Hi, this is Sato, president of PlatinumGames.
June is finally here. How does it find you all?
PlatinumGames begins its fiscal year in June, which mean that this month begins another year-long journey. This is when the company determines its new goals and plans for the coming year. In our annual kick-off meeting, I shared “Growing Up” as a keyword for the company this year. The growth of the company depends on the growth of its employees – might be slightly typical, but for PlatinumGames, as we continue to push ourselves towards our goals of self-publishing, it rings very true. Our goals will come with challenges. But when we face these challenges, I believe it is important that our employees stay calm and focus on how they can contribute through their position. The individual contributions of these employees will then eventually produce the momentum for us to overcome our challenges. And this starts now, in June.
A game developer is probably judged on the quality of the games they create, but I believe the ability to keep producing great games is important as well. Being able to continuously launch great titles attest to the wellbeing of a game company. The goals we set in June serve as a check up for us, and so it’s around this time of year that we realign to face the road ahead. Along with the beginning of the calendar year, and with welcoming new graduates in April, this means our year essentially has three starting lines, but for the company, things really begin in June. This is where we take a deep breath and tell ourselves, “let’s do this.”
Most companies in Japan have their fiscal year start in April – our biggest reason for staring in June would probably be to spread out our areas of high traffic. Most Japanese companies have an end of the year crunch around March, but ours comes in May. We can then reserve March for making preparations for the new graduates we have hired, which also opens up April for us to focus on their orientation.
Games are made by people. I want to make sure I give priorities to our human resources first, and I believe that setting the company’s start in June to do so has turned our well thus far.
Having now entered June, one of the hottest topics of the world is undoubtedly the Tokyo Olympics, planned to begin next month. Amid continuing COVID concerns, heated discussion is ongoing, with many saying that the Olympics this year should be cancelled.
I don’t know if there’s ever been an Olympics with so many mixed feelings going into it. Back when Japan resigned from participating in the Moscow Olympics, I remember my reaction being “well, it’s unfortunate, but I understand”. This year, I’m sure canceling the Olympics could have a devastating affect for many people. But of course, I have strong concerns for what might happen holding the Olympics with insufficient countermeasures to containing COVID.
The more I think about it, however, I can only come to the conclusion that I hope the Olympics will have their opening ceremony on July 23, 2021. Many other countries around the world are holding international sporting events with the right planned precautions, and as someone working in the entertainment industry and living in Japan, I hope the Tokyo Olympics happen. This past year, I’ve understood the energizing effect sports can have on people. I hope they find a way to proceed as planned, while taking adequate measures to minimize risk.
And at Platinum, we will continue working to energize others through the games we make.
Until next time.
|Kenichi Sato President and CEO
Kenichi Sato was born in Tokyo in 1962.
Though he began working for Isetan Department Stores in 1986, he changed careers to work in the video games industry in 1996 when he joined Sega Enterprises (now Sega) as a member of the Dreamcast marketing team. In 2000 he was brought on board as a founding member and general manager at Cavia (now Marvelous). In 2006, Sato founded ODD Ltd., the company that would later become PlatinumGames. A key member of PlatinumGames from the very beginning, Sato stepped into the role of president and CEO in April 2016.