Xbox One and Windows 10 owners looking forward to Scalebound from Platinum Games received unfortunate news Monday. The dragon-filled action role-playing game was canceled by Microsoft, which leaves the console’s exclusive line-up of games for 2017 uncharacteristically thin.
Rumors began circling Monday with a Kotaku report backed up by a separate Eurogamer report. Sources for both outlets stated Microsoft and the developer decided to part ways at the end of 2016 and that development on Scalebound had stopped.
Microsoft just released the following official statement, captured by Windows Central.
“After careful deliberation, Microsoft Studios has come to the decision to end production for “Scalebound.” We’re working hard to deliver an amazing lineup of games to our fans this year, including “Halo Wars 2,” “Crackdown 3,” “State of Decay 2,” “Sea of Thieves” and other great experiences. For more information on our 2017 plans, please visit: https://news.xbox.com/2017/01/05/xbox-closes-milestone-year-in-2016/.”
Scalebound was last shown off at Gamescom 2016 last August. Reportedly, work on the project went sideways not long after as “several senior members of the development team were forced to take a month away from the pressure of the project’s heavy workload,” per Eurogamer.
These temporary departures put the game behind schedule. The schedule issues, combined with on-going issues with the game engine, ultimately led to its cancellation. Platinum Games firmly points to the decision being Microsoft’s with a Twitter post stating as follows.
“After careful deliberation, Microsoft Studios has come to the decision to end production for Scalebound.”
This was Platinum Games’ most ambitious title to date and the first role-playing game from the studio. It featured third-person action when controlling the human hero and moved to first-person when controlling his dragon companion. Additionally, the hero could issue commands to the dragon and Platinum last showed off four-player co-op support.
Now, the honor of Platinum’s first role-playing title belongs to the PlayStation 4 exclusive Nier: Automata. While Scalebound was being developed by Hideki Kamiyama’s team, the competing PS4 project falls under the stewardship of director Taro Yoko with support from publisher Square Enix.
The news is disappointing as Scalebound looked like it was developing into the type of game that fell outside the usual collection of first party shooting and racing games associated with the Xbox brand. This also leaves the line-up of exclusive AAA titles thinner than expected.
In terms of AAA games, the Xbox One and Windows 10 currently have Halo Wars 2, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, and Sea of Thieves scheduled.
Halo Wars 2 has already had one beta and another is scheduled. The real-time strategy game is currently targeting a February 21 release, but RTS titles have turned into a niche genre.
Little has been of Crackdown 3 since August of 2015. The ambitious third-person shooter is attempting to make good on Microsoft’s promised “power of the cloud” by using cloud computing to enable real-time destruction at a scale not previously seen in games. A beta version was supposed to be released in 2016, but the entire game was pushed to 2017 instead.
Meanwhile, nothing has been seen of State of Decay 2. The follow-up to Undead Labs’ sleeper hit is expected to expand on its unique take on the zombie survival genre with co-op play, but not much else is known.
Finally, Sea of Thieves is Rare’s unique spin on the pirate life in the open-world survival genre. The developer has been happily sharing videos and updates while a playable version of the game is making its way through various external testing phases.
There are also a handful of smaller exclusive titles making their way to the Xbox One and Windows 10. Cuphead, The Culling, and several other titles have been announced so far. Microsoft is expected to announce more over the coming months as it must ensure an exciting library of games to support the launch of the Xbox Scorpio later this year.
What do you think of the cancellation of Scalebound? Sound off in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Platinum Games]