Our love for Platinum Games is well-documented, and indeed studio head Tatsuya Minami is very satisfied with the games that his developers have been crafting over the past few years.
But he's not so happy about how well they're selling.
Speaking to Polygon, Minami was asked to rate Platinum's progress over the past five years, and he moved to give the developers at the studio an A. "The team has been working really hard," he said. "They've held up their end of the bargain and done a really good job of putting out really high-quality games."
However, the business side of things has not always matched up to the quality of the products, with sales figures on Platinum titles proving to be a little disappointing.
"Whether we've sold as well as we would have liked, or whether the company has the amount of money that everybody would love to have in the company, I think I'd probably rate it as a C or even a D.
"We obviously grew up being part of the domestic Japanese market — a lot of our staff spent time in domestic Japanese publishers, focused really on the domestic Japanese market. And now we're trying to expand and focus more outward and think about gamers worldwide. But when you think about what global success really means, that means we need to be selling more titles. Our games need to sell more copies."
Bayonetta has been Platinum's biggest success story, shifting over a million units. But that wasn't enough for SEGA, nor Platinum themselves.
"Bayonetta didn't sell what we wanted it to sell," Minami said. "We were hoping it was going to do a little bit better than that, though you can't put it all on the game itself. I think there were a lot of issues with when it came out, the kind of marketing behind it."
For Minami, the key comes from staying true to the studio's Japanese heritage, whilst managing to make games that appeal to a worldwide audience.
"We have to think a lot about what resonates with consumers globally and find that secret sauce and make sure that goes into our games," he says. "And there's a lot of places we need to look for that: it's not just in art, it's also in game design, it's also in music ... I think the one thing that we want more than anything in the immediate future — and it's something we continue to work hard on — is we definitely want people to understand that we're making games here in Japan, but we're making games for everybody."