Platinum Games' co-founder Atsushi Inaba has revealed that the company is currently developing two new IPs that it plans - in a first for Platinum - to completely self-publish.
Speaking to GameInformer, Inaba explained that the company has been "looking into creating our own IP, creating our own game." Although Platinum has traditionally focussed on making original and licensed games under the wing of a larger publisher, "we're becoming more and more interested in the idea of self-publishing and doing our own title."
Inaba explained that Platinum's internal policy of allowing any team member to pitch a game idea has resulted in around 70 design documents, which the company has been slowly sifting through. The idea, says Inaba, is that "we want to motivate the people that work here. We want to give them an opportunity to make their own game." To that end, Platinum now has "two designs that we're genuinely focused on".
Exactly what those designs are, Inaba doesn't say. He does, however, reveal the expected scope of the projects: "We can't put together a AAA, $10 million-plus game, because we just don't have that sort of cash as an independent developer. However, we don't plan to go the indies route with just a few people on a team making a game". As such, Platinum is aiming for the middle ground, creating games with teams of about 20 people.
Furthermore, fans can rest assured that Platinum's new independent IPs will remain "on brand", offering the kind of outlandish action experiences that the studio has become known for. "Obviously when people think of the Platinum Games brand, they expect crazy hardcore action, right? [...] We want to surprise them by the fact that we're doing this independent title and hopefully get support from the fanbase. But we don't want to surprise them by, say, doing a princess-clothing-making game". More's the pity.
Platinum's ambitions to self-publish won't mean the end of its publisher-supported AAA days, however. "We will continue to do AAA games for other publishers," confirms Inaba, "and that's because, again, we don't have the cash flow to take on the risk to only do self-published games." Platinum is, for instance, currently developing Bayonetta 3 for Nintendo Switch.
And other large projects are likely in the pipeline too. As Inaba explains, even with a team of 200 people, "we do more projects at the same time than a traditional Western studio might". That, he says, is simply "because we're selfish and we want to do a lot of stuff."
But what of these secret new IPs? "Doing something on our own, self-publishing it, releasing it, all of that is a challenge for us, but right now everybody is incredibly motivated and working on that. So all the fans, anybody who looks at the website or reads the magazine, look forward to something cool in the future from Platinum."