during these projects are our greatest asset. To preserve this knowledge, and to stay relevant in an ever changing market, we created what we call the Technology Strategic Planning Team. Programmer Ohmori, the founder and current leader of the TSPT, talks about what it’s like behind the scenes.


Supporting Game Development from Behind the Scenes

I’m the head of the Technology Strategic Planning Team, a department that single-handedly bears responsibility for the core technologies that make our games tick. We don’t work on the design of individual games, but rather over-arching technologies, such as developing a system to archive data from each development line, or improving the general resources shared between all projects. It’s kind of similar to what other companies call an engine or a library. Sometimes this means developing a whole system based on the needs of each project, and sometimes we approach the heads of each project with suggestions on how we think things can be improved. We’re in charge of a very important part of development that the player will never get to see directly and would probably be bored by if they did.

For example, a sound designer may come to me and say “When I’m checking the game, I want to be able to see what kind of sound is being played where; can you have that displayed in real time?” These are the type of requests we take. We add these functions based on the needs of a particular project, but if they work well, we adopt them in some or all of the other projects too.


It wasn’t just me who pushed for this department; the support of Executive Producer Atsushi Inaba was invaluable. If you’re going to make several games at one company, you’ll need corresponding development teams in place for each title. While the demands of each project are different, there are always certain technologies that can be shared between multiple projects. Before the TSPT, every time we’d start a project, a new person would be in charge of system development and would rebuild everything. It goes without saying that this is terribly inefficient. If you are going to be using a lot of the same functions between projects, it makes sense to coordinate everything under one unit. We’d been discussing creating such a unit for a long time, but to actually make it a reality meant taking a number of our most experienced staff off other projects. This would be easy to do if we were a huge company, but PlatinumGames is still relatively small, so we were bit nervous about realizing this plan. At first I was a bit unsure myself, but after seeing the burden the old method was putting on the teams, and with Inaba-san’s support, I decided to go all out to make the TSPT a reality.

To be honest, there are times when we can be a bit of a burden to the other departments. We do process a lot of requests from the various projects, but there are some that are still on our to-do list… Overall, when I see how the tools we provide are being used throughout the company, it’s clear that our quality is getting better and better. As our tools are used, people will start having extra demands, which in turn also leads to extra bugs that need to be sorted, but as long as there’s a use for those tools, we’ll keep squashing those bugs and making the tools more resilient. To create a better development space demands a continuous process of improvement upon improvement.

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Metal Gear Rising 2nd Anniversary!


Filed: Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

Last week, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance celebrated its 2nd birthday!

Hey, everyone!
It’s Kenji Saito, director of MGR.
In order to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of my brainchild, I decided to play through it again recently for the sake of nostalgia, but man, I suck at parrying nowadays, haha.

I can’t believe it’s already been 2 years since this game’s release.
We’ve actually got several people working at PlatinumGames who entered the company because they loved Rising so much, which really made me aware of the impact a game like this can have on people’s lives.

As I write this, I’m looking at the Gecco Raiden figure (sorry, the site is in Japanese only, and the figure is sold out!) that I received from Hideo Kojima.
When the package arrived, I was as happy as a kid on Christmas!

Yong-Hee Cho, designer of Mistral, and Tomoko Nishii, who drafted the original design for Monsoon, have both provided some special 2nd anniversary artwork to commemorate the occasion.

Cho: Second Cut


Happy 2nd birthday! I wonder what Raiden’s been doing the past 2 years…

Nishii: The Only Thing I Know For Real


To this day, I still wonder if anyone helped him to pull of his little show in File R-03.

It’s been 2 years, but cutting and slicing your way through bad guys and, well, pretty much anything else still feels as good as ever!
Don’t forget to occasionally use Zandatsu as well though!

And if you haven’t played Metal Gear Rising Revengeance yet… What are you waiting for!?

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What it Takes to Make Games

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames


Kazunori Inoue (Programmer) x Takaaki Yamaguchi(Graphic and Animation Designer)

The two components necessary to make games are often said to be technical ability and an engaging idea. But even with both these components in place, there is no guarantee the game you create will be interesting. Two of the men who have helped make PlatinumGames what it is today, veteran programmer Inoue and animation designer Yamaguchi speak about what it takes to make games and what they enjoy about creating.
Inoue: My first project working with Yamaguchi was “Devil May Cry.” I was a programmer and he was in charge of animation, same as today. I started studying programming when I entered a computer science college. Of course I played games as a kid, but it’s not like I dreamed of being a game creator since kindergarten or anything. I was lucky enough to get a job at Capcom after graduation and… here we are.


Yamaguchi: Unlike Inoue, I was more the type that dreamed about working in the game industry from a young age. I played all kinds of games back in elementary school, but the ones that left the most lasting impression were the action games I played on the Mega Drive (TL note: SEGA Genesis in North America.) When in middle school my older brother, who was a bit of a rebel, went against the flow and bought a SEGA Mega Drive. Thanks to him I would retreat to a Mega Drive cave every day after school. It was a bit of a niche piece of hardware back then, but it had its share of great action titles. Right around the time I was graduating university 3D computer graphics started becoming popular, so I decided to go to a specialty college to learn about the field.

Inoue: I was always under the impression that I was going to take over our family’s gardening store, until one day my brother told me that he was going to inherit it… I had to find something else to do with my life and I ended up in programming college. I entered Capcom after that, but it took me 6 or 7 years to become a programmer worthy of working on major titles.

Yamaguchi: Luckily I was able to enter Capcom after getting my graduation project approved. At the time, it seemed to me that the game companies in Tokyo were all making the same kind of games over and over. I didn’t want to work on any half-hearted projects; unless a game has some unique aspect to it, I really can’t see its value. With that in mind, a company that was making the type of games I was interested in was Capcom.


Inoue: I had aspirations to enter Capcom as well, but fate had it that even after joining the company, there was a period I just wasn’t given any work. It was tough. Unable to be of any use to anyone, in the beginning I spent my days kind of lost. Back then there was no such thing as a college specialized in game design, and no one really taught you the practical skills you need on the job either.

Yamaguchi: I was also shocked by how little of what I learned at school was any use on the development floor. It was a real challenge learning everything I needed to know. That’s one thing about this job that will never change. There will always be hardware upgrades and new techniques developed to force you to stay on your toes.



Inoue: Very true. If you get shifted to a different project, the approach to design and tools being used may be entirely different. It takes tons of research and studying to make sure you are able to capture the right feel of the game. That’s one aspect of game development that calls for more than just honing your programming skills.

Yamaguchi: As game development has aged and grown, the jobs designated by the term programmer have broadened, and now demand more specialization. A system designer is doing a totally different job than someone in charge of character behavior, who in turn is doing something different from someone doing environment scripting. Each job comes with its own set of required knowledge and experience.

Inoue: My job focuses on character and stage scripting, but outside that specialization, I wouldn`t be surprised if even a new recruit knew more than me. The graduates from modern specialty colleges possess a lot of technical knowledge. There are some people who are even able to get right into real development work as soon as they enter the company.

Yamaguchi: Of course, whether they are able to put together an interesting game is another story. They might be able to put together a program to make some pretty pictures move around the screen, but designing a single enemy may be a challenge. As a character and stage design specialist, I’m sure Inoue is acutely aware of this. At a company like PlatinumGames, that puts huge emphasis on the creativity of its games, programmers like him are indispensible.

Inoue: You could say that working at PlatinumGames requires a little something extra; perhaps the ability to have your work be consistent with everyone else piecing together the game’s look and aesthetic.

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