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Bayonetta studio PlatinumGames goes it alone with new independent project

Bayonetta and Astral Chain developer PlatinumGames has revealed the first details of a new project that director Hideki Kamiya describes as a “giant step” for the studio. With a working title of “Project GG,” the game will be the first original property that Platinum develops, publishes, and ultimately owns itself.

A teaser video was just released, but it doesn’t show much of what Project GG actually is beyond describing it as “the powerful climax to the Hideki Kamiya superhero trilogy,” which hints at a possible connection to Viewtiful Joe and The Wonderful 101. There are elements like shadowy figures, possible kaiju, destroyed cityscapes, and a cute shiba inu, all of which could well add up to strong fodder for a solid Platinum-esque action title. In the announcement, however, the platforms, release date, and even the game’s genre are listed as TBD.

“As a creator, it’s hard not to think of my games as my children,” Kamiya says in a statement. “After all, it takes a lot of hard work to raise them up, and a lot of love, too. However, once they’re done, any choices about them are entirely out of my hands. So, for example, no matter how many times people tell me, ‘You should make a sequel to this game,’ or, ‘I’d love to see it on that console,’ there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Hideki Kamiya (left) and Atsushi Inaba (right) of PlatinumGames.
Photo by Sam Byford / The Verge

Project GG is different. Unlike any of the games we’ve made so far, it’s going to be a 100-percent PlatinumGames title. For everything from its setting and characters, to its game design and story, to how it’s promoted — PlatinumGames is in full control.”

Kamiya notes that this endeavor won’t be without risk, saying that “having full control over the Project GG IP gives us a ton of freedom, but also a ton of responsibility.” The company is close to achieving another early independent success, however, with its recent Kickstarter campaign for The Wonderful 101 Remastered, a resurrection of an underappreciated Wii U cult hit from 2013. The project has already raised close to 192 million yen ($1.74 million) in funding with nine days remaining, far beyond the initial goal of around $50,000.

Now, Platinum is announcing the release dates for The Wonderful 101 Remastered: it’ll come out on the Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC on May 19th in North America, May 22nd in Europe, and June 11th in Japan. Given that the PS4 and PC versions were initially pitched as stretch goals, it’s even more obvious that the project was pretty much good to go no matter what happened with its campaign. But Platinum has at least been able to demonstrate the ability to mobilize a fan base, which augurs well for its other forays into self-publishing.

“Unfortunately, I can’t say [The Wonderful 101 on Wii U] was much of a success from a business standpoint,” Kamiya says. “But I’ve also never thought of it as a failure. I didn’t back then, and I don’t today. That’s because, to a game creator, a game is only a failure if it disappoints the gamers who play it. From the start, The Wonderful 101 didn’t quite reach a large enough audience for me to clearly call it either way. So regardless of how The Wonderful 101 fared in the marketplace the first time around, I’m considering this a chance to show it to the world again. I’m looking forward to seeing how it measures up.”

After The Wonderful 101 Remastered, Project GG is the second of four mystery projects that PlatinumGames plans to announce soon. Two of the studio’s most well-regarded titles, Vanquish and Bayonetta, were just released in remastered form for the PS4 and Xbox One with Sega as the publisher.

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