Bayonetta was Platinum's first big game. You've come a long way since then. Do you feel you have as much to prove with the sequel as you did with the original?
YH: Of course, this time, we want to prove ourselves in the sense that we want to show we can make something even better than the original. We're known for making original titles -- this is our first sequel. In that sense, there's still a lot to prove. We want to achieve something greater than the original in many ways.
AI: When Platinum Games was first established, we were working on a number of titles. But, in particular, Bayonetta was the first major title, and we felt like we had to put a lot into it -- so much so that we felt like the future of the company depended on the title. So in that sense, everybody in the company had a strong feeling of value placed in that title, so in that sense it was a very, very critical title.
This time around, with Bayonetta 2, we have to increase the bar. So in the same way, not so much in establishing our reputation around this title, but establishing where we can take the company -- and in that sense, again, it's just as critical as the original.
Now that you've been doing the independent studio thing for a few years, having come from Capcom, do you find it's even more pressure than you were anticipating?
YH: Compared to back in the Capcom days, we feel more pressure, but at the same time, we feel more motivation to create something.
Do you find you can have the freedom that you had dreamed of when you started this company?
AI: I wouldn't say, necessarily, that it was freedom that we wanted -- it was just that we found the industry to be in a situation where the same type of games were coming out, and there was a lot of repetition, and other companies were continuing to bring out sequels to the same games. And what we were looking for was to create impactful, unique titles that would be an inspiration to the industry. We also wanted to create a place where there were other creators and game designers who wanted to achieve the same goals.
Do you think that Platinum has become that place?
AI: I've been working with Mr. Hashimoto for a long time, so I'd definitely like to hear what he has to say about it, too, but we get the opinion from a lot of people that come and join us that it is the type of place that they've been looking for, and that finally they've found a place that helps them achieve the things they want to achieve, in addition to helping us achieve our goals.
YH: Of course, everybody individually, we all have different styles and different situations. But we all come together in a place where we can say freely to one another, "You know, I don't think this is any good," or "Maybe you should do it in a different way -- or cut it altogether." So there's definitely a sense of trust that you build in that kind of environment. Additionally, there's motivation to be gained from that sort of environment. Because of that, there's this positive tension that supports one another within Platinum.
It's really a place where all of these people who are really playful at heart can contribute and create a really fun atmosphere.