As the third part of their “Platinum 4” major announcements, PlatinumGames have revealed they have opened a new studio in Tokyo, along with working on their own game engine.
Explained on their official website, their efforts to self-publish and produce IPs they purely own was one of the reasons for the investment from Tencent Holdings. This “capital alliance” has allowed the creation of Project G.G.
This also resulted in the creation of a new office- PlatinumGames Tokyo. For comparison, the original PlatinumGames office is in Osaka. This new office has also resulted in a new way for how PlatinumGames operates, as explained by president and CEO Kenichi Sato.
“Between our capital alliance with Tencent, the new PlatinumGames Tokyo, and more changes to come, 2020 is shaping up to be a very big year for us. That’s why we consider it something of a “re-establishment” year. Our driving philosophy going into this second phase is that at PlatinumGames, everyone’s a creator.
That goes without saying for our development staff. But it also applies to the “corporate creators” behind the scenes, who support them and make vital contributions to how our company operates. Every employee at PlatinumGames has a stake in creating high-quality games in a comfortable, efficient environment. This common purpose unifies us as we move up to the next stage.”
We’ve also adopted a new credo that we call “The Platinum 8.” This is a series of eight principles that we all share as creators. The Platinum 8 guides our entire staff as we face the challenges of our daily work. By working together under these principles, I think we can overcome any obstacle and truly become the world’s number one studio for player satisfaction.”
Board member and studio head Atsushi Inaba explained that along with original titles, PlatinumGames would now be using their own game engine (temporarily dubbed PlatinumEngine) to help with their workflow and greater control over how they develop their games.
“One major requirement when building ideas into complete games is an engine. In our early days, we found ourselves frustrated with limitations that existing engines placed on our workflow. We inevitably hand to make extensive customizations and adjustments to the action game interfaces if we wanted the performance we were after.
So we built our own engine instead – and we’ve been improving it ever since. In its current version, our engine supports various platforms and allows us to efficiently develop games in a way that suits our environment.
Making games is fun, of course, but doing it well takes a lot of hard work. Our game developers need an engine that will allow them to create high-quality gameplay, and thus our engine development branch plays an extremely important role in the company. They keep their fingers on the pulse of technology to constantly improve our in-house engine. We quite literally couldn’t do it without them.”
While PlatinumGames will make original IPs, Atsushi stated they would still work on other IPs. “Going forward, we will continue to take hold of chances like this to surprise and delight gamers all over the world, whether they’re PlatinumGames fans, or fans of an IP we’re working with.”
Along with new genres, Atsushi explains how PlatinumGames will also work on “console live ops game development”- games that would continued to be worked on after release, with new content. “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.”
In interviews with the engine staff, various members explained that while an existing in-house game engine existed, a new one was needed. “Modern games demand a whole new level of quality,” Wataru Ohmori explains. “A greater variety and number of objects on-screen, and a richer amount of expressive visual power.”
Wataru explains that attempts to use existing engines such as Unreal Engine or Unity “were lacking some features that we needed” at this time.
Tsuyoshi Odera explains “when people try to sell you on their game engine and what it can do, usually the first thing they do is tout its graphical capabilities. Which makes sense, since that has the most visual impact.”
While PlatinumGames want games that look good, “we just think that there are other elements that are every bit as crucial to making truly engaging, AAA titles, and we want to give them as much emphasis.” These factors include ease of use, and giving more control to artists, animators, and programmers to experiment.
We will keep you informed about any new games coming from PlatinumGames.