PlatinumGames director Atsuhi Inaba suggested that they are willing to join a big company as long as their freedom is respected.
PlatinumGames CEO has hinted that studio Bayonetta would be willing to support future acquisition talks, if their freedom is secured. Speaking to major news outlets following his recent promotions to president and chief executive officer, Atsushi Inaba was asked about consolidation in the gaming industry, marked by the most significant milestone with Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard worth $70 billion and whether Platinum is open to offering.
Inaba responded by saying he’s open to any possibility, as long as Platinum has the independent capabilities he expects Microsoft to provide to Activision once the deal is complete. “The most important thing for us is to have the freedom to make the games we want to make,” he said. “From what I’ve heard about the recent acquisitions, I don’t think Microsoft will start managing Activision but will also take away their freedom. I don’t support partnerships in this way.” “I think there is going to be a lot of mutual respect there and I think Activision will be able to continue to do what they do best. It’s also of the utmost importance to us, whatever form is appropriate for the company we’re working for. So I won’t refuse anything, as long as our freedom is respected.”
Inaba has previously hinted that Platinum would not be interested in selling to Microsoft, which has publicly stated its desire to add the Japanese studio to its first-party list if the deal goes through. Platinum is one of Japan’s most popular indie game developers, known for its remarkable track record in creating unique games such as Bayonetta, The Wonderful 101, Vanquish, and Astral Chain, as well as others. Popular collaborations on titles like Metal Gear Rising, NieR Automata, and Star Fox Zero.
In 2020, Platinum received an investment from China’s Tencent corporation (as did Activision Blizzard before the Microsoft deal). M&A activity in the games industry hits a record $85 billion in 2021 and is forecast to hit $150 billion this year, but the recent growth in M&A activity doesn’t appear to have reached the studio until from Japan. In the past, the country’s developers have merged including Koei Tecmo, Bandai Namco, Sega Sammy and Square Enix but we haven’t seen anything special yet, not to mention the $3 Bungie deal. PlayStation’s $0.6 billion deal, not to mention Microsoft’s $70 billion Activision deal.
When asked why Japan’s biggest companies don’t seem to merge as often as Western companies, Inaba said he’s surprised there aren’t more mergers and acquisitions. “I agree, you don’t see that much in Japan and personally, I think it’s weird,” he said. “For some big company with all their money, sometimes you think, ‘come on! Let’s buy some company up already! “It’s strange to see Japanese companies being so passive.”
Japan-based analyst Dr. Serkan Toto recently said he believes it will be difficult for Western corporations like Microsoft to acquire major Japanese game makers due to cultural differences. . “Nothing can be ruled out in this day and age,” said Toto. “But in a sense, Microsoft’s takeover of a major Japanese game publisher would be bigger news than the Activision deal. So far, no foreign game company has been able to acquire a well-known Japanese studio.