PlatinumGames has suffered some setbacks in recent years, but the success of Nier: Automata has co-founder Hideki Kamiya more excited about the studio than ever. In a touching tribute on Twitter, the designer heaped praise on Automata’s director — and noted oddball — Yoko Taro for helping the studio make a real turnaround.
“Nier's success has to this point given Platinum a new fanbase, a growing staff, a brilliant success story, an increase in qualified job applicants, and a great benefit,” Kamiya tweeted, according to a translation from NeoGAF. “Normally, I can't help but do everything by myself ... it's a pitiful story, but to say that Yoko-san saved Platinum would not be an exaggeration. I cannot thank him enough.”
Kamiya is Platinum’s most public face, and he’s also one of the industry’s most outspoken. So, too, is director Yoko Taro, especially after Nier: Automata’s success. Best known for his penchant for wearing a giant mask, Taro’s been an active presence in the post-launch period for the game, which hit PlayStation 4 and Windows PC in March.
A lot rode on Nier: Automata, as its release came just weeks after the high-profile cancelation of PlatinumGames’ Scalebound. The Xbox One and Windows PC project had been one of Microsoft’s more anticipated titles, but delays and limited E3 appearances didn’t imbue confidence. In January, Kamiya announced that development had been canceled.
It didn’t help that Platinum’s preceding releases included the critically panned Star Fox Zero and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. The company’s president also stepped down last May, not long after the release of Star Fox Zero.
Positive reviews helped Nier: Automata exceed Square Enix’s sales expectations, the publisher said in May; it’s sold more than 1.5 million copies thus far. That’s a win for action game fans, but it’s a bigger one for those who love some of PlatinumGames’ best known, most ambitious work — Bayonetta, Vanquish and The Wonderful 101 among them, not to mention the library of predecessor Clover Studio.
PlatinumGames has mobile game-related projects on the docket for now, but Kamiya’s message sounds encouraging that the studio will have more exciting original games to come.