PlatinumGames, Inc. is a Japanese video game development studio known for over-the-top action games of various shapes and sizes. Its headquarters are located in Osaka.
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 Studio, 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, another company founded by fellow ex-Capcom employee Tatsuya Minami to form PlatinumGames, a fully independent company.
Shortly after their inception in 2007, PlatinumGames allied with Sega as their publisher the following year, with an agreement that Sega would publish four of their upcoming projects. While their creations were still continued to be cult hits at best under this partnership, they still performed considerably better than they did at Capcom and Sega extended their contract to include a fifth game. Following the lukewarm reception of Anarchy Reigns, Platinum found themselves as a contract studio developing games for other publishers: most notably Nintendo, who would fund a number of original titles in addition to gaining their assistance on franchises like Star Fox, and Square Enix, for whom they developed their most commercially successful game to date (NieR: Automata).
Some characters from Clover would eventually be used in Capcom's crossover fighting games. Mikami and Kamiya have stated that they have considered sequels to their games, but Capcom's continued use of their characters made them wary of the idea. An attempt at producing a proper Okami 2 was allegedly attempted by both companies in 2016, but the collaboration ultimately fell by the wayside.
On February 3, 2020, PlatinumGames launched "Platinum4", a website to eventually reveal four different projects the company hopes to work on, and revealed the first of those projects, a crowd-funded Kickstarter campaign attempting to produce a remaster of The Wonderful 101. By the end of the first day, the Kickstarter's $49890 goal had been met. Eighteen times over.
Games developed by PlatinumGames:
- MadWorld (2009)
- Bayonetta series:
- Infinite Spacenote (2010)
- Vanquish (2010)
- Anarchy Reigns (2012)
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (2013)
- The Wonderful 101 (2013)
- The Legend of Korra (2014)
- Transformers: Devastation (2015)
- Star Fox Zeronote (2016)
- Star Fox Guard (2016)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan (2016)
- NieR: Automata (2017)
- Astral Chain (2019)
- Babylon's Fall (TBA): In association with Square-Enix, revealed June 2018 for a tentative 2019 release. To be released on PS4 and PC. Announcement trailer here.
- Bayonetta 3 (TBA): The third entry in the Stylish Action Hack and Slash series, revealed December 2017 as a Switch exclusive. Announcement trailer here.
- Project G.G. (TBA): A new IP from Hideki Kamiya that will be published by Platinum themselves. Kamiya states that this will be the third entry in his Hero Trilogy, which consists of Viewtiful Joe, The Wonderful 101, and this game.
- Scalebound: A Microsoft published title planned for Xbox One and PC. Initially announced during E3 2014, the game was planned for a late 2016 release before being cancelled in January 2017.
- World Of Demons: A hack-and-slash action game in partnership with DeNA for Android and IOS, revealed April 2018. Initially soft launched in limited areas, only to be pulled from stores in 2019.
- Lost Order: A co-op real time strategy title made in collaboration with Cygames, announced August 2016 as Platinum's first mobile game. Entered closed beta in August 2017. Announcement trailer here. They officially confirmed they no longer working on it on their site.
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, The Wonderful 101's Hero Time, and Transformers: Devastation's focused state.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Some entries made by Platinum Games made use of the four-lettered word, from the subtle use in Bayonetta to the massive use in Metal Gear Rising."Don't fuck with a witch."
"Don't fuck with this Senator!"
- Cool Bike: Many games published by Platinum have levels or scenes where the hero drives a motorcycle (Route 666 in Bayonetta, Area 66 in MadWorld, a cutscene in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance). Up to Eleven in Astral Chain, where the very first gameplay segment is one of the player's character riding a motorcycle while simultaneously shooting at Chimaeras.
- 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.
- Many games have basic mechanics, usually a defend command or Bullet Time, that become more effective when used with almost frame-perfect timing... and they also tend to run at 60 FPS.
- Female Gaze: Along with Male Gaze for their female protagonists. Platinum goes out of their way to do this when someone is being badass, although whether the camerawork comes across as empowering or objectifying is up to the player.
- 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.
- "Just Frame" Bonus: Their dodges and blocks tend to have bonuses that let the player counterattack, slow down time, or both.
- 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. Since most of their key defensive mechanics take some skill, easier difficulties will usually give the player better endurance and auto-defend options.
- Platinum Makes Everything Shinier: They take it Up to Eleven with Rank Inflation of their games chapter ratings, which run in the order of Stone, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Pure Platinum.
- Promoted Fanboy: Sort of. Several of Platinum's employees that work on games with major creators or franchises are often fans of those creators or works.
- Several people at Platinum who were fans of Taro Yoko's works were ecstatic to get to work on a game with him.
- It has been said that when Activision approached them to do a Transformers game, it turned out that the guys at Platinum were big fans of Transformers.
- The team that did a Metal Gear Spinoff is said to be full of fans of the series and were responsible for many of the references and Mythology Gags in it.
- Hideki Kamiya has been a long time fan of Nintendo and Sega, so working with both of them on the Bayonetta games, as well as on The Wonderful 101 with Nintendo, was a dream come true for him.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Appears in almost every game, no matter how unlikely; the hack-and-slash Revengeance uses it during a special unarmed QTE, third-person shooter Vanquish has this as a melee option, wielding combat bracers in NieR: Automata allows the player to do this, and the Applied Phlebotinum combat in Bayonetta, The Wonderful 101, and Astral Chain has frequent pummel duels using Giant Hands of Doom. One wonders whether this company trend is meant to reference Star Platinum.
- 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, Jetstream Sam from Metal Gear Rising, Prince Vorkken from The Wonderful 101, and A2 from NieR: Automata.
- 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, four games of theirs have their own Shout-Out pages. Their self-referencing would also give Nintendo a run for their money.
- Spell My Name with an "S": It's PlatinumGames, without any space in-between.
- Stylish Action: Platinum's most well-known genre. Starting with MadWorld and most famously Bayonetta, the company's best games throw out the rules of common sense to deliver Crazy Awesome combat.