Platinum’s studio head Atsushi Inaba has said that the company isn’t looking to be acquired at the moment and is instead focused on continuing to self-publish more titles.
As Microsoft has continued to acquire more and more game developers around the globe over the past few years, some have theorized that the Xbox manufacturer may look to add a Japanese studio to its portfolio at some point. For one reason or another, PlatinumGames, the studio behind beloved action titles like Bayonetta, Vanquish, Astral Chain, and many others has often been tied to Microsoft as a potential acquisition partner by some fans in the past. However, a move like this doesn’t seem to be something that Platinum would be intrigued by.
Speaking to VGC in a recent interview, PlatinumGames’ studio head Atsushi Inaba acknowledged that he had heard the same rumors of Microsoft wanting to purchase the studio, despite no such conversations taking place. “I did read some rumours about Xbox wanting to purchase PlatinumGames, and I thought, ‘people on the internet write the craziest stuff’, because that conversation has not come to our doorstep at all,” Inaba explained. “That said, we’re not Microsoft, so we don’t know what happens behind their doors, we don’t know if they had any thoughts about it possibly.”
Inaba went on to say that even if such a possibility was on the table, he’s not sure that it’s something Platinum would be interested in. “We’ve not had any talks like that, but I think even if it was a possibility, we’re now going into more independent self-publishing. It’s not that we’re disinterested in Microsoft, but if the relationship were to be us working under their direction, I feel like that would be the opposite of what we’re trying to do now and limit our possibilities. Any opportunities that would limit our freedom I think we would be against,” he said.
If you’re unfamiliar with Inaba’s comments related to self-publishing, this has been a major area of focus for the studio in 2020. One of Platinum’s recent self-published projects has been that of The Wonderful 101 Remastered, which just came to PS4, Switch, and PC. This is just one of the first games in a new initiative that the studio hopes to focus on more moving forward.
As for why these Microsoft and Platinum rumors bubbled up in the first place, reports from earlier in the year indicated that the house of Xbox was looking to potentially acquire the developer. Previously, the most direct tie between the two companies was when Platinum was working on Scalebound, which was set to be published by Microsoft. However, the project was eventually canceled in 2017 with both parties having since taken equal blame for the game not turning out as hoped. Platinum has previously indicated that it could still be interested in resurrecting Scalebound one day if Microsoft allowed it, but Xbox’s Phil Spencer has since gone on the record and said that no such thing is in the works right now.
Whether or not Platinum ends up one day being purchased by a larger publisher remains to be seen, but it’s definitely not something that looks to be in the cards right now. And considering how busy the studio is right now with titles like Bayonetta 3, Project GG, Babylon’s Fall, and another mystery project in the works, Platinum surely has its focus elsewhere.