The first two announcements in PlatinumGames’ “Platinum 4” were those for games, with one being The Wonderful 101: Remastered and the second being a new action title, Project GG, directed by Hideki Kamiya. The third, however, turned out to be not a game, but the news that Platinum was expanding and opening a new studio in Tokyo.
In a new update shared by the developer (and soon to be publisher), the primary purpose of this new studio has been revealed- and it’s not one that you would have expected. PlatinumGames’ new studio in Tokyo will be focused on developing live service games for consoles, which they refer to as “live ops” titles.
“So far, the name PlatinumGames has been nearly synonymous with single-player action games,” said Platinum’s studio head Atsushi Inaba. “But going forward, we’re looking to expand into new genres and styles of play. One of these new challenges for us is console live ops game development. These aren’t games we’d work on until they were done, and that’s all – rather, we’d continue working on them to provide new content long after release. We want to explore this ongoing development pattern in the home console space.
“Our new Tokyo office will play a major role as we expand into live ops game development. The starting core members of our future live ops team who’ll be working there are already a part of PlatinumGames.
“PlatinumGames Tokyo is home to both developers interested in refining PlatinumGames-style gameplay and developers who are interested in exploring live ops support. They’ll be hard at work on electrifying content for you soon.”
One of the aforementioned core people at the new studio who’ll be overseeing the development of these live service games is Motoi Fujita, who has “worked on around 8 different sports games for mobile platforms that were live ops.”
“From here on, PlatinumGames will be facing the challenge of developing live ops titles for consoles,” said Fujita. “Platinum has already achieved a supportive fan base making packaged console games. On live ops titles, finding a following for the title is an important step, so Platinum definitely has an advantage here. And I believe this can also be a change to introduce a new wave of fans to PlatinumGames’ titles. It’s exciting to think how we might be able to expand the playing field here.
“Having worked on both console and mobile, package and live ops has opened me up to understanding both sides of development. I hope to be able to blend these two mindsets together to create some truly amazing games. Since I have spent nearly half my career in project management, its my hope to be able to provide an environment where the development team feel free to follow their creativity.”
Given the success that PlatinumGames have enjoyed with their single player titles (from a critical point of view, if not always from a commercial one), it should be interesting to see what they come up with in the live service market. Games-as-a-service is a concept that, in spite of its great potential, hasn’t always been executed by developers and publishers in the industry properly, so here’s hoping Platinum finds more success.
Meanwhile, be sure to check out Project GG’s first teaser trailer through here.