Platinum Games are rightly considered to be one of the most inventive developers making action games today, with titles like Bayonetta, Vanquish, Nier: Automata, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance in their history, they’ve got a robust body of work. Each of their games has a unique tone and feel, but they’re all centered around flashy, technical and deep combat systems. They’re the masters of game mechanics that let you execute increasingly audacious attacks as you hone your skill at the game. They’re also probably one of the most in-demand Japanese game studios, having over the years worked on games for Nintendo, Microsoft, Sega, Square-Enix, Konami, Activision, and others.
The Wonderful 101 was a game from their back catalog that could have very easily slipped through the cracks, left forgotten to history. It was released exclusively on Nintendo’s ill-fated Wii U back in 2013 and didn’t manage to resonate with the relatively small install base for the system. It was exclusive to the Wii U because Nintendo had funded its development, so at least initially it seemed like it wouldn’t get a chance to be played by anyone who didn’t own a Wii U.
It wasn’t a big seller, but it did have somewhat of a cult following, and there would have been plenty of people that were fans of Platinum’s games in general, but never owned a Wii U.
This scenario contributed to the perfect storm of factors culminating in a remaster. The story goes that initially, Platinum spoke to Nintendo about the possibility of remastering The Wonderful 101, to give the game a second chance. Nintendo, who funded the development of the original game and have at least some ownership of it, agreed to finance remastering the game for their successor system, the much more successful Nintendo Switch. Platinum then gave a counteroffer: They said that if instead they could fund the remaster themselves, would Nintendo agree to let them take it multi-platform, to which Nintendo agreed. Perhaps in part because Nintendo and Platinum have a good long-standing relationship, and perhaps because if the remaster is successful enough, Nintendo would still have a say on which platforms a hypothetical sequel would release on.