This may be a difficult question, but so many games now are violent action games for men, starring a sexy girl. Do you think that we could maybe get beyond that someday?
HK: I think it's very difficult to verbalize what it's going to take to make this kind of a game. There's a sense of an individual sense and a group sense, but it's very hard to verbalize that.
I think, for example, for Viewtiful Joe or for Okami or these sorts of games, we've created something that appeal to people without having to explain what the world was like. People just pick it up and fall into it and grow to love it. I think I can do something similar with Bayonetta, that you won't have to sit down and explain, "Here's what the world is like. Here is the premise."
It's difficult, because there is an established stereotype about this kind of framework that is existing and set up. In fact, you may have to surmount that in order to get the kind of critical acclaim that you are hoping for.
HK: I want to preface my response with the idea in Japan that if you use a female lead character, you can't sell your game.
HK: Yes. There's sort of a curse, it's said in the gaming industry, that curses female characters. But I don't believe in that, so it's not a concern of mine. What I really want to do, though, is... especially having created games like Viewtiful Joe, where the coolness and the style is something I personally thought was satisfying and others pick up on it and also thought it was satisfying... that I want to do something similar with Bayonetta, but also if you establish a character's presence, then I'll be able to follow the same pattern.
Capcom/Clover Studio's Viewtiful Joe
Do you feel that PlatinumGames is a different kind of company? What is your feeling, working at this company now? Is it different from before? Do you feel like you have more control over what you do?
HK: I think yes, I probably have more than I did. To illustrate that point, the kinds of games that I'm able to make right now in this circumstance are the games that I feel really appeal to users, and not something that fits in the company profile. In that sense, at the very least, I feel a lot of creativity. But also, I feel that in the position I'm in now, I'm a lot closer to the users, and I can really heed their call and deliver on what they really want in a game.
Do you feel that you are in the position to create the game that you ultimately really want to create? Will you be able to realize your vision here, perhaps with this game?
HK: Yes, I do believe that I really will create the games that I really want to create. But the most important thing is, as I was saying before, that I feel that the company's position is much closer to the end-user and the player, and that we can very easily see the kinds of games that they want to play and say, "Oh, that's the kinds of games we should be making." I think we can really respond to that, in the kinds of games that I want to make, and also the kinds of games that I can make.
My main concern is not in a marketing sense, "Yes, if we make this kind of game, this is the kind of game that's going to sell, so this is the kind of game we're going to make."
We can actually look into the heart of the matter and see that these are the kinds of games that people actually play and these are the kinds of games that people are really calling out for. Those are the games we're going to make, and not just base it on executive decisions.