While these announcements sent shockwaves, another bit of news made a small rumble. PlatinumGames — the developer behind some of the greatest titles of the last decade — could be changing course. This shift could be more influential than many gamers realize. Keep reading to find out where PlatinumGames might be headed.
PlatinumGames Chasing the Live Service Market?
Games as a service have become increasingly popular over the years. This demand can be attributed to the success of titles such as Destiny, Fortnite, and Call of Duty: Warzone. These mostly free-to-play games feature regular content updates and active communities, making them perfect for cash-strapped players looking for quick sessions with their friends.
With each new emerging trend comes at least a few names looking to make an easy buck. PlatinumGames may not seem like a natural fit for this category, however. The company has long been highly regarded in the hardcore gaming community. Hits such as Bayonetta and Nier: Automata are single-player experiences. So why would they risk alienating a committed fanbase with such a drastic move?
In a recent interview, new PlatinumGames CEO Atsushi Inaba
hinted at some live service game developments. They cite “changes in the market over the next five years or so.” In addition, Inaba discussed shifting the focus towards games with longer lives. This was a shocking revelation to those who suspect that Platinum’s success stems from a lack of trend-chasing. With fewer and fewer highly refined, single-player titles, Platinum found its niche in a crowded market. But is it a wise decision to risk this reputation?
PlatinumGames have already begun this transition in some notable ways. Babylon’s Fall
— the latest action RPG — will feature regular content updates as well as a myriad of microtransactions. Unfortunately, early impressions of the game were mixed, so one can’t help but wonder if these live service features are the publisher’s fault.
Square Enix is bringing Babylon’s Fall to the market, and it has less than a stellar track record
with live service titles. If Babylon’s Fall proves to be a commercial flop, would it be too late for Platinum to change course once again and go back to the old ways? Only time will tell.
A PlatinumGames Sale in the Works?
After the recent Activision Blizzard and Bungie acquisitions, gamers were left to wonder which studios could be next. Is it Nintendo’s turn
to scoop up a promising development team?
While that seems unlikely given a notorious track record of keeping everything in-house, Platinum is ripe for the taking. That’s not necessarily out of the question, according to Inaba.
The CEO seems bullish towards Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard. He stated in an interview that he expects Activision to keep a level of creative control while under Microsoft’s umbrella. “The most important thing for us is to have the freedom to make the games that we want to make,” Inaba said, a statement that should surprise nobody.
Keep in mind that Japanese businesses are notorious for resisting overtures from Western companies. As such, the odds of Platinum joining Microsoft’s growing stable are slim, leaving Sony in a prime position to make a move.
The question then becomes: does Sony even need PlatinumGames? Sony’s first-party development partners already make similar titles. With the Uncharted, Spider-Man, Ratchet and Clank, and God of War franchises already in-house, what need is there for an exclusive Bayonetta title? What about a long-awaited sequel to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance?
It’s best to take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to these acquisition rumors, but it’s certainly fun to speculate. For now, Platinum appears to be happy enough releasing titles for PlayStation 5
, Switch, and the PC.
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