Hideki Kamiya on Nier: Automata's Success: "Yoko-san Saved Platinum"

The Bayonetta creator credits Nier: Automata director for saving PlatinumGames.

News by Matt Kim, .

Hideki Kamiya, co-founder and director of PlatinumGames, tweeted yesterday a thank you to Nier: Automata director Yoko Taro for "saving" Platinum.

In a translation posted on NeoGAF, a tweet from the PlatinumGames director read:

"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. Normally, I can't help but do everything by myself... it's a pitiful story, but to say that Yoko-san saved Platinum would not be an exaggeration. I cannot thank him enough."

Nier: Automata was a surprise success for publisher Square-Enix, surpassing 1.5 million sales worldwide since releasing earlier this year. Nier: Automata's sales blew past the sales for the first Nier game which despite garnering a cult following, never hit the same level of success as its sequel. Nier: Automata by contrast was met with strong sales and critical acclaim, and is considered a strong game of the year contender among video game critics (myself included).

PlatinumGames developed Nier: Automata with director Yoko Taro for the PlayStation 4 and PC—marking the first collaboration between the studio and the video game director. The first Nier—which came out in 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360—was developed by Japanese studio Cavia, since shut down. Both Nier games were published by Square-Enix.

Prior to Nier: Automata, PlatinumGames developed several critically-acclaimed games including Bayonetta 1 & 2, Metal Gear Revengeance, and Vanquish. Unfortunately, the company also suffered from some high-profile setbacks, including the cancellation of Scalebound, originally a planned Xbox One exclusive title directed by Hideki Kamiya. Nier: Automata's success apparently put PlatinumGames on a proper footing again, spurring interest for the studio from talented game designers and partners.

Scalebound, since cancelled

Nier: Automata tells the story of androids, created by a colony of humans living in space, who must reclaim Earth which has been taken over by machines created by invading aliens. The story features many Yoko Taro hallmarks including tackling big philosophical questions regarding human nature and existentialism. Taro wrote the story for Nier: Automata alongside Hana Kikuchi and Yoshiho Akabane. You can hear more about Nier: Automata's story from Yoko Taro himself in our interview with the director.

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Comments 9

  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #1 NiceGuyNeon 8 months ago
    HOOO BABY! Thanks Taro man!
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #2 VotesForCows 8 months ago
    Great to hear. Interestingly (for me) I was reading Camus around the same time as I was playing Nier Automata - made for a great combination!
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  • Avatar for Roto13 #3 Roto13 8 months ago
    Did Platinum actually need saving? Did Microsoft screw them that badly?
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  • Avatar for lacerz #4 lacerz 8 months ago
    Definitely a great game that gets deeper with each play through.
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  • Avatar for Wellman2nd #5 Wellman2nd 8 months ago
    @Roto13 It wasn't just Microsoft, basically they want to stay independent but due the nature of the industry, staying independent, especially while working on HD projects in Japan is harder then ever. The Japanese sales are usually below a million and their contract work only helps them so much as they want and created the studio to make games their own way. This seems like their first big hit outside of the Bayonetta franchise and I want to say Metal Gear did well.Edited August 2017 by Wellman2nd
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  • Avatar for TernBird #6 TernBird 8 months ago
    It really is amazing that Yoko Taro became such a household name in such a short amount of time. I never thought that the man responsible for Drackenguard would become such a well-regarded writer--and honestly, he deserves it. Kudos to Taro for his awesome work. Here's hoping Platinum keeps making great games.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #7 NiceGuyNeon 8 months ago
    @Wellman2nd what really sucks for Platinum is that they don't own any of their properties. Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising, and Nier all belong to someone else. Their contract work obviously does too. And even the stuff that didn't sell that well like Vanquish and Madworld/Anarchy Reigns belong to SEGA.

    They really need a game that belongs to them and is their namesake. Right now I feel like most people associate that with Bayonetta, but that series doesn't belong to them unfortunately. :/
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #8 VotesForCows 8 months ago
    @NiceGuyNeon Totally sucks, doesn't it? And with the recent remasters I guess Sega have no taste for passing on the IP, though I guess if they do well they might commission another sequel to Bayonetta.

    Platinum definitely need their own IP.
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  • Avatar for docexe #9 docexe 8 months ago
    @TernBird It seems to me that what Yoko Taro really needed was to associate with a studio with the development skills to finally do justice to his particular vision. In that sense, the partnership with Platinum became a match made in heaven. Hopefully they will manage to work together again.
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