PlatinumGames was originally founded in 2006 by former members of Capcom's now-dissolved Clover Studios as Seeds Inc.; in October 2007 the company merged with another band of ex-Capcomers, ODD Incorporated, and renamed itself. The developer is headquartered in Osaka.
Shinji Mikami is best-known for creating the original Resident Evil and then reinvigorating the franchise as the director of the critically acclaimed Resident Evil 4. He also was executive producer for titles including Viewtiful Joe and Devil May Cry while he was the general manager for Capcom Production Studio 4.
Atsushi Inaba made a name for himself while at Capcom by producing a wide range of games, including Steel Battalion, Viewtiful Joe, Okami, God Hand, and Phoenix Wright. He's joined by Hideki Kamiya, the creator and director of both Devil May Cry and Viewtiful Joe; he also directed the critical favorite Okami.
While it may not be typical to include such an untested company in a roundup such as this, the incredible resumes of its founders earn PlatinumGames a deserved spot on the list.
In May 2008, it was announced that the studio had signed a four-game publishing deal with Sega; the three titles that have been announced so far are all slated to come out in 2009.
PlatinumGames has shown three of the four games that will be published by Sega. The Kamiya-directed Bayonetta is an action title starring a witch facing off against angels, DS RPG Infinite Line is a space opera inspired by the sci-fi novella Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke and is being developed in partnership with Japanese studio Nude Maker.
In addition, MadWorld is a very violent Wii title featuring black-and-white graphics and dark humor. The fourth title, which has yet to be announced, is being developed by Mikami.
"Some might say that including PlatinumGames on this list is buying into the hype -- the studio's public debut earlier this year has become one of the most talked-about events in games in 2008.
But the pedigree of its developers is absolutely without question: the soul of many of Capcom's major successes (and minor but significant games -- like Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, one of the most beloved sleeper titles on the PS2) has been transferred into this new studio.
The studio is notable not just for the fact that it has so much proven talent, but that the talent has added to its strength by banding together to push out a rank of promising titles into the light - and talking big about them.
Shaking off the image of Japanese development as staid and
corporate might be as important to the industry as a whole as the quality of its games."
- Christian Nutt