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Platinum talks about sales struggles, trouble finding work, the West & low Bayo sales

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
There's waaaay more at the link.

Summary:
-They're happy with their quality, but not their sales.
-Bayonetta was less than expected.
-They're currently working on titles for both first and third parties.
-They're investigating iOS and Android development, and already have prototypes.
-They're definitely looking into art styles that might appeal more to the West, but also game designs that appeal more to the West.
-However, they still want to make games that they want to make.
-The Polygon article also talks about NeoGAF and what Minami thinks about Kamiya's Twitter.
-They have also had several canceled games, including one in a well known franchise that was far enough along that they could have made a trailer.

Polygon said:
Sales struggles

Minami says the biggest challenge running Platinum is finding new work for the team.

Asked to rate Platinum's progress over the past five years, he gives the developers at the studio an A. "The team has been working really hard," he says. "They've held up their end of the bargain and done a really good job of putting out really high-quality games."

On the business side, he's less enthusiastic. "Whether we've sold as well as we would have liked, or whether the company has the amount of money that everybody would love to have in the company, I think I'd probably rate it as a C or even a D.

"We obviously grew up being part of the domestic Japanese market — a lot of our staff spent time in domestic Japanese publishers, focused really on the domestic Japanese market. And now we're trying to expand and focus more outward and think about gamers worldwide. But when you think about what global success really means, that means we need to be selling more titles. Our games need to sell more copies."

As of the end of 2012, Bayonetta was Platinum's best seller, moving over a million units. But Minami says that's not good enough. "Bayonetta didn't sell what we wanted it to sell," he says. "We were hoping it was going to do a little bit better than that, though you can't put it all on the game itself. I think there were a lot of issues with when it came out, the kind of marketing behind it."
Polygon said:
For Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Minami says it's too early to know exact numbers, but early prospects look good due to the marketing and the strength of the Metal Gear brand. "We're expecting Metal Gear Rising to sell better than Bayonetta, and obviously it's just come out," he says. "But if you look at games developed in certain Western studios, as far as sales go, they're clearly ahead of us there, and we're not going to be satisfied until we're at that level."

Minami says the main two things Platinum needs to do to get there are to rethink its production process for next-generation development — which includes more outsourcing and role specialization amongst team members — and spend time evaluating what players around the world want from its games.

"We have to think a lot about what resonates with consumers globally and find that secret sauce and make sure that goes into our games," he says. "And there's a lot of places we need to look for that: it's not just in art, it's also in game design, it's also in music ... I think the one thing that we want more than anything in the immediate future — and it's something we continue to work hard on — is we definitely want people to understand that we're making games here in Japan, but we're making games for everybody."
Source: http://www.polygon.com/features/2013/4/16/4214960/tatsuya-minami-platinum-games
 

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
Re-merging since both topics are about the same thing.

Polygon said:
Currently, Platinum has two announced games in the works, both for Nintendo on Wii U — a Bayonetta sequel, and a new action game called The Wonderful 101 with an art style similar to Japanese "tokusatsu" superhero shows like Ultraman and Kamen Rider.

Asked if he thinks The Wonderful 101 fits his description of a game that can appeal worldwide, Minami points to Viewtiful Joe, a 2003 Capcom game with a similar style and the same director, Hideki Kamiya. "When people think back to Viewtiful Joe, a lot of them say, 'That was a very Japanese-focused game,'" Minami says. "But Viewtiful Joe sold more copies in America than anywhere else."
Tatsuya Minami

He's open to change, however. "Maybe we have more to learn about what graphical style appeals most to Americans or Europeans — a more globally appealing art style," he says. "The goal ultimately there is we have to keep the Platinum Games flavor alive while also appealing to people in that way."

Unlike Platinum's initial deal with Sega, its current agreements with Nintendo exist on a game-by-game basis, freeing the rest of the studio to work with other publishers. Minami plans to split Platinum's work between first- and third-party publishers in the future, and currently has a tech team "working on building the right environment inside the company for what next-gen development is going to be." When Platinum's logo appeared on stage at Sony's PlayStation 4 announcement press conference, fans speculated over what that meant, and Minami says it was less about a specific product and more about "our stance towards the platform."

"As far as the company goes, moving forward we're probably going to be open to two different kinds of work," he says. "Obviously we have to work with a publisher. Right now, we're working with both third-party publishers and first-party publishers, and I think that style of who we work with and how we work with them is not going to change in the future.
We're on Sony's list because if we're going to work with third-party publishers, we're obviously going to be making multiplatform games and that means that we will be making PS4 games. Obviously we can't go into too much detail about what we're talking about in the future, but no matter whether we're talking with Japanese or Western third-party publishers, we're always talking about multiplatform development with them. So you'll see us on the PS4 eventually."
Polygon said:
Minami says that Platinum has also experimented with iOS and Android prototypes, "as side projects." "We're thinking about those and what we can do in that space," he says. "We prototype things a lot. The stuff we prototype for mobile is very low risk, just playing-around stuff. It's almost research projects."
Polygon said:
And despite the studio's expansion into external licenses, global appeal, new hardware and potential mobile software, Minami says he's careful not to turn Platinum into the kind of environment he experienced at Capcom in his latter years there, making games that have to be made instead of those people want to make.
Source: http://www.polygon.com/features/2013/4/16/4214960/tatsuya-minami-platinum-games
 
JUMP ON THE MGR2 TRAIN

Also, it's really interesting to see Platinum speak candidly about this. Good on Polygon for getting this!
 
I like to think that they'd at least try to put their games on the PC first before changing their artstyle or the platinum feel their games have. They could really look at Dark Souls here as an example. They might find that some people in the west have been hungry for their game after all.
 
yea seriously....what were they thinking?

Continually finding work is the most most important thing for an independent third party developer. If Nintendo wants to fund two games by them then they aren't going to turn that down. That puts money in their pockets and allows them to stay in business.
 

Kazerei

Banned
Minami said:
"But if you look at games developed in certain Western studios, as far as sales go, they're clearly ahead of us there, and we're not going to be satisfied until we're at that level."

"We have to think a lot about what resonates with consumers globally and find that secret sauce and make sure that goes into our games,"

Ehh ... okay ... :\
 

Kai Dracon

Writing a dinosaur space opera symphony
Developing Wii U exclusive titles surely sounds like a good way to fix the struggles of sales they had.

Well, with Sega so eager to continue funding Bayonetta 2 for all platforms, one can't imagine what Platinum was thinking there.

But more seriously, I do have a hope that Platinum can find a Souls-series level success in the west, as From has managed to pull off.
 
Developing Wii U exclusive titles surely sounds like a good way to fix the struggles of sales they had.

Nintendo: Hey Platinum. Here's some money to develop some games
Platinum: NO, WE DON'T WANT TO. We'd rather go without a publisher and not make anything!

Really guys? Doesn't take much thought to figure it out. Regardless of how the Wii U games do they'd have no games in development if not for Nintendo
 

stuminus3

Member
I can't help but wonder why anyone would think a game like Bayonetta would sell more than what it did, it's a niche looking game in a genre becoming more niche by the day. But I guess I'm not looking at it from a Japanese perspective. Or maybe the problem is that they are.
 

The_Monk

Member
Do fellow GAFfers believe that Bayonetta 2 would really be impossible to be produced for next-gen or at least for PS3 & 360 too?

How hard would it be for them to not release Bayonetta 2 for other platforms? Not even a slim chance?
 
The starving artists. I love these guys. They definitely are a niche developer, hopefully they will find their "secret sauce" like From Soft did. But I really do not want them to change their style of games.

EDIT:
Do fellow GAFfers believe that Bayonetta 2 would really be impossible to be produced for next-gen or at least for PS3 & 360 too?

How hard would it be for them to not release Bayonetta 2 for other platforms? Not even a slim chance?

It seems to be a slim chance because Nintendo saved it from death and are using it to sell the Wii U. I'm fine with that. Maybe it will get ported after it is released for the Wii U first.
 
They just need to make their games more like Dark Souls.

Oh and also they need to make every game that comes out from now on.

Problem solved.
 

wenis

Registered for GAF on September 11, 2001.
Port to PC, make 300k in sales cultivate a PC market.

Amen. I'd double dip on some PC ports.

These guys shouldn't have trouble finding work so it's really sad that that is the case. They are at least in my eyes one of the better functioning studios out there in terms of talent and development management.
 
Continually finding work is the most most important thing for an independent third party developer. If Nintendo wants to fund two games by them then they aren't going to turn that down. That puts money in their pockets and allows them to stay in business.

all right thanks for clearing that up
 
Do fellow GAFfers believe that Bayonetta 2 would really be impossible to be produced for next-gen or at least for PS3 & 360 too?

How hard would it be for them to not release Bayonetta 2 for other platforms? Not even a slim chance?

Nintendo is funding it. It won't be released on ANYTHING else unless they want it to. Kamiya literally answered this exact question in an interview.
 
Do fellow GAFfers believe that Bayonetta 2 would really be impossible to be produced for next-gen or at least for PS3 & 360 too?

How hard would it be for them to not release Bayonetta 2 for other platforms? Not even a slim chance?

The project was buried six feet under before Nintendo revived it. If Nintendo didn't publish it, it wouldn't be made, period.
 
For Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Minami says it's too early to know exact numbers, but early prospects look good due to the marketing and the strength of the Metal Gear brand. "We're expecting Metal Gear Rising to sell better than Bayonetta, and obviously it's just come out," he says. "But if you look at games developed in certain Western studios, as far as sales go, they're clearly ahead of us there, and we're not going to be satisfied until we're at that level."

No Platinum. Thats the way to ruin. Be happy with profit and paying wages. Not marking yourselves against others.
 

Azure J

Member
I like to think that they'd at least try to put their games on the PC first before changing their artstyle or the platinum feel their games have. They could really look at Dark Souls here as an example. They might find that some people in the west have been hungry for their game after all.

Pretty much. I can only hope that Inaba being interested in Steam is more than just kinda/sorta thing.

Fanboy time: I'll also take Kamiya's Mystery at Murasame Castle and StarFox plzkthx.
 

Maztorre

Member
Developing Wii U exclusive titles surely sounds like a good way to fix the struggles of sales they had.

Releasing in the early life of any console is generally good idea from a business perspective, especially titles like Bayo2 and Wonderful101 where they will have little direct competition for sales.

Obviously hardware sales for WiiU are poor right now but I expect there will be a sizeable base for them to sell to once the first party content picks up, especially with the marketing budget Nintendo can bring as a publisher to Platinum's titles.

Also: holy shit these guys need to get as much of their back catalog on PC as possible. They have an existing relationship with Sega as well, who have been a great PC publisher for the last few years.
 
Do fellow GAFfers believe that Bayonetta 2 would really be impossible to be produced for next-gen or at least for PS3 & 360 too?

How hard would it be for them to not release Bayonetta 2 for other platforms? Not even a slim chance?

The project was cancelled until Nintendo stepped in.
 

InPlosion

Member
Troubles in finding new jobs for the team to work on?
How about porting stuff to PC for starters? How does THAT sound? :).
 

Pie and Beans

Look for me on the local news, I'll be the guy arrested for trying to burn down a Nintendo exec's house.
Vanquish would have sold better under anyone but Sega. They didn't advertise the damn thing at all despite being the follow up from essentially the grandaddy of modern day third person shooting Mikami.

Anarchy Reigns was a misstep, but once again, Sega.

As long as Nintendo pays them for their two WiiU games that should be okay too, despite them not going to sell much at fucking all.

Get some ports onto PC or at least their next-gen engine and stuff going forward, and make a fucking portable game for 3DS or Vita before you get sucked into the damn shitosphere that is touchscreen iOS balls please, Platinum. That would depress the fuck out of me.

Oh and Rising 2 is essential.
 

TreIII

Member
Kamiya wants to make starfox.

And I say, let him do it. His over-the-top aesthetic would likely blend well with those who really just want more along the lines of of what StarFox 64 offered and less of "everything else" we've gotten from StarFox in the last decade.
 

Mesoian

Member
What? Example please?

Incoming sexism diversion.

It really saddens me to know that Bayo didn't sell that well. That game is in the gold standard for what a character action game should be. Though at the same time, it looks like they might be chasing after COD/Battlefield numbers, which is a fools errand.
 

Superflat

Member
I like to think that they'd at least try to put their games on the PC first before changing their artstyle or the platinum feel their games have. They could really look at Dark Souls here as an example. They might find that some people in the west have been hungry for their game after all.

It's slowly happening more and I hope more Japanese studios that take the leap find more sales so other studios can realize there's potential in that market.

"We have to think a lot about what resonates with consumers globally and find that secret sauce and make sure that goes into our games," he says. "And there's a lot of places we need to look for that: it's not just in art, it's also in game design, it's also in music ... I think the one thing that we want more than anything in the immediate future — and it's something we continue to work hard on — is we definitely want people to understand that we're making games here in Japan, but we're making games for everybody.

I feel conflicted about what this could imply.
 
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