Newly appointed CEO Atsushi Inaba and VP Hideki Kamiya of Platinum Games discussed a wide range of topics in an interview with VGC such as the company’s future in service games, collaborations and NFTs.
Branching out, taking risks, live service games, and Babylon’s Fall
For much of the interview, Inaba talks about wanting to branch out and innovate, lamenting what he feels is a risk-averse mindset that’s natural when a company hits a certain size. “[W]hat’s most important is that I remember what we started this company wanting to do: original gameplay, original fun,” Inaba said.
While Platinum doesn’t want to abandon the razor sharp action games that the company has become known for, Kamiya does say that “we don’t want to be labelled as ‘the action game company’, we want to be labelled as a company that is interested in original, fun gameplay.”
Skeptical on NFTs
Perhaps the spiciest take the two have is about the tech topic du jour: NFTs. Bluntly, Inaba sees “no positive impact on the creators or the users in any sense” in the current craze of trying to work the controversial technology into games. “I think that the early adopters are just seeing it as a way to profit as much as possible.”
Kamiya is just as skeptical. “I have zero interest in this subject. I think what Inaba-san just said really resonated with me because I consider myself a user at heart, more than a businessman. It doesn’t have any benefit for users at the moment.”
So while the Platinum Games bosses aren’t totally averse to NFTs, they point out that as things stand, they add nothing and display a blatant profiteering that doesn’t do anything for the consumer or for the kind of gameplay that they want to make.
Asked if he was surprised to see Konami get involved in NFTs so quickly, Kamiya couldn’t resist responding “If it smells like money, Konami’s going to be there in a heartbeat!”
Industry consolidation, Scalebound, and new IP
Regarding the wave of consolidation in the video games industry that has seen giants like Microsoft and Sony swallow entire publishers and studios whole, they’re not entirely averse to it. But Inaba stressed that “The most important thing for us is to have the freedom to make the games that we want to make.”
There’s also the tantalizing prospect of resurrecting Platinum’s stillborn Scalebound project, which Kamiya rather deftly deflects without confirming or denying talks with Microsoft (or any other publisher for that matter). That said, he does sound wistful about the possibility of Scalebound as something beyond them then, and that he wants to attempt again.
Even with that possibility, after years of doing for-hire work with other people’s IP, there’s a clear desire in Inaba and Kamiya to work on new IP within Platinum Games that won’t be tied to other publishers. It’ll be interesting to see what the developers will have in store when they reveal more about Project GG and future plans.