aka: Clover Studios
"It signifies a company that is valuable like platinum, high quality, and shines a never changing light. In line with that name, we have to make high-quality titles."
-Tatsuya Minami on how the company got its name.PlatinumGames, Inc. (『プラチナゲームズ株式会社』) is a Japanese video game development studio known for Crazy Awesome games of various shapes and sizes.Originally, the main creative minds here (including Hideki Kamiya, Atsushi Inaba, and Shinji Mikami) were a part of Capcom as the Research and Development department known as Clover Studios, but left Capcom due to creative disputes.This talent then formed a different company, Seeds Inc., but before anything was produced by Seeds, they merged with ODD Incorporated to form PlatinumGames, a fully independent company.PlatinumGames moved to ally with Sega, and while their games were still cult hits, they performed considerably better than they did at Capcom.Their alliance with Sega, however, has produced mixed results; Although their presence in the industry has lead to Platinum's games becoming not only critical hits but commercial ones, their haphazard port of Bayonetta to the PlayStation 3 and their relative indifference to the western release of Anarchy Reigns may have soured their relationship.Some characters from Clover studios would eventually be used in Capcom's newest crossover fighting games. Mikami and Kamiya had stated that they have considered sequels to their games, but Capcom's use of the two men's characters led them to the conclusion that they can't continue to identify with their characters.Compare to CyberConnect2, a similar Japanese game developer, that like PlatinumGames, tends to turn out relatively well received yet still rather Cult Classic games.
Games made by PlatinumGames include:As Clover Studios, under Capcom:
- Viewtiful Joe: 2003; the only game (until Bayonetta 2) to actually have a sequel made by the same developers (GameCube, PS2)
- Ōkami: 2006; considered to be their Magnum Opus when they were in Capcom as Clover Studios (PS2 and Wii)
- Platinum was not connected to the Wii port or the DS sequel, Ōkamiden.
- God Hand: 2006; their biggest Cult Classic (PS2)
- MadWorld: 2009; a black-and-white-and red Beat 'em Up and their most violent title to date; a sort of Spiritual Successor to God Hand (Wii)
- Bayonetta: 2010; the studios' most commercially successful original game thus far (PS3 and Xbox 360; bundled with Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U)
- Infinite Space: 2010; an Animesque game and their only handheld game at present (Nintendo DS)
- Vanquish: 2010; the only (third-person) shooter so far (PS3 and Xbox 360)
- Anarchy Reigns: 2012; "Massively Multiplayer Melee Fighting Action... [that] features Jack, the protagonist from Mad World, and other characters from the game as playable characters." (PS3 and Xbox 360)
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance: 2013; a spin-off of the massively popular Metal Gear series starring Raiden, roughly based on a now-cancelled Kojima Productions title called Metal Gear Solid: Rising. (PS3, Xbox 360, and PC)
- The Wonderful 101: 2013; the studio's first Wii U game, published by Nintendo. A Bayonetta/Ōkami hybrid with a Viewtiful Joe aesthetic where you control 100 superheroes defending the earth from an alien invasion. Trailer here.
- Bayonetta 2: 2014; published by Nintendo and exclusively for Wii U. First teaser here.
- The Legend of Korra: 2014; The first licensed game in cooperation with Activision and Nickelodeon. Available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC as a download-only release.
- Transformers: Devastation: 2015; Another licensed game in cooperation with Activision. A full-blown action game based on Transformers; more specifically the original cartoon series. Available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.
- Star Fox Zero: Holiday 2015; The newest installment in the series made in cooperation with Nintendo. Exclusive for the Wii U.
- Project Guard: A Tower Defense-ish game for the Wii U initially envisioned by Shigeru Miyamoto.
- Scalebound: Holiday 2016; exclusive for the Xbox One.
- A new NieR title, in association with Square Enix, exclusive for the PS4.
Tropes frequently employed by PlatinumGames include:
- Bullet Time: Invoked with several mechanics in their games: Bayonetta's Witch Time, Vanquish's ARS Mode, Metal Gear Rising's Blade Mode, and The Wonderful 101's Hero Time.
- Difficult but Awesome: One of Platinum's basic MOs when it comes to game design. Their games tend to be very difficult, and they tend to have mechanics rivaling Fighting Games in complexity. That said, feats that're about as amazing as this are legitimately possible in their games.
- Gameplay Grading: Most of their games involve scoring in some form that takes into account how quickly you beat a mission, how little damage you took, and how cool you looked doing it.
- The Goomba: Notable in that this is played straight in the context of their own games.
- Nintendo Hard: Platinum games tend to be relatively challenging compared to other games of the genre, generally forcing players to quickly pick up various complex mechanics. However, the games are ultimately fair and do not suffer from Fake Difficulty.
- Pummel Duel: Appears in almost every game in some way, shape or form.
- Reference Overdosed: The entire company's library can qualify. You'd be hard-pressed to not find a Shout-Out in each of their games. See Shout-Out below.
- The Rival: In most games, there will usually be an antagonist of some sort who possesses similar fighting abilities as the protagonist and is generally a true challenge of the player's skill. Notable examples include Jeanne from Bayonetta, Azel from God Hand, and Jetstream Sam of Metal Gear Rising.
- Rule of Cool: Practically Platinum's modus operandi.
- Shout-Out: Oy. To list all of Platinum's Shout-Outs, to themselves or otherwise, would require its own page. In fact, three games of theirs have their own Shout-Out pages. Their self-referencing would also give Nintendo a run for their money.
- Unexpected License: The fact that they are making a game based on The Legend of Korra was something NO ONE saw coming.
- Transformers is a bit of a shock as well, considering the most successful games in the series have typically been Third-Person Shooters. Even morseo that the game is based on the original series, not one of the more recent adaptations. Considering the lackluster reception of the previous game in the franchise, this may very well be an intentional change of pace.