One of 2019's standout Switch games, Astral Chain was a bold and exciting new release from PlatinumGames. Directed by Takahisa Taura, the game sold above expectations and showed fans that the studio's relationship with Nintendo was as strong as ever – the game was, after all, co-owned by both parties.
We say 'was' because PlatinumGames has confirmed that the Astral Chain IP now belongs solely to Nintendo. Earlier this year, fans had noticed that the game's copyright notice had been tweaked on the studio's website, with PlatinumGames' name being removed altogether; speaking to VGC, studio head Atsushi Inaba has confirmed that the change is no mistake:
"It’s as it looks... It’s as it is written on the website: Astral Chain is their IP and as such there are limitations on how much we feel we should talk about."
As VGC mentions in its report, it would be surprising if PlatinumGames simply handed over its share of the IP without a second thought; the studio has been working hard to reposition itself as a company capable of self-publishing, and just last year, it wasn't ruled out that Astral Chain could end up on rival systems. Of course, with last year's remaster, Nintendo allowed The Wonderful 101 to do exactly that.
It's unclear what this means for the IP going forward; there had been talks of potential sequels, but if Nintendo has indeed taken full ownership of the franchise, things may be a little different than originally planned.
Are you a fan of Astral Chain? Are you hoping to see more from the series in the future? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.