Bayonetta developer Platinum Games have published an open letter on their site from CEO Tatsuya Minami, suggesting that the current games business is 'struggling' and that the industry is severely lacking in 'fresh surprises', particularly in Japan.
I believe that games exist to offer fresh surprises to those who play them. As members of the games business, we have always pursued the creation of the new, and we take pride in doing our part to support our industry.
However, the current games business is struggling. The “fresh surprises” I mention are becoming few and far between, especially in our home of Japan. Not so long ago, Japan lead the world’s games business, and it was not a stretch to call games a uniquely Japanese specialty; however, now it appears that Japanese games companies have lost their vigor.
Series grow ever-longer; original titles are on the decline. Games with new at their core are disappearing. Japanese games that garner worldwide acclaim are slipping away.
This state of affairs deeply saddens us.
The realisation of this perceived stagnation has led Platinum to declare a new course for themselves - titles Platinum Next - which aims to set the studio up as 'The Japanese Standard Bearer in Global Competition'. Minami ended his message with something of a rallying call, urging his fellow developers to stand up and usher in a new golden age of Japanese gaming:
At PlatinumGames, we strive to be the face of Japanese game studios on the worldwide stage. We want our contributions to not only be towards the games industry as a whole, but also be contributions towards our homeland of Japan. That is the principle that will guide our company into the future.
We aim to bring happiness to gamers worldwide. We seek to ignite a Japanese games revival. And our troops will have the highest morale.
We’re in this fight for the long haul.
The company behind Bayonetta, Vanquish and Infinite Space, Platinum Games have, in a mere five years, arguably set a high standard in terms of games that have made the jump across from East to West. Here's hoping there's much more to come too.
Platinum are currently developing the action title Anarchy Reigns for release on the PS3 and X360 late this autumn.