Babylon’s Fall may be taking its final breaths, ahead of the game’s end-of-service date coming in February 2023, but the story around the game may be even more fascinating than the game itself. PlatinumGames’ new CBO Takao Yamane along with PlatinumGames CEO Atsushi Inaba and vice president Hideki Kamiya recently sat down with VGC’s Andy Robinson for an exhaustive interview that discussed a host of topics from Bayonetta 3‘s impending launch, the future of Scalebound, and a range of other topics, including the end of days for Babylon’s Fall, and the things that can be learned from the game as the studio plans to developer further live service titles in the future.
Robinson doesn’t mess around, immediately pressing the PlatinumGames leadership about Babylon’s Fall and what actually happened to lead to the game closing inside of 12 months after its initial launch. Inaba responded expansively saying, “So, firstly, the important thing that I want to note is that we’re not able to comment on certain areas of games developed with our partners, because we’re not publishing the title that we’re developing and have certain obligations to the publisher. Going out and discussing the content of these titles or any kind of pertinent situations to do with the title itself is not something we’re allowed to do without approval from the publisher. The reason is that we don’t own that IP, unfortunately. And that’s one of the reasons we’re not fond of our current situation that only limits us to game development, to be honest with you. We don’t have the freedom to express ourselves in this way. That’s one reason why we want to strive for a self-publishing effort. But in terms of any concrete reasons or the process that led to this conclusion of the title, you’d have to go ahead and ask Square Enix about the details, unfortunately. The only thing we can comment on here in terms of the closure of the Babylon’s Fall service itself, is that this unfortunate conclusion might have been something that had triggered some disappointment, perhaps maybe even anger, to our dedicated fans and players. And any disappointment that we might have caused for our fan base is something we feel extremely sorry about, the fact that we led our dedicated fans to feel that way as a developer. Providing any sentiment other than enjoyment and fun in our creations to players is something that we’re not very happy about at all as a developer. So yeah, that’s about as much as we can comment.”
So what does Babylon’s Fall‘s failure mean for PlatinumGames’ future work in live service games. To this Inaba replied “There are two pillars, so to speak, that we can look at internally for our development teams, that being the people within the same company. The first is just the sheer fun of the core game mechanics that you have in the live service game and secondly, performing the live service itself. I think these two pillars are values that need to be strongly connected internally and need to be viewed, treasured, and valued by the same people, on the same team, at the very same company. Otherwise, if one of these is valued over the other or if they’re not connected, things usually don’t turn out the way we would have wanted them to. We want to focus on keeping that connection and that balance between those two pillars moving forward.” With regards to the prospect of developing more live service games in the future, Inaba finished by saying, “There’s a lot that we learned from this experience, and it’s not changed our future plans or outlook moving forward regarding doing live service games at all. Live service games are definitely something we do want to do and put our effort in moving forward.”
It seems as though the failure of Babylon’s Fall, possibly because Square-Enix has taken some of the financial brunt, has not deterred the developer from pursuing live service titles in the future. Whether this is another new IP, a revival of Scalebound or work on another established IP remains to be seen, we have to assume that PlatinumGames have learned a lot from the experience that they can bring forward to their next attempt