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Hideki Kamiya Says He Left Platinum Games Because “I Don’t Think Of Games As Products, But Rather As Works Of Art”

Hideki Kamiya is a household name for millions of players around the world, though for the first time in what seems like a long time, fans of his work really don’t know when to expect a new game from him.

Kamiya is currently unemployed, working on his own YouTube channel after leaving PlatinumGames, a studio he co-founded which, at the time of his departure he said was done “after a lot of consideration based on my own beliefs.”

On Friday, in an interview with IGN, Kamiya expanded on that, revealing that he had lost the trust in the relationship he had with Platinum Games, and couldn’t continue there without that trust. He left because he saw a fundamental difference in how he, and the studio, approached game development.

“My work with PlatinumGames was based on a relationship of trust with the company.” said Kamiya.

“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, and so I left, so that I could continue working in what I consider to be the right way.

I don’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.

I decided to leave the company and forge my own path, to continue making games that reflect the developers who made them.”

Kamiya also delved into how his departure came about, which revealed just how amicable his decision to leave was, after spending considerable time speaking with studio president Atsushi Inaba and both of them agreeing this was the best course of action.

He also admits that the reaction he got from the teams of developers he worked with was surprising in a way, as he did not fully understand what he meant to some of them, and says the only thing he misses from PlatinumGames is the people he got to work and create with.

“I had many deep discussions with Inaba, and I came to my decision to leave only after we had agreed. Inaba also has his own set of beliefs as the head of the company. Although his beliefs differed from my own, we talked it out thoroughly, so we were both satisfied with the conclusion we reached.

The reaction from the development teams was different. I never took my role at the company lightly, but I realized at that moment that they trusted me more deeply than I had expected.

The fact that many of the team seemed so sad about it made me think deeply about this point.

First, I explained the reasons for my decision to quit to the whole team as a group. After that, 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. Some of them said that they came to work at PlatinumGames because they wanted to work with me specifically.

I don’t regret my decision to quit – 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.”

Fans of Kamiya who perhaps bemoaned his departure and the fact that this meant it’ll be a while before we see a new game from him can now at least take solace in knowing more of the picture as to why he left.

What is exciting though is that Kamiya does admit he has a “clear idea in mind” for a new game, though has yet to really make any headway on it.

He also clarified that any rumours about him leaving to work with certain creators or to start a new studio are “baseless” and that he truly had “no other plans lined up” after he quit.

With whatever Kamiya does next though, he intends to do it in a way that allows him to “stay true to the philosophy of ‘creating things with freedom of thought’.”

“PlatinumGames has placed a priority on growing as a company. But I personally have no interest in growing a company for the sake of corporate growth. The desire to make interesting games is the first step for me, so I want to stay true to that.

‘Creating things with freedom of thought’ means that if my friends come together and say that they would like to work with me, I want to be able to consider ways to collaborate with them to make it happen, so that we can make games together.”

Source – [IGN]