Some consider him one of the geniuses of Japanese development. A few others, a troll of X (formerly Twitter). Be that as it may, there is no doubt that all his work has his hallmark and who is a creative whose passion for a very specific way of understanding the video game It is perceived in each of their productions. After 17 years, Hideki Kamiya leaves PlatinumGames on October 12. We briefly review his career and legacy while we wait to find out what adventures lie ahead for the developer.
The departure of the until now vice president of the studio led by Atsushi Inaba seems to have been friendly. “We are truly grateful for your creative ideas, leadership and contribution to the growth of PlatinumGames from our inception until this very day,” the company said this Monday in a statement.
“We believe that he will continue to succeed in his future projects as a video game creator,” they added, thus indicating that they will not abandon the sector. “We look forward to seeing the gaming industry become a better place with him in it. We wish him all the best for the future!” Kamiya note in your personal account that the decision has not been easybut it has been the best. “Continue creating the way of Hideki Kamiya”, promise. An hour later he published another post.
A first major job: resident Evil to *text muted* May Cry
Kamiya has been an extravagant creative from the beginning, both in person and in his works. Part of this comes from the cultural tastes acquired during childhood and adolescence, which can be seen in its titles: classic action games such as ship arcadesadventures (especially the saga The Legend of Zelda) and the movies and series kaiju or giant monsters godzilla and ultraman.
With those references under your arm, in 1994 (at 24 years old) I found a job at Capcom after being rejected by SEGA and after rejecting Namco, who wanted him as an artist. he wanted to be video game designerand with that position he began nothing more and nothing less than in the first resident Evil under the leadership of another highly reputable creative whom Kamiya recognizes as his mentor: Shinji Mikami.
If that beginning is remarkable, it is even more so that his second job was to direct Resident Evil 2. Capcom was giving Mikami more and more production and supervisory work, so he entrusted Kamiya with directing the survival horror despite They continually had creative clasheswhich led (along with lack of time) to Mikami stopping directly influencing the title to leave it everything, except periodic supervision, on the shoulders of the young designer by Matsumoto.
After demonstrating mastery of the saga, Kamiya was tasked with developing Resident Evil 4 for PlayStation 2, but this time with almost absolute creative freedom. From the beginning I wanted to make a spectacular action game that would star a guy with biotechnological superpowerssomething that could fit into the Umbrella Corporation narrative.
That idea, after some changes in the story and placing it in a world full of demons, became *text muted* May Cryan action game super influentialwho practically invented the genre of hack and slash three-dimensional, and overflows Kamiya’s style: his taste for cool, for spectacle and for Arcadian classic: the combos, the scores, the difficulty and the gameplay accurate. Unfortunately, they did not count on him for the bad luck. *text muted* May Cry 2although it did help in the history of the popular *text muted* May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening.
Creativity and low sales: the time of Clover
Between 2004 and 2006, Kamiya was part of an internal Capcom studio that stood out for the creativity that overflowed each of its projects, although none enjoyed good sales, but recognition to this day. Just before this period they gave the Japanese creative free rein to develop Viewtiful Joe with a team full of big names from Capcom.
It’s about a me against the neighborhood full of references to celluloid and superheroes with a strong aroma of Arcadian. That same internal study was renamed Clover Studiowhere Kamiya directed Okamia beautiful adventure produced after a brainstorming of the entire studio, but in whose structure Kamiya’s admiration for The Legend of Zelda.
Unfortunately, none of the firm’s titles sold well: not even the port for PS2 and the sequels of Viewtiful Joe (whose story Kamiya wrote), nor the critically acclaimed Okaminor the extravagant cult game God Hand.
Lights and shadows at PlatinumGames
After Clover closed 16 years ago, Shinji Mikami, Atsushi Inaba and Kamiya founded Seeds, Inc.which in 2008 was renamed PlatinumGames. The intention of the creator of *text muted* May Cry at the beginning of working for SEGA materialized in part: the studio signed an agreement with the Sonic to create four games, among which were Mad World, Vanquish, Anarchy Reignsand of course, Bayonetta.
Bayonetta is much more than the spiritual successor of *text muted* May Cry. It’s a hack and slash where Kamiya’s taste for spectacle, for the cool, for the extravagant is clear. and for the monsters. It immediately became the benchmark of its genre despite the fact that at first it was not exactly a success in sales.
Even less successful, partly due to the failure of the platform on which it was launched, is his second title directed at PlatinumGames, Wonderful 101where all the signs of identity of the creative (superheroes, the essence of the video game Arcadian) They look at their maximum expression.
Although I did not direct the following Bayonettahas been closely linked to the saga, supervising and participating in the story of Bayonetta 2 and Bayonetta 3in addition to Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon as supervisor, story manager and scriptwriter.
Meanwhile I also supervised Astral Chain and World of Demons, but much of his work during all this time fell on deaf ears. While some of his companions were in charge of Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guarda saga he has always wanted to work on, he was involved in an even more personal project.
Scalebound was announced in 2014 for Xbox One, a great project in collaboration with Microsoftwhich had its great Japanese representative in this game as in the Xbox 360 generation it had with Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey. But the attractive action adventure starring a cool guy and featuring dragons never came to fruition. It was canceled in 2017, as Kamiya has admitted, for failing to learn how to use Unreal Engine and integrate online functions.
And the projects he had in hand?
Born from a joke, Kamiya was able to give free rein to his imagination and personal tastes with a small title created in a difficult time for the studio of which he was vice president: Sun Crest it’s a shooter arcade ship that has been played very little (perhaps due to its high price by the standards of the genre in which it fits), but it has everything to become a cult title.
On the other hand, the creative leaves the third part of his superhero trilogy in limbo. After Viewtiful Joe and Wonderful 101 (which received a remaster in 2020), PlatinumGames officially announced in 2020 Project GGan adventure that will combine superheroes and kaiju. After his departure, it is unknown what will happen to this very personal project.
Whether with that or with other projects, it seems that We will continue enjoying video games with the Kamiya seal. “I will continue to believe in the creative spirit that I have always believed in during my career at Capcom, Clover Studio and Platinum, no matter what anyone says,” he said in a post in the early hours of this Tuesday. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to continue making games that live up to that belief; I don’t have a formula for success, but I am committed to it“.
If you want to know more about Kamiya, his influences and his way of approaching video game development, We highly recommend the documentary series Kamiya Chronicles (with English subtitles) created by Archipel and GameSpark, in which through interviews with him and other related designers the 25 years of career of the extravagant, committed and passionate creative japanese