PlatinumGames’ Kenichi Sato announced Thursday that he is stepping down from his position as president and CEO of the Bayonetta and Nier: Automata studio, with veteran developer Atsushi Inaba rising to take his place.
“Currently I feel that PlatinumGames is ready to push forward towards more innovative forms of play, and so now is better a time than ever to hand the reigns to Inaba, who has led the initiative on building the company’s creative output for many years now,” Sato said in a blog post.
Sato will continue to serve PlatinumGames as an advisor, “offering my help where needed.” He served as president of the company for a little over five-and-a-half years.
Bayonetta 3 Screens (from Nintendo Direct, September 2021)
As for Inaba, he got his start working as the CEO of Clover Studio, the team behind Viewtiful Joe, Okami, and God Hand. He co-founded Platinum in 2007 alongside Resident Evil/The Evil Within director Shinji Mikami, Bayonetta’s Hideki Kamiya, and Tatsuya Minami, taking on the role of lead producer, which he’ll keep alongside his new role as president and CEO.
Inaba elaborated on his design philosophy in a separate post on Platinum’s official site, saying he believed in “approaching ‘fun’ with complete sincerity. I believe every one of our staff take pride that they are entertainers, always attempting the perfect balance between play and professionalism.”
Inaba added that “our overarching goal for entering self-publishing has been unchanged since its conception: to invent something new and share it with the rest of the world – showing our sincerity towards creation every step of the way.”
PlatinumGames’ upcoming slate includes Bayonetta 3, due out on Switch this year. It’s also got Babylon’s Fall, Sol Cresta, and the teased Project GG in the works as its first self-published game.
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer for IGN.