On the official website of PlatinumGames this morning, we were given a blog post by none other than Kenichi Sato himself. The blog post is short but remains punctual to the point. Sato will no longer be the CEO of PlatinumGames going forward. Sato’s role as CEO concluded as of the end of December 2021. Succeeding him will be Atsushi Inaba, Vice-President of PlatinumGames.
PlatinumGames CEO Steps Down
PlatinumGames was founded in 2007, and are known for their fast-paced action titles. These include the famed Bayonetta series, along with the critically-acclaimed NieR: Automata. Kenichi Sato himself became CEO of the company in April 2016. While Sato mentions “retiring” from his position, his statements imply he believes it is for the better. He states:
After I assumed the position of president in April 2016, we focused on the game development business with the desire to bring smiles to people around the world, and realised a capital alliance with Tencent in December 2019. We then launched Platinum Games Tokyo as a development based to further strengthen our development capabilities, and started the development of our own IP, which was our long-cherished wish.
Sato goes on to explain his reasoning:
We now need to accelerate our efforts to create new games that only PlatinumGames can create, and I have decided that the best way to do this is to hand over the presidency to Inaba, who has been the studio head of PlatinumGames for many years and has demonstrated his skills in the creative side of games.
Atsushi Inaba takes the CEO role in Sato’s departure. Inaba has worked on games since 1992, but one of his first significant roles came as Assistant Producer for Resident Evil – Code: Veronica X. Over the years, Inaba has worked on other notable series such as Phoenix Wright, Viewtiful Joe, and Ōkami while with Capcom.
Atsushi Inaba Steps Up to the Plate
With his studio at Capcom, Clover Studio, on the way to being shut down in 2007, Inaba left the company to found his own in 2006. In October 2007, Inaba’s new studio would complete a merger and rebrand into PlatinumGames. Inaba has been the head producer of the development decision, and the Vice-President ever since.
Inaba’s new position as CEO was coupled with its own blog post. In it, Inaba shares his enthusiasm for self-publishing:
Our overarching goal for entering self-publishing has been unchanged since its conception: to invent something new and share it with the rest of the world – showing our sincerity towards creation every step of the way. People speaking different languages, different backgrounds, all brought together through a controller. Made to smile by a new type of game. It connects us, and sets us free.
In 2022, Inaba will oversee the release of several games, barring any delays. The Square Enix-published Action-RPG live service game Babylon’s Fall will launch on March 3, 2022. Sol Cresta, the sequel to the 1990 Arcade shooter, has yet to receive a release date despite being targeted for 2022. Of course, the long-awaited Bayonetta 3 will launch sometime in 2022, after being announced all the way back at The Game Awards in 2017.
Sato will remain as an advisor for PlatinumGames going forward.
How do you feel as a PlatinumGames fan as this shake-up with the company? Do you have some concerns or do you think the company is in good hands? What do you think about Platinum’s self-publishing ventures? For the latest on PlatinumGames and their releases, stay tuned with the Lords of Gaming.