Microsoft Rumored to Have Been in Talks to Acquire PlatinumGames Last Year

The rumor comes after news that Platinum is receiving funding from Tencent.

PlatinumGames is having a pretty good year so far. In fact, the past couple of years have been good for the emergent Japanese studio. They’ve published multiple critically acclaimed titles: BayonettaAstral Chain, and NeiR Automata all come to mind. So why are there rumors of Microsoft passing over the company last year in their search for Xbox Series X developers?

This is all according to Brad Sams, a Microsoft insider who has previously written on the company’s inner workings, noticeably in the PC market. He makes the claim in a tweet responding to recent news that Platinum has received funding from Tencent, a Chinese game publishing giant.

While there is no solid evidence that Microsoft was looking to pick up Platinum, the theory does hold water. The two companies have a recent history: Platinum was making a dream title for the Xbox One in Scalebound. The ill-fated project began development in 2013, was announced at E3 2014, and then canceled in 2017 following a delay to the same year. The two companies have not worked together in a direct capacity ever since. This begs the question; despite claims that Microsoft wanted to work with Platinum again, did Scalebound‘s cancellation leave some old wounds?

Looking forward, that doesn’t seem to matter, at least not to Platinum Games. With funding from Tencent, the company is moving to self-publish multiple titles. The work has already begun with The Wonderful 101, which received over a million dollars in funding on Kickstarter the same day it launched. This massive amount smashed through Kickstarter’s stretch goals, meaning the Wii-U classic will be coming to PC, PS4, and Switch.

If you’ve had your fill of past Platinum titles, the future is already looking bright, or at least mysterious. Platinum recently launched a new website named Platinum 4, which hints at the possibility of 3 new titles outside of The Wonderful 101‘s remaster. This is all in Platinum’s weird and wonderful style, and now that the company can operate free of any influence, what comes next is sure to be interesting.

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Otto Kratky

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