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PlatinumGames opens new studio to create live service games for consoles

New Tokyo team ‘to expand into new genres and styles of play’

The PlatinumGames “P” logo Image: PlatinumGames
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Bayonetta and Nier: Automata developer PlatinumGames is growing. The developer announced on Thursday it has opened a new studio based in Tokyo — Platinum is headquartered in Osaka — that will develop live service games for consoles, a brand-new endeavor for the company known best for its single-player action games.

PlatinumGames has experimented with live service (or live ops) games in the past, but primarily on mobile platforms. The studio worked on two titles, Lost Order for Granblue publisher Cygames and World of Demons for DeNA, that followed the live service model, but both appear to have been canceled.

Executive vice president and studio head Atsushi Inaba calls Platinum’s Tokyo expansion “a step towards a new challenge for us.”

“So far, the name PlatinumGames has been nearly synonymous with single-player action games,” Inaba said on the PlatinumGames website. “But going forward, we’re looking to expand into new genres and styles of play. One of these new challenges for us is console live ops game development. These aren’t games we’d work on until they were done, and that’s all – rather, we’d continue working on them to provide new content long after release. We want to explore this ongoing development pattern in the home console space.

“Our new Tokyo office will play a major role as we expand into live ops game development. The starting core members of our future live ops team who’ll be working there are already a part of PlatinumGames.”

In Platinum’s announcement, the studio profiles four staff members who will work at the Tokyo division: Motoi Fujita, director of PlatinumGames Tokyo; software engineer David Scripps; project manager Miki Sato; and game designer Takahisa Sugiyama. All four have experience working on mobile titles, specifically Electronic Arts’ FIFA Mobile.

“Platinum has already achieved a supportive fan base making packaged console games,” said Fujita, who has more than 20 years of game development on console and mobile games. “On live ops titles, finding a following for the title is an important step, so Platinum definitely has an advantage here. And I believe this can also be a change to introduce a new wave of fans to PlatinumGames’ titles. It’s exciting to think how we might be able to expand the playing field here.

“Having worked on both console and mobile, package and live ops has opened me up to understanding both sides of development. I hope to be able to blend these two mindsets together to create some truly amazing games.”

PlatinumGames’ announcement follows two other major reveals from the studio: a new project from game director Hideki Kamiya called Project G.G. and The Wonderful 101: Remastered, an updated version of the Wii U action game. The studio is also working on action games Bayonetta 3 for Nintendo and Babylon’s Fall for Square Enix, and Sega recently re-released the original Bayonetta and Vanquish for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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