Clover Studio was a short-lived internal studio and subsidiary of Japanese game developer Capcom, founded in July 2004, to develop new original franchises. The studio was best known for the Viewtiful Joe series, God Hand, and Ōkami. While their games were praised for their creativity and unique ideas, due to Clover's games performing poorly and being outsold by other Capcom franchises at the time (namely Lost Planet and Dead Rising), Capcom announced they would be closing the studio in October 2006, and finalize the move by March of 2007 in efforts to restructure their development units into fewer, but larger teams. Several key members of Clover, including Shinji Mikami, Hideki Kamiya, and Atsushi Inaba, left Capcom around the time to form what would eventually become Platinum Games. The IPs developed by Clover are currently still owned by Capcom, but outside of appearances in games like the Marvel vs. Capcom series, the only games released since featuring Clover IPs are 2010's Ōkamiden on Nintendo DS and Ōkami HD, a remaster of the original game for modern platforms.
(August 24, 2004-September 14, 2006)
- The studio's name was derived from the Japanese phonetic of ''three leaf'', comprised of 'mi' (from Shinji Mikami) and 'ba' (from Atsushi Inaba). Despite this, the studio's logo was chosen to be a four-leaf clover instead because Inaba found the design more appealing than a three-leaf clover.
- This logo was referenced in the studio's game Ōkami, in which you can find gray clovers which when dug up play a similar animation to this logo, with the circular pulse and green sparks, as well as play a different 4-note tune. When blossomed with the Celestial Brush, Amaterasu is awarded Praise.
Variants: A still version is seen on Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble! on Nintendo DS.
Technique: The formation of the clover, and the sparks.
Music/Sounds: We hear an echoed 4-note techno synth tune, followed by an American female voice saying ''Clover''.
Availability: Uncommon. Debuted on the PlayStation 2 version of Viewtiful Joe, and was seen on every Clover Studio from then up until their closure. Later releases of Ōkami, including the 2008 Wii version, and Ōkami HD, have this logo (and consequently, any mention of Clover in the game's credits) removed.