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Straight from the Source: Atsushi Inaba (Platinum Games)

We sat down with Atsushi Inaba from Platinum Games at BitSummit. This was my second time meeting him, and he was as friendly as ever. I hope you guys enjoy the interview!

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Atsushi Inaba

This is part of our BitSumit coverage! We still have a lot more interviews coming, so please subscribe to us on Twitter. You can see our previous interviews by checking out the BitSummit Category on this site!

*Special thanks to Ollie Jameson from Minus World for his help with transcribing this interview!
Soma from Source Gaming also provided edits for clarity and checked the translation.

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What feature of the Nintendo Switch interests you the most?

The fact that you can use the hardware both inside and outside, that intrinsic feature of the console itself. I think that’s what really propels the popularity of the Switch.


What do you think of the Nintendo Switch as a platform to develop for?

It’s kind of hard to say, as you don’t want to make the game fit the hardware, you want to make the hardware fit the game – you don’t want to add a gimmick to your game just because the hardware supports it – but with the Switch, now we’re in this time where you can play Zelda on the plane, whenever you want, because you can keep it with you or bring it outside, and that’s something we couldn’t have imagined before. So perhaps the thing to do now is to make a game that draws people in and that people want to keep playing, and they can because they don’t have to wait until they’re at home. That’s one thing that would be great to get out of the Switch.


What was it like working with Nintendo on Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2? Were they very hands-on or did they give you plenty of breathing room?

We started working with Nintendo pretty far along into the development process, so there wasn’t a lot of…“ hey, we want you to do this and that”, not too many requests from Nintendo, so we had a lot of freedom to make it the way we wanted to. And we were very grateful to them for that.


If Bayonetta 3 were to ever happen, would Bayonetta still be the protagonist or would you try to surprise fans?

Maybe there would be a male Bayonetta! (laughs). I would like to make Bayonetta 3. We’re talking within the company even now about what to do. But because we’re constantly talking about it, that actually makes it really hard to say. If we weren’t talking about it, we could just say something random or offhand, you know, but because we’re actually talking about it…Of course, that’s just something that you talk about when you’re making a series – do you want to keep the same protagonist? There’s plenty of precedent for changing protagonists, and so that is something we discuss – do we want to keep the same one, have a different one, add new ones – but that’s certainly not anything I can say for sure at this point.



Is it possible that we might see Nier: Automata coming to the Switch, or is that a decision for its publisher, Square Enix?

So generally, we kind of defer to what the publisher wants for the game, especially if we’re making it for a specific hardware then, you know, that’s the hardware we’re making it for and it wasn’t necessarily meant to be ported, but it’s really up to the publisher.


Bayonetta 1 and Vanquish were recently ported to PC with great critical reception. Are you hoping to bring other titles to the platform in the same way?

The intent is not to take older games and simply re-release them on Steam – the intent is to let as many people as possible play the games, and if it’s possible to put them up on Steam, they can do that. The PC market has been a really big market, so being able to reach that market is something we would really like to do going forward if we can.


When asked on Twitter, Kamiya stated that the two Nintendo series he would love to work on are Star Fox and Nazo No Murasame Jo. If you had a chance, what would the two Nintendo franchises you would like to work on?

Nintendo franchises are really beloved franchises, and we love them as well. So if we had the chance, of course, we’d like to take a shot at it. But we’ve never gone to another company and said: “please let us make this game.” It’s always someone reaching out to us asking, “Would you like to try making this?”, be it NieR or StarFox or Metal Gear Rising. If we can keep making new, fun games like that, of course, we’d like people to keep asking us to make those games. We don’t, or at least I personally, don’t have a specific game or franchise that I’d like to make.

Actually, I wanted to make a Zelda game, but after seeing Breath of the Wild I’m not sure I can top that, I don’t think there’s anything I can contribute!

There are a few franchises that I think would suit Platinum Games really well, for example, if Metroid Prime is not going to be a thing, then I would love to see a Metroid game like Vanquished. That’s a personal dream, I guess.

I understand exactly how you feel (laughs).


What are your thoughts on Bayonetta making it into Super Smash Bros.? How involved were you in that process?

I didn’t have that discussion with Sakurai myself. I think Sakurai most likely puts characters in that he really likes, so he must have really liked Bayonetta. I was really happy to see Bayonetta in Smash. I hope she’s in future Smash games as well.

And he’s written good things about Bayonetta in his Famitsu column as well.

Bayonetta and Bayonetta-Kirby in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

…do we have time for one more question? You were the original producer for the Ace Attorney (Gyakuten Saiban) series. It was rather unusual idea for a game at the time, do you have any memories of its development that might interest fans?

In the beginning, it was really hard to do – it was released on the Game Boy Advance, which was generally thought of as a children’s gaming device, so there was a lot of doubt about whether people would actually buy this kind of game. When I proposed the idea within the company, people just told me “this is never going to fly, that doesn’t work, that’s a dumb idea.” That made me kind of angry at them a bit, so I went to Nintendo and asked them if they could help me out with the idea. They helped me to build on it. At the beginning, nobody wanted to make it, but after it turned out to be popular, everyone was saying things like “hey, when are you making a second one?”.

This is part of our BitSumit coverage! We still have a lot more interviews coming, so please subscribe to us on Twitter. You can see our previous interviews by checking out the BitSummit Category on this site!

  1. That’s interesting he thinks Sakurai picks who he likes. Don’t want to read too much into it, because that’s his opinion, but if that’s true, good for Sakurai. So far we’ve got a lot of great characters.

    Link on May 29 |
  2. I had no idea that Nintendo was involved with the conception of Ace Attorney. It’s always neat seeing what tidbits can be dug up from a simple interview!

    Nintendrone on May 29 |
  3. Great tidbit about Ace Attorney! Also, wasn’t Bayonetta the winning choice in the Smash fan ballot?

    James Jackson on May 29 |
  4. I want jeanne to be the main protagonist of bayonetta 3.

    asdf on May 30 |