Based in Chūo-ku, Osaka, Clover Studio was a game developer under Capcom
. Clover consisted largely from its parent company's Research and Development department, created in 2004 to exercise greater creative freedom in game development. The company began with Viewtiful Joe
as an internal team in 2005, a Beat 'em Up
that ended up spawning multiple games. To facilitate development, the team would turn into a studio of its own. Clover would later focus on creating new IP's, releasing Ōkami
and God Hand
in 2006. Despite largely positive reception and later on becoming Cult Classics
, the games were commercial failures on release, with the latter peforming even worse. Not helped as well were Creative Differences
, with developers feeling that Capcom's management became reluctant to trying out new ideas; this resulted in multiple developers resigning. With Clover having become a shell of its former self, Capcom disintegrated the company in March 2007
Many former developers, including Hideki Kamiya, Atsushi Inaba, and Shinji Mikami, would later go on to found PlatinumGames, with the goal of continuing the mindset of exciting and fresh games.
Despite being short-lived, Clover is remembered fondly by many people for their passionate games, with several Japanese developers citing them as inspiration.
- Viewtiful Joe: 2003; as Team Viewtful, the only game to actually have a sequel made by the same developers (GameCube, PS2)
- Viewtiful Joe 2: 2004; the aforementioned sequel (GameCube, PS2)
- Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble: 2005; a Mascot Fighter (GameCube, PSP)
- Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble: 2005; hinted as the series finale, but Real Life Writes the Plot, and has instead become the last game in the series (Nintendo DS)
- Ōkami: 2006; considered to be their best work (PS2, Wii, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC)
- God Hand: 2006; their biggest Cult Classic and last game (PS2)