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The Wonderful 101: Remastered has been successfully crowdfunded to bring the Wii U game to the Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC, but Platinum Games is keen to clarify that this was “a very unique case.” (via VGC)
Director Hideki Kamiya cares very much for The Wonderful 101. He had been badgering publisher Nintendo, “trying to negotiate with [it] whether a possible Wonderful 101 Switch release could happen” for quite some time. Though there was a tease shown in The Wonderful 101 heroes playing together on a Switch, it seemed that the idea of a re-release or a sequel wasn’t looking likely. “From their perspective obviously there are things they can't talk about, about dealings they have with Nintendo,” said executive director Atsushi Inaba in 2018. “Certainly they can say everything they said during the speech, which was, ‘Hey, we should do that.’ But whether that is a ‘we are going to do that’, and what the likelihood is of that happening, is just going to have to be something you wait to find out.”
Now, The Wonderful 101: Remastered has smashed its first three goals, generating ¥111 million in funding, and the game is coming to the Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC some time in April. The appearance of the campaign, though very much welcomed by fans, confused people because Platinum Games had recently gotten investment from Tencent Holdings (the world’s biggest gaming company). Speaking to VGC, Inaba and Kamiya shed a little light on the inner workings of the studio. “The first thing I’d like everyone to understand is that although our company has slowly started to grow, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we can suddenly do everything we’ve always wanted to,” explained Inaba. “I felt there was an imbalance in the number of people who actually got to play [The Wonderful 101] compared to the amount of passion and quality that was put into creating it.” Despite Platinum Games’ continued efforts, it “failed to bear any fruit” because enthusiasm is simply not enough to attract potential publishers. “I feel that Kickstarter’s crowdfunding capabilities allows us to leap past such boundaries and connect directly with users,” rationalised Inaba.
Platinum Games has four projects in the pipeline. The first is, of course, The Wonderful 101: Remastered. However, the explosive success of this Kickstarter does not mean that the studio will stick to this approach. “For this particular project, all the factors seemed to come together for crowdfunding to make sense. The fact that we wanted to revisit the game, the fact Nintendo allowed us to do it and the timing was good. So we consider this a very unique case,” said Inaba, and added that the future projects will be considered on a “case-by-case” basis and occasionally, some things will be “out of our hands.” Kamiya said that Nintendo was “really nice” regarding the remaster, and its only caveat was that it didn’t want to bring The Wonderful 101 to PC and Playstation 4.
“Platinum has a really good relationship with Nintendo. We’ve been with Nintendo from the very beginning and we’ve released a lot of games with them, including Astral Chain which recently released and was a big success,” explained Inaba. “So I think it’s largely thanks to our relationship with Nintendo that they kind of decided to give us a break. I think it’s our history that it’s largely attributed to. We were quite surprised ourselves. This is usually not something that is allowed in the games industry. We see it as a very unique opportunity that Nintendo has given us and we’re pleased to have it.”
The Wonderful 101: Remastered is coming to PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch in April 2020.