News Article

PlatinumGames President Saddened by Decline of New Ideas

Posted by James Newton

Pledges to bring smiles back

Japanese developer PlatinumGames has been responsible for some pretty innovative games over the past five years: Wii gorefest MadWorld and DS space RPG Infinite Space for Nintendo's formats, as well as the superlative Bayonetta and Vanquish for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Five years in and not a sequel in sight, PlatinumGames is something of an anomaly in the current franchise-led marketplace, and that hurts.

President and CEO Tatsuya Minami wrote an open letter to the gaming industry, sounding a cry for more original ideas, more fresh surprises and more smiles, particularly from Japanese studios.

Series grow ever-longer; original titles are on the decline. Games with new at their core are disappearing. Japanese games that garner worldwide acclaim are slipping away.

This state of affairs deeply saddens us.

If you too are sadden by the lack of innovation in the gaming world, read the rest of Tatsuya Minami's open letter and share your thoughts below.

[via platinumgames.com]

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User Comments (52)

RYBlast

#1

RYBlast said:

God, all the other April Fool's jokes have made me paranoid.

Not sure if I believe this :S

James

#2

James said:

This isn't a joke, it's a real heartfelt letter from a respected games designer. Click the link, read it; it's not a joke. Remember in Japan it's already 2nd April!

erv

#3

erv said:

I see where he's coming from, call of duty: more awesome green scenes edition is sort of not what attracts me towards gaming as a whole.

He's a very proud japanese president, the way I remember my japanese colleagues to be as well. I feel that a game like madworld takes originality and japanese wackyness into a cinematic playing environment excellently. I also feel their games have shown originality is worth more than continuity.

I would've been happy to have a visionary man like that as either my boss or my client. Wishing him the best :)

LEGEND_MARIOID

#4

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

He kind of has a point I s'pose. Its not just gaming, its the whole entertainment industry which includes gaming IMHO

citizenerased

#5

citizenerased said:

My heroes in the industry. PlatinumGames have yet to make a sequel, and they were largely part of Clovers Studios (that made little games called Okami and Viewtiful Joe)

Slapshot

#6

Slapshot said:

I agree with him 100%.

It's time that Nintendo breaks ground with a new franchise, and I don't mean a casual affair. We need a new Mario, Link, Samus, etc esque character from Nintendo! ;)

Vanquish was one of my highlight game of last year, it's an absolute adrenaline packed rush from beginning to end. :)

CanisWolfred

#7

CanisWolfred said:

Don't they have Bayonnetta 2 in the works? Just saying. Anyways, I can't wait to see what they have in store. They've proven themselves to be a surprisingly good company so far.

WaLzgiStaff

#8

WaLzgi said:

Unfortunately fresh ideas are often overshadowed by series that are very successful and it's typically more profitable to make sequels for those series

Bass_X0

#9

Bass_X0 said:

Many of my all-time favourite games are sequels and familar characters. The last game I enjoyed that wasn't a sequel was Little King's Story.

RYBlast

#10

RYBlast said:

Okay then I really agree with him. It's sad that all that gets popular nowadays is generic BS with good visuals. That applies to Video Games, Movies, and Music.

XCWarrior

#12

XCWarrior said:

I need to find Infinite Space for DS, but I only see it for $40+. Looks like a fun game.

WaveBoy

#13

WaveBoy said:

I'm pretty sure Miyamoto mentioned that he's going to be unveiling his new Franchise at this years E3....Because honestly it's about time. Pikmin(which is fantastic) was the last original IP he came up with and that was what? during the beginning launch of the Gamecube? yikes...

Lotice-Paladin

#15

Lotice-Paladin said:

Too right. I liked Bayonetta but it was not my type of game and I need to get Vanquished.

I felt Resonance of Fate had a better battle mechanic then Final Fantasy which was a nice change but the story was even more confusing then FF.

I think original ideas would need sequels to improve on that formula...as some people grow accustomed to it...like sequels to novels when they have something going on that's a great idea. I am expecting Bayonetta to get a sequel soon (from what they hinted at).

Gamesake

#16

Gamesake said:

That was heartfelt. :'( I do appreciate it when companies take a few chances.
@Mickeymac Sequels aren't always a bad thing. But when games have ten or twelve sequels, it's clear that someone is scraping the bottom of their creative barrel.

TheBaconator

#18

TheBaconator said:

I love Platinum games. In my opinion, every game they put out so far has been gold. I'm a little skeptical of their new game Anarchy Reigns, an online-multiplayer brawler, but I'm sure it will turn out great.

Daisaku36

#20

Daisaku36 said:

I think it doesn't really matter our games come from, as long as the ideas are fresh and innovative. I have to say that with the rise of western developers we're seeing more blending of genres with one in particular being a template: shooters. Be it 3rd or 1st person nobody can argue that this generation has been marked by a huge increase in shooters.

WaveBoy

#22

WaveBoy said:

While Bayonetta isn't my type of game from a gameplay perspective, it was friggin crazy creative and over the top, it was like Devil May cry on acid, and I applaud Platinum games for whipping that one up.

Madworld didn't do it for me, but again it stands out as another unique visual experience.

NassaDane

#23

NassaDane said:

God, i love this guy and all the people who make fresh games. I am completely behind all of this! Games like these (platinum) give me faith in the new games this gen.

CanisWolfred

#26

CanisWolfred said:

^You do understand that that's the very mentality that explains why we get some many sequels, correct?

wanderlustwarrior

#27

wanderlustwarrior said:

You do understand he's not wrong though.

However, some other companies (Platinum Games) do take lots of chances, and should be commended.

CanisWolfred

#28

CanisWolfred said:

I sure as hell wish he was wrong. It'd be nice if Nintendo got off their fat and gave use something new for once that wasn't for the casual crowd.

WaveBoy

#29

WaveBoy said:

@Mickeymac....Since when was Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby's Epic Yarn ect ect for the casual crowd? Hell there's Zelda Skyward Sword, Kirby Wii and many more suprises(ahem wait for E3) to come. Nintendo is cadering to both sides weather you like it or not, but clearly they've release more hardcore titles than casual...

I just hope they unveil a new franchise during this E3, because it's about damn bloody time.

JackMack

#31

JackMack said:

Kirby's Epic Yarn was totally hardcore. (sarcasm) Mickeymac is right, Nintendo hasn't been catering to the hardcore fans, I absolutely love every game WaveBoy mentioned but all of them were entrees in a well established series. Not to say that the games Nintendo churns out aren't fun, but only a small handful of them are both new and exceedingly challenging to veteran fans. I'm okay with that. so long as studios like PlatinumGames continue to exist, we will have fresh ideas in the industry and the "Hardcore" crowd will be sadisfied.

JimLad

#34

JimLad said:

I think all we need is a serious revisiting of lost game genres:
3D platformers, RTS, arcade racers, vehicular combat, building games, point and click adventure, scrolling beat 'em ups...
Also I think too many games these days focus on being realistic at the expense of fun. You don't get the cartoon-like madness anymore that used to run through video games in the 90s.

WiiLovePeace

#35

WiiLovePeace said:

Man this guy has got it all wrong. Sure completely new IPs are great & all but if you can make more awesomeness from an old IP, then why not? Has he never played any Zelda or Mario games? Those series ****ING ROCK! Imagine if Nintendo suddenly decided to just stop making new Mario or Zelda games.... THAT. WOULD. SUCK. BIG. TIME. Sure bring in the new IP games, but don't forget that keeping older IPs going is not a bad thing & I refuse to agree with the idea that old IPs need to be forgotten about after a single game, just like he's asking other Japanese game companies to do, it's such a waste!

Highwinter

#36

Highwinter said:

I agree to an extent.. Some franchise go on for far too long and are completely run into the ground. Call of Duty is the prime example of this, do we really need another one? At least Microsoft have the decency to wait a couple of years between each new Halo title, and that at least has quite a deep backstory to keep it going.

But I don't think every new game that comes out should be completely new and seperate from everything else. Sometimes it's fun to have sequels, to see how the story and characters evolve, etc.

Mach-X

#37

Mach-X said:

@36 As long as the huge fanbase for Call of Duty WANTS new sequels, why shouldn't they get them? Same goes for Madden and other franchises. They are software developers bread and butter. It would make no sense to not continue making your living providing those games that huge fanbases WANT and pay for. I for one am completely stoked over the new Mortal Kombat coming out, it looks amazing.

RyuZebian

#38

RyuZebian said:

I really hope they make an innovative 3DS game! And a real Okami sequel, which nails the things that were soso in the previous games! In fact that could be those things can be a sole game! Brush techniques in 3D... Just imagine how it could be used to play with the dimensions! :)

Kriedler

#39

Kriedler said:

Ok, after we clear all the talk of innovation and new series I just want to say that I want Madworld 2 and Infinite Space 2. Preferrably both for the 3DS :P

Lotice-Paladin

#40

Lotice-Paladin said:

@WiiLovePiece: Those old franchises you mention were new themselves once. People like new experiences with new ideas and not tacked onto an established franchise. How would Pikmin, Custom Robo and Chibi Robo exist without ideas for newer franchises?

CanisWolfred

#41

CanisWolfred said:

@Waveboy

You know what I mean! I'm talking about new franchises! We haven't had one of those since the Wii series. We had a bunch during the Gamecube era, and hell every other era, why can't Nintendo do it now?

WaveBoy

#42

WaveBoy said:

@mickeymac
Ya...The Wii series, is well...ya. I'm not a big fan. Although Wii Sports Resort definitly had some great mini games, and I am looking forward to a WiiPlay 2 with MotionPlus controls if they ever announce one. But yep, it's Nintendo's only Casual Franchise, so let those soccer mom goobers have their casual fun! :p We've got Mario, Zelda , Metroid, Punch-Out!!, Kid Icarus(3 games now! c'mon! hehe), the list goes on and on.

But nahhh, you're right. We need a new franchise. Don't let me down Miyamoto! :p

Malkeor

#43

Malkeor said:

You know, as long as they keep making a ton of money, this trend of sequels and remakes won't slow down any time soon.

But knowing Nintendo, I think they will have bunch of new franchises and surprises for us in the future. Don't stop innovating now!

moosa

#44

moosa said:

@13 Miyamoto created Nintendogs and Steel Diver. He might have created something else in that time I can't think of. But Miyamoto's job isn't to continually create new IPs, nor is he the only person to do so within Nintendo. You probably wouldn't believe how many different IPs Nintendo owns right now.

kkslider5552000

#45

kkslider5552000 said:

@MickeyMac

1. Yes, lots of new IPs other than Pikmin during the GBA/GCN era! Like Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing and Advance Wars! Those series never existed before the GCN era, nope!

2. Steel Diver JUST CAME OUT LIKE A WEEK AGO. Not the best time to complain about a lack of new IPs.

WaveBoy

#46

WaveBoy said:

Whoops, I completely dismissed Nintendog's mainly because it was never exactly a new 'killer' franchise in the same vein as something like the big hitters such as Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Kirby OR pikmin for example. Steel driver is an even worse example.

yet Animal Crossing, Advance Wars and Fire Emblem completely flew past my head, eek! my bad. :p

kkslider5552000

#47

kkslider5552000 said:

"Steel driver is an even worse example."

Why? Because it isn't amazing? If the review ratings are any indication, it isn't any worse than the first Assassin's Creed and that's turned out great with the sequels...

and yes I do realize that Assassin's Creed 1 got mostly "OMG THIS IS AMAZING" reviews, those reviews were wrong.

Vinsanity

#48

Vinsanity said:

You know what would make my smile come back? Another Vanquish;) I've hated everything Platinum has done so far, despite all being pretty cool premises (Madworld has some serious design issues, Bayonetta is just offensively bad in every area of presentation), but Vanquish was world class. Simultaneously old school feeling (in that Japanese sci fi game way), and really thoughtfully designed as a third person shooter. Far more skill based and far more fun than any Gears rip off all generation.

But now Shinji Mikami works for Bethesda, and heads up his own studio (Tango Gameworks), so I'm certain that Vanquish 2 will never happen. Madworld, Bayonetta, Infinite Line, Max Anarchy - they all were, or look, pretty disappointing. So I don't think there is much Platinum can do to excite me. They need to dial back the crazy designs, out-of-place/cacophonous music, and focus more on refining the gameplay.

kkslider5552000

#49

kkslider5552000 said:

@48 Except like half of Vanquish was the most unnecessary and boring story/cutscenes ever and was just Gears of War on speed.

Pod

#50

Pod said:

Eh.. Being one of the guys responsible for GodHand, Okami, Vietiful Joe, Madworld, and Bayonetta, I can definitely see where he's coming from. Those game cover a HUGE array of gameplay- and visual styles.

They all do, however, also incorporate some rather tired tropes, if you ask me, like spamming of samey enemies and having to buy your moves, and none of them are as balanced or as carefully worked through as I would prefer.

Creating an interesting new IP does not automatically constitute "originality" in gameplay terms, and certainly does not guarantee quality. That said, these guys and Yuji Naka/Prope should do something together, that would be interesting, and they're both published be SEGA usually anyway.

motang

#51

motang said:

I really don't blame him, PlatimuGames and before that Clover (from the same people) had been a very forward and unique thinking gaming developer of the past decade.

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