Eccentric mask-wearing Nier director Yoko Taro may have put the final nail in the coffin for developer Cavia as Nier sales were too poor to keep the company at bay, but that didn't stop Taro from somehow getting a bigger budget sequel greenlit through Square Enix with PlatinumGames (Bayonetta, Vanquish) on developing duties. Amazingly, this offbeat sequel to a game few played was so successful that it saved the acclaimed action game studio.
According to Bayonetta and The Wonderful 101 director Hideki Kamiya, Taro almost single-handedly rescued the struggling developer from financial peril.
"Nier's success has to this point given Platinum a new fanbase, a growing staff, a brilliant success story, an increase in qualified job applicants, and a great benefit," Kamiya said on Twitter (translation via NeoGAF user BRSxIgnition).
"Normally, I can't help but do everything by myself... it's a pitiful story, but to say that Yoko-san saved Platinum would not be an exaggeration. I cannot thank him enough."
Kamiya's claims sound reasonable given that he spent roughly four years and god knows how much money on the massive Xbox One-exclusive fantasy epic Scalebound before Microsoft pulled the plug on the project completely.
Lately PlatinumGames has been handling a stable of licensed games and contract work, developing such titles as The Legend of Korra, Transformers: Devastation, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, while assisting in the creation of Star Fox Zero.
While Nier: Automata's sales figures aren't entirely known, we do know that it shifted a million copies in its first month and that its Japanese launch week sales on PS4 alone were roughly 1.5 times that of its predecessor's first seven month sales in Japan.
It helped that Nier: Automata is an amazing game. Upon reviewing it in March I called Platinum's sequel "the most captivating game I've played in ages."