At a private event last night, a very excited (and cautious) Sega told us about their new partnership with Platinum Games, the creative team comprised of former members of Capcom's Clover studio. Sega of America pres Simon Jeffrey introduced them like this: "These guys are some of the most talented, some of the most respected guys in the entire gaming business. Their portfolio is incredible, they're revered, they're almost worshiped in some parts of the gaming community and we're very truly honored to be working with them."
The first three games should come as little surprise to anyone reading Joystiq the last couple days: Bayonetta
, by Hideki Kamiya, creator of Devil May Cry
, and Viewtiful Joe
; Infinite Line
, by Hifumi Kouno
at Nudemaker, creator of Steel Battalion
and, before that, the Clock Tower
series; and MadWorld
, a mad-cap feast of ultraviolence for -- you guessed it! -- the Wii by first time director Shigenori Nishikawa.
After wrangling the press into a restaurant overlooking San Francisco Bay, adorned with Sega and Platinum Games ice sculptures and milling with enthusiasm for the partnership, Jeffrey explained Sega's standing in the world of video game publishers (read: they're getting better) before introducing Tatsuya Minami, president and CEO of Platinum Games. "A lot of people have said the development companies in Japan haven't been doing well lately," Minami said. "But we are different. We would like people in the world to once again play high-quality Japanese games. And to realize this dream we've been looking for a good partner." Cue: Sega.
Minami-san praised Sega's "courage" in allowing them to make "these unique and exciting" titles. Of particular interest to Platinum was Sega's "well-known and worldwide brand" -- not dissimilar from Capcom's come to think of it. With offices around the world, Sega provides significant resources to Platinum, making them "the perfect partner" for the superstar studio. They began the presentation of the three games, but not before teasing, "There is a fourth title we can't announce just yet. The director on this title is Shinji Mikami."
Once the presentations were through, and interviews were winding down, and beer had been drunk, Sega PR reps flirted through the crowd, letting them know there was one more surprise. No, not that Shinji Mikami game (that's what we were hoping too!); rather, some fireworks launched from a barge in the Bay, to commemorate one of the company's most promising announcements in years.