We sat down with Hideki Kamiya and Atsushi Inaba at BitSummit Vol. 6 and talked about Bayonetta, The Wonderful 101, the impact of Nier: Automata on PlatinumGames! The interview was conducted by Nirbion.
Big thanks to PushDustin for the helpful edits and Soma and Brando for the additional translation!
Nirbion: Thank you for taking the time for us to answer some of our questions!
You surprised us at The Game Awards 2017 with the announcements of the Switch ports of Bayonetta 1 and 2. Was it difficult to port the games on the Nintendo Switch or was it an easy process?
Inaba: It wasn’t so difficult. We already ported it once for the Wii U, so bringing them over from Wii U to Switch wasn’t that different.
Nirbion: Was the Switch port a request from Nintendo or was it a desire from you and PlatinumGames to bring both Bayonetta games to the Nintendo Switch?
Inaba: It wasn’t particularly that one [side] requested the other. It was something that we both kind of wanted and it just so happened that as they were planning, the timing worked out and Nintendo said “OK, we will allow you to release it on Switch”. We wanted everything of course to be playable on the same hardware.
Nirbion: Bayonetta 1 and 2 for Switch wasn’t the only announcement. You also surprised us with the announcement of Bayonetta 3. But the teaser trailer kind of scared me, will Bayonetta be okay?
Kamiya: makes sealed mouth gesture
Nirbion: Is it okay to ask more about Bayonetta 3 or is everything sealed as secret?
Inaba: There isn’t something particular, we can talk about. But there are lots of messages included in that teaser trailer from Kamiya. The fact that it affected you so much and you are concerned about Bayonetta, that makes us very happy!
Nirbion: Okay, well then only one question about Bayonetta 3. How far is the development of Bayonetta 3?
Inaba: It’s progressing steadily. It’s difficult to say, but it is continuing. This time around, the development process is slightly different.
PushDustIn: What’s different this time around the development process?
Inaba: There’s not much we can say at all, but there’s a lot of surprises left in store for the game. Things outside of expectations. Please look forward to it.
Nirbion: Really looking forward to it. Okay, then let’s not talk about Bayonetta anymore. Let’s switch gears to The Wonderful 101.
Nirbion: I mean, it’s a wonderful game and deserves a second chance on the Nintendo Switch. If you get the chance to bring The Wonderful 101 to the Switch, what kind of new content and changes would you like to add?
Kamiya: Is there anything in particular you would want to see?
Nirbon: I’m more curious about how the gameplay will be affected on the Switch. Especially since there were segments that uses two screens at the same time in the Wii U version .
Kamiya: If we’re going to do it, we have ideas. I made internal documents on how we would do it.
Nirbion: Can you briefly explain the history of The Wonderful 101’s development? What other companies did you approach with The Wonderful 101 project, or was it just Nintendo?
Kamiya: We were originally approached by Nintendo to come up with a game that would be able to bring all the characters together, similar to Smash Bros. or Kingdom Hearts, a world where all the Nintendo characters could interact with each other. Lots of characters, lots of players, things like that. Somewhere along the line, that idea sadly got shelved. But that’s the seed that started The Wonderful 101 and we kept some of the ideas, having lots of characters and players working together to do bigger things like forming together a giant fist and punching. So we replaced the characters more with superhero ideas and that was kind of the start.
PushDustIn: Was that superhero idea always for Nintendo?
Nirbion: We translated the interview you had with other game creators from Famitsu’s New Year [The Year of the Dog] issue. Thank you for retweeting that, even though it crashed our site.
Kamiya: Thank you very much [for translating it]! We wanted everybody in the world to be able to read it. (Laughs)
Famitsu should really be doing that on their own dime though, right?
Inaba: Yeah, you’re right (laughs).
Kamiya: It’s because they don’t do it that you guys have to do all the work.
Inaba: Again with the bad-mouthing (laughs).
Nirbion: In that interview, you talked a lot about what games influenced you and other creators. What creators are influencing you in the current day?
Kamiya: Hmm… There’s a lot of Triple-A titles coming out in the West recently that are all made really well. It’s not that I’m influenced by any particular creator, I can’t really remember the names of the creators of games that I’ve recently played. Just the concept of these big AAA’s that come out, they’re really superb products. It’s not one of my basic design processes to follow someone else’s philosophies and influences. I’m just enjoying those games and [taking influence] from parts, rather than looking to some particular name for inspiration.
Well, recently I’ve been thinking the director of Breath of the Wild, Nintendo’s Hidemaro Fujibayashi is really great. He worked under me, so I guess I feel a little bad that I raised him so well. He’s really turned the tables on me (laughs).
I guess you can say I raised Zelda.
Inaba: If it wasn’t for you, then Breath of the Wild wouldn’t exist!
PushDustIn: What about you Inaba?
Inaba: I feel the same way as Kamiya; not anybody in particular, more just the works they’ve been creating.
Nirbion: Last year, you mentioned on Twitter…
Nirbion: …that the success of Nier: Automata was extremely helpful and that “Yoko-san saved Platinum”.
Could you elaborate on this topic and tell us how Nier: Automata‘s success helped PlatinumGames grow?
Kamiya: For me, I was speaking about it because Nier: Automata came at a time where I personally feel that the last project failed. But Nier: Automata was received in such high regard, that it really continued to carry the image of PlatinumGames. Not just outside to the world, but even inside the company, its success was a great morale booster for a lot of people working within the company.
Inaba: So it kind of helped to really push the name of Platinum Games. Up until then, there was a reputation of PlatinumGames, and people who played PlatinumGames games. But because this time we were working in conjunction with Square Enix, a lot of people who are into Square Enix games and maybe wouldn’t have ever played a PlatinumGames game before, are now looking at playing some of our other games because of how much they liked Nier: Automata.
Up until now, Bayonetta has been the game we’re known for. But now, Bayonetta is starting to become known as the game from that company that made Nier: Automata.
Nirbion: Unfortunately, that’s all the time we have, so thank you very much for having us for this interview and have a nice day!