Bayonetta director Hideki Kamiya sheds light on why he left Platinum, the company he co-founded: 'Without that element of trust, I couldn't continue working there'

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 13: Hideki Kamiya, Director at Platinum Games, introduces the video game "Scalebound" during Microsoft Corp. Xbox at the Galen Center on June 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
(Image credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Hideki Kamiya—director of Bayonetta and Okami, co-founder of PlatinumGames, "unemployed man," and guy who has you blocked on Twitter—is making the rounds again, and this time he's ready to spill the beans. Sort of. In a recent chat with IGN, the legendary developer shed some light on his departure from Platinum in October, telling the world that he just didn't like the way the company was going.

"My work with PlatinumGames was based on a relationship of trust," said Kamiya, but apparently that trust broke down. "I decided to leave because I felt that the direction the company was heading in was different from my beliefs as a developer. Without that element of trust, I couldn't continue working there."

That's more than Kamiya has let on in the past. In previous updates on his YouTube channel, he's only said that he left the company "to follow my beliefs as a game creator and to choose the path I think is right." Outright saying he didn't like the direction Platinum is headed in is quite the escalation, even if he's still polite when he talks about the company.

Kamiya didn't directly describe the direction Platinum is headed in that he doesn't like, but he did say that he doesn't "think of games as products, but rather as works of art. I want to put my artistry into games and deliver games that could only be made by Hideki Kamiya, so that players can enjoy Hideki Kamiya games exactly as they are." Sounds to me like Platinum was chasing profits in a way Kamiya wasn't on board with, but that is, I stress, my own speculation.

It sounds like Kamiya is still on good terms with the company, anyway. The designer told IGN that he only decided to leave after "many deep discussions" with Platinum CEO Atsushi Inaba, and that "although his beliefs differed from my own, we talked it out thoroughly, so we were both satisfied with the conclusion we reached."

Reactions among Kamiya's own dev team were a little different. Per the man himself, the sad reaction from many among his team took him a little by surprise. "The fact that many of the team seemed so sad about it made me think deeply about this point … I told them that anyone was welcome to come to talk with me privately at any time, and many of them did. Some of them sat and talked with me for two or three hours, some cried, and some others thought my decision to leave was irresponsible."

Nevertheless, he doesn't regret the choice. "I think this was the right decision, and it was a decision I made out of respect for my own stance as a developer. However, it makes me sad to think that I can’t work with the staff on my team anymore. I feel sorry about that."

I'm curious to see what Kamiya will do next, aside from his budding career as a YouTuber, but according to him he can't work in the games industry for a year "due to reasons." I guess we'll have to wait and see what he has in store. 

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.