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Platinum Games head laments studio’s weak sales, wants renewed focus going forward

Wednesday, 17th April 2013 11:27 GMT By Dave Cook

Platinum Games president Tatsuya Minami has rated his team’s performance over the past five years in a new interview, and has expressed disappointment in the studio’s sales. He has also laid bare aims to expand the company’s focus moving forward.

Speaking with Polygon, Minami rated his team’s game output an A, and said that as far as he was concerned the team had, “held up its end of the bargain and done a really good job of putting out really high-quality games”.

Those games in question are of course Madworld, Bayonetta, Infinite Space, Vanquish, Metal Gear Rising, Anarchy Reigns. The team is currently working on Bayonetta 2 and The Wonderful 101 for Wii U.

Great games indeed, but Minami isn’t so keen on how well Platinum’s titles have performed at retail over the years, and said, “Whether we’ve sold as well as we would have liked, or whether the company has the amount of money that everybody would love to have in the company, I think I’d probably rate it as a C or even a D.”

Speaking of Bayonetta sales in particular he added, “We were hoping it was going to do a little bit better than that, though you can’t put it all on the game itself. I think there were a lot of issues with when it came out, the kind of marketing behind it.”

The next step is to improve Platinum’s focus with a more globally-appealing approach. Said Minami, “Now we’re trying to expand and focus more outward and think about gamers worldwide. But when you think about what global success really means, that means we need to be selling more titles. Our games need to sell more copies.”

How would you rate Platinum’s performance so far? Would you like to see a more globally-focused approach from the studio, or should it stick to what it does best?

Let us know below.

Thanks CVG.

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17 Comments

  1. OmegaSlayer

    Nothing piss a fan more than listening developers bitch about sales.
    I own every piece of software Platinum released on PS3.
    I should be the one that should complain for Bayonetta’s shoddy port.

    Anyway…Bayonetta sold very good, especially considering how much the sexualization is hypocritically frowned in the West.
    And it could have sold more on PS3 with a good port.

    Vanquish is really a gem, Anarchy Reigns is not a good game and MGR is rushed as hell, not very refined and soooooooooo short.

    Bayonetta 2 could have been big, especially for those deluded by DmC but they decided to give the “supposed” exclusivity to Nintendo (but Bayonetta is still a SEGA property), pissing off loaaaaaaaads of people.

    This statement make little to zero sense since you’re skipping the platforms for which you sold a good number of pieces to jump on the platform with the smallest user base around.

    Guys, this is such a big shit of interview and insulting to people and customers.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. YoungZer0

    “globally-focused approach”? What’s that even supposed to mean? Didn’t they try that with Vanquish?

    From what I read, every single platinum game has been selling really, really bad. I think Revengeance is probably the first exception here. It sold a little bit better than DmC, especially in quirky Japan, but then again, PC sales are never included in sales list and neither are digital sales. Considering the best version of DmC is the PC version, I think that might have mattered a little bit. ;)

    Personally, I never liked any of their games. I skipped Bayonetta completely because the PS3 has a notoriously bad port. I completed Vanquish in under 4 hours and never went back. Revengeance was … disappointing to say the least.

    I think they are getting far too much praise. Their games just fail to impress, even the gameplay.

    Revengeance was a button masher, with odd difficulty spikes and even odder gameplay decisions. Normal is fine right until the last Boss, who feels cheap. Easy-mode practically plays itself. The combat system didn’t have any depth to it. I think I used the heavy attack button like three times.

    You only needed to use 2 guns in Vanquish and everything else was practically useless.

    I know this seems rather minor to you guys, but from the bottom of my heart, I truly believe that their games look like utter shit. They never get it right.

    It starts with colors and ends with 3d models. They all have the same odd bodies, with terrible facial animations. Vanquish’s art-direction is limited to one color, white. The hero looks like your everyday Joe. You have caricatures like that muscled bearded dude.

    Revengeance’s color-palette made me sick to my stomach. Blue filter over yellow, creates green you morons. The rest of the game is a mix of brown-grey. How come people didn’t even mention that in their reviews? It has less colors than your average military shooter.

    Their stories are always, always insultingly dumb. I know, a lot of people will use the “It’s meant to be ironic” excuse, but it never was good irony. It never was funny.

    I’ve seen 15 minutes of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. That’s game is ironic and funny as hell.

    Get some proper writers, get better 2D and 3D artists, stop trying to be funny, stop being lazy and try to broaden your horizon for once.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Erthazus

    “Whether we’ve sold as well as we would have liked, or whether the company has the amount of money that everybody would love to have in the company, I think I’d probably rate it as a C or even a D.”

    It’s becuse you release shoddy ports, games with good gameplay that has no replay value at all. Vanquish or Reveangence campaign is 5 hours at max.
    I finished Reveangence with 4:37 minutes. Fucking disappointing.

    Bayonetta 2 is on the WiiU for No fucking reason at all with shitty The wonderful 101.

    Basically, Platinum fucked every it’s release and it’s only their problem. I hope that they will do worse in the future until they will change their shitty management that don’t know what gaming market is.

    they also need to change their horrible engine. Kojima offered them Fox Engine which is a fantastic alternative for the future, but so far no news from Platinum.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. OmegaSlayer

    And by the way…if they Westernize…they lose the few fans they have.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. karma

    I’ve tried a few demos of these games and while they seem to have high productions levels and are very polished, they just don’t appeal to my western tastes. I prefer games that are more grounded in reality. Games that are less like well.. “video games”. ‘Immersion’ is the key word in all of my buying purchases. I like to immerse myself into deep, simulated, dynamic worlds like the original BioShock games, Fallout New Vegas, Dishonored or Batman AA/AC. That Japanese super speed, arcadey, silly action just doesn’t satisfy me anymore, and hasn’t done since the late 90′s.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. salarta

    The main issue Bayonetta had was that people act pissy about dominant women that show open displays of sexuality. It’s the exact opposite of what Western gamers want women to be; Western gamers want female protagonists to be fragile, breakable creatures that get used and abused and generally need men around, but show no skin. Meanwhile, I think doujins express what the Japan side wanted out of Bayonetta: a submissive pet type that loves being treated like a pet and is defined by and obsessed with her sex appeal.

    With this post, I think I see now why companies have good justification behind saying female protagonists are not viable. The only commonality between Japanese and Western interest in female characters is that both sides seem happy with the woman being inferior to men in some fashion. The exact form of inferiority, as well as whether or not she should show that boobs exist on her body, are the differences. These are things male protagonists do not need to deal with. Male protagonists are not defined by how much muscle they do or do not have or how much skin they show, and they’re allowed to be innately strong, smart and brave without needing to start out weak and scared and in need of something to “explain” becoming strong for a male acting that way to be believable. Women being naturally tough is “unrealistic”; men, it’s normal.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. SplatteredHouse

    @6 “First of all, it’s the exact opposite of what Western gamers want women to be; Western gamers want female protagonists to be fragile, breakable creatures that get used and abused and generally need men around, ”

    You can stop with that gross over-generalization, until such time as you produce sufficient evidence to support it. I have time for some of your comments/views, and in general you add to the chat, but what is not going to happen without comment, is that you alter your point from “woe is femme” to “men are monsters”. “Western gamers want…” Because, clearly, you feel sufficiently qualified to be able to declare that with some conviction you would know what they appreciate.

    “The main issue Bayonetta had was that people act pissy about dominant women that show open displays of sexuality. ”

    The issues surrounding the success of the title had nothing to do with the level of difficulty, the control complexity (which was such to the degree that, to make the game as inclusive as possible, the option of a greatly simplified combat system was developed and included)
    There was no consequence for Bayonetta’s reputation from poor word-of-mouth regarding the PS3 version’s quality? Even in the article, the studio head at Platinum expresses disappointment in the effectiveness of the advertising for the game. I think that, too stood against them. The game wasn’t terribly visible, and a lot (I think too much) of their push was focused on the lead character.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. salarta

    @7: I didn’t say “men are monsters,” I said “Western gamers want this kind of portrayal.” It’s not exclusive to men. I may elaborate more thoroughly in the future, but I find it less and less worthwhile to do so. Most people that respond to me have already said they consider any comments I make to be invalid, which makes bothering to gather sufficient evidence beyond immediate recollections seem pointless. It’s not like having evidence and presenting it actually does anything. If anything, it makes people more likely to say I should die in a fire.

    Comments like the one above allow me to express my opinion and vent a little, but when it comes to the effort of backing up and defending them thoroughly, I’m learning my time is better spent on other efforts.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Mineral4r7s

    @8 I know what you mean. Seems familiar…

    I know this is about bayonetta (I really enjoyed the game when I could play it at my friends place) but I want to bring up Tomb Raider in regards to your weak female portrayal. And you are right. Its horrible. I could not take Lara seriously in the game at all. I killed tons of manly muscular man that are used to the wild she justs arrived in and after some tons of killed men she realized she killed men and started crying over it I mean really? Come on. Next moment she starts shooting another tons of men. Uhh. How can I take her seriously if she gets portrayed like that in the cutscenes? (and why the hell is she the only one getting dirtier every minute while every other stranded in the camp always looks clean?)

    I want another no one lives forever!

    #9 1 year ago
  10. redwood

    vanquish gets too much credit, I played the game and to me it got really boring, there should have been armor upgrades, and weapons that actually were worth using like in the old DMC games you would actually love using new weapons… Some of the guns in it were totally useless like the shotgun.
    and the biggest disappointment was that i couldn’t upgrade my armor so i was stuck with the same cool-downs through out the game.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. YoungZer0

    @8: “Comments like the one above allow me to express my opinion and vent a little, but when it comes to the effort of backing up and defending them thoroughly, I’m learning my time is better spent on other efforts.”

    Then go. Please go. You just admitted that you’re not even here for a discussion. Go vent on 4chan or something. I’ve yet to see a proper backing up of your opinions.

    That’s probably hard considering you didn’t even play the games you bitch most about, nor did you care about the franchise.

    @9: “I killed tons of manly muscular man that are used to the wild she justs arrived in and after some tons of killed men she realized she killed men and started crying over it I mean really?”

    What I like about this comment is just how little truth there is in it.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Arkorvo

    Vanquish on PC please!

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Hellhound30x

    If Vanguish had good multi player, and my thoughts are it could have worked with that game, it would have had a longer life. Still in my mind Vanquish is a 10/10!

    #13 1 year ago
  14. FeaturePreacher

    I think Platinum needs to skip the gaming press outside of giantbomb. Giantbomb seems to be the only site that doesn’t have a built-in hatred of developers from Japan. Along with that, they should also consider going digital only since I doubt they have the resources to make the watered down vast sandbox games that westerners would like. Moreover, focus on extreme violence with a lot of blood and male characters since westerners can’t handle lady cleavage. Perhaps that could increase the attention they get in the west.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. redwood

    they should consider making some small titles too.. for psn (not iOS) or vita, something that has a small turn around time, maybe a small multiplayer PSN title with no singlePlayer. they could just take vanquish and reskin and layer it with an MP angle.. justsaying.. it might turn out to be good for them…

    #15 1 year ago
  16. YoungZer0

    @15: Good idea.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. salarta

    @11: It’s more like I’m seeing that there’s little point in arguing a subject when the majority of people don’t actually want to have the discussion. The responses I do get are more about trying to find excuses to write off things I say without really considering them or else get me to shut up. I’ve increasingly lost my patience in dealing with that attitude. There are better things I can do than fight for the legitimacy of my opinion with people that care more about making my opinions look illegitimate than dealing with the actual issues. Questioning sources of information is fine, that’s how we get informed opinions. “Your opinion doesn’t count because you didn’t do X” or “your opinion doesn’t count because you aren’t X”… well, all I’ll say is go wild and have a field day with that.

    #17 1 year ago

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