I love Bayonetta. Ever since discovering the series on the WiiU with the 1+2 combo pack (some start, I know), I’ve been hooked on the series sense of style, gameplay, and of course completely ridiculous and over the top boss fights. Something about that eight-foot-tall giraffe woman owning her sexuality with hack and slash gameplay just resonated with me on the deepest level. But the Bayonetta series, as long ago as 2 released (shockingly as a WiiU exclusive, but that’s a story for another day), has had a third entry in the works for quite a while now. Some say if you put your ear up to Nintendo’s HQ in Redmond or Kyoto, you can still hear Fly Me to the Moon softly playing as if in yearning to appear in another title in the franchise. However, ever since The Game Awards 2017, where the game had a brief teaser that showed very little in true Bayonetta fashion, there has been near radio silence. Enter Hideki Kamiya, his beef with twenty-somethings on Twitter, and one game that some claim to be a large-scale fever dream we should all just collectively lay to rest.
Hideki Kamiya (born December 19th, 1970 in the Nagano Prefecture, Japan) is a game designer that began his early work with Capcom as a designer in the mid 90s. His first title was the critically acclaimed Resident Evil, which he worked as a designer under. His skills were pivotal in the creation and marketing of Resident Evil 2 however, which he led under the role of director. Infamously, his next title which was originally pitched as Resident Evil 4 morphed into what we now know as Devil May Cry. He led the Team Little Devils dev team to perfect his game knowledge to that point, and delivered a game that would diverge significantly from the Resident Evil formula and would ultimately carve out its own identity. From his remaining years at Capcom, Kamiya oversaw the production of titles such as Viewtiful Joe and Okami, both games that feature an emphasis on stylization in order to enhance the gameplay. These games are both regarded as notable entries into Capcom’s lineup, which proves Kamiya’s influence on the company until his eventual departure.
From there, Kamiya, Atsushi Inaba and Resident Evil veteran Shinji Mikami founded Seeds, inc (which we now know as Platinum Games). Under this banner, Kamiya directed the first Bayonetta, which was followed up by The Wonderful 101 and, in a licensing agreement with Nintendo, directed Star Fox Zero (which was unfortunately met with middling reviews on release). Kamiya only wrote the story for Bayonetta 2, though his association is so deeply ingrained as father of the brand that most assume he directed that title as well. His varied history as a game designer proves he has a penchant for style, frantic gameplay, and most importantly, presentation that becomes more apparent the more we look at the common link between his games (The superhero motif of Viewtiful Joe and The Wonderful 101, the gun play elements of Resident Evil and Devil May Cry, and the strong female leads of Okami and Bayonetta).
Kamiya however has one element to himself that many, even if they had never heard of him before, associate with his online presence. He just can’t help causing a stir on twitter! It’s true, the way he interacts with fans, even if they were to ask him earnestly about the newest upcoming Platinum title, is met with such venom that it borders on unprofessional. For instance, in many of his tweets (under the name @PG_Kamiya), he refers to anyone who is overly critical of his games or the generally trolling denizens of the bird app as brainless insects!
Another example of his internet rampage. He can’t keep getting away with this.
Not many game designers, US based or not, would be so open about talking smack to the masses. But Kamiya will be openly abrasive about his games, and will not hesitate to block you if you so much as reference him in a negative light. Indeed, part of his notoriety is due to the blocking. Blocking is a wonderful feature on Twitter that is frankly underrated (imagine not even seeing someone’s bad video game takes ever again, and it’s free!). But the way he has gained the status of a veritable blocking prince online is an element of his that should not be taken lightly. Certainly, this very article could get us blocked for merely invoking his name, like an eldritch horror we unwittingly spoke the true name of and incited their wrath.
Kamiya is well aware of the restlessness that has grown due to the initial showing and prompt silence of Bayonetta 3. He even has gone so far as to, and I don’t use this phrase lightly, troll the eager fanbase in their wait by fanning the flames of speculation before major events. Most recently, a tweet of his commemorated the recent release of the Bayonetta Nendoroid. Now this would be benign in and of itself, however Kamiya seemed to have specifically posted three of these figures, in an arrangement, literally hours before Nintendo’s E3 conference this year (hilariously it also seems he blocked anyone who drew the natural assumption that this would imply Bayonetta 3 is getting some sort of reference in the direct. This man has bionic arms that have an itchy trigger finger hovered directly over the block button.)
Moments before disaster.
Though it also appears that Kamiya is apathetic to the fans long wait period between the games. In a recent interview with a site called VideoGameChronicles.com, Kamiya explained that news is incredibly possible for this year, though we shouldn’t hold our breath on it either. “My suggestion would be that maybe we should all reset and forget about Bayonetta 3. Then when something finally does happen, it will be a nice surprise, won’t it?” In this Kamiya recognizes that the wait has been long extended from what seemed to be the initial roadmap of the game, and that fans should not consume themselves into thinking it will be announced at every major event. It also appears that the game was previewed too early, in a move that I imagine was spurred by Nintendo themselves. The original snippet was shown almost four and a half years ago at this point, and development may have only started then, with Nintendo eager to show proof of another entry and jumping the gun on Platinum games. Kamiya has even stood his ground as early as this morning (in the time of writing), reiterating there are only so many “going well”s and “the game is tracking” tweets he can make before his fans just need to be patient. (not sure how to word this)
My thoughts on the matter, as someone who loves this franchise and some associated titles Kamiya has had a hand in, is that patience is a virtue here. Like a package that was custom ordered and is being made the best it can possibly be, I say we heed Kamiya’s advice in keeping the game in the back of our minds so that one day, the payoff will be huge. Obviously the effects of crunch and the rush to make a desired product in the video game industry is a callous beast that chews up talent and will beat you into the ground, so I think allowing the games due diligence will be worth it in the long run. Just don’t utter the name Hideki Kamiya three times in the mirror. He’ll block you before you could say “Bayonetta 3”.
EDIT: IT’S REAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!