PlatinumGames are one of the most well-known, but still “niche” developers from Japan, specializing in “cult” games that did get lauded by the critics, but this usually did not translate into great sales. One of the games that turned this around was this year’s NieR: Automata, which managed to sell over 1.5 million copies.
The mysterious Yoko Taro, in case you have missed him, is the weird mask-wearing game designer who worked on Drakkengard and the later spin-offs of Drakkengard, Nier and Nier:Automata. Hideki Kamiya, who was the director for Bayonetta and The Wonderful 101 says that Yoko Taro really did the studio a service with the development of Nier: Automata. “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,” were his words on this subject. He also stressed that he cannot thank Yoko enough, since he believes that ” to say that Yoko-san saved Platinum would not be an exaggeration”.
This might sound as too great a praise from Kamiya, but it has to be taken into consideration that he worked almost four years on Scalebound, the Xbox One exclusive which never saw the light of day, since Microsoft cancelled it early this year. That was a hard hit on Platinum, and if NieR:Automata was any less successful, the studio would probably not have made it. Luckily, there was the little fact of Bayonetta and Vanquish coming to Steam, and doing very well there too.
Now that the hard times are behind them, the studio is turning towards the future. There has been talk of a brand new IP, owned by PlatinumGames, allowing for greater freedom in development. There remains precious little information on it, but whatever it is, it will hopefully retain the hugely creative spirit that Platinum seems to cherish.