These are slightly peculiar times in the games industry, with some eye-watering mergers and acquisitions in addition to high profile share purchases. Microsoft has been making shock moves such as launching the process to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, and Sony recently hoovered up Halo and Destiny creators Bungie for $3.6 billion. There’s plenty of speculation that major moves like this will continue, and some fans are cheerleading from the sidelines.
There’s been lots of chatter around which studios and companies could be well placed for potential takeovers, and PlatinumGames has certainly been mentioned. So far the major moves of Microsoft and Sony have focused on US-based companies, with business culture and legal factors making similar moves in Japan less prominent to date (though mergers between Japanese companies have happened, with famous examples like Square Enix and Bandai Namco).
It’s also worth noting that regulations in the country have slowly been softened when it comes to corporate takeovers, and with its track record and experience PlatinumGames certainly fits the profile of a mid-to-large sized developer that could potentially be available.
PlatinumGames CEO Atsushi Inaba addressed the topic recently in an interview with VGC, with words that certainly suggest the company is open to proposals.
The most important thing for us is to have the freedom to make the games that we want to make. What I hear about the recent acquisitions, I don’t think Microsoft is going to start micromanaging Activision to where they take away all their freedom… I don’t think it’s going to be a relationship like that.
I think there’s going to be a lot of mutual respect there and I think Activision will be able to continue doing what they do best. That’s also what’s most important to us at the end of the day, whatever form that takes for us and our company. So I would not turn anything down, as long as our freedom was still respected.
PlatinumGames is currently in an interesting period. In addition to Inaba-san’s new role the company has also been signalling potential changes in its approaches to projects, such as games that can be “enjoyed and loved for a longer period of time”; that could be a notable shift considering the company’s long history of conventional single-player games.
Add to that talk about potential takeovers and its slate of ongoing projects – including Bayonetta 3 for Switch – and the company has a lot on its plate.