The cancellation of Scalebound started several debates in the gaming community around the upcoming list of Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusives, Microsoft’s management of development, and more. Xbox Head Phil Spencer took to Twitter Wednesday evening to respond to fan concerns and reiterate the importance of first-party studios and unique intellectual property (IP). He also discussed whether there would be a pre-E3 event for Xbox Scorpio.
Scalebound was canceled Monday, and rumors have swirled about the reasons why. Canceling a game so far into development, it first debuted at E3 2016, is never an easy decision, but it is one Microsoft made not too long ago with Fable Legends. These two games with cancellations for Phantom Dust and other titles has made Xbox fans wonder about the Microsoft’s commitment to creating original and exclusive titles for the Xbox One.
Phil Spencer responded to fans concerns Xbox will stop taking risks with titles by stating: “I know we have to take risks, I realize right now probably sounds hollow but I agree.”
He went on to apologize to those anticipating playing Scalebound in 2017.
“It hurt me as well and to the community I apologize. I want everything we start to turn out great, to take risks, create diversity.”
While Spencer wants to take risks on new projects for Xbox, he may pull back on how soon they are announced. Microsoft has made a habit of announcing games with little more than a concept trailer with the release two years or more away. The Xbox boss is reconsidering this practice.
“I will think more about when we show new stuff, that’s good learning for me,” he conceded.
However, the practice of signing outside studios to deliver Xbox exclusives like Sunset Overdrive and Scalebound won’t stop. Spencer explained: “I won’t abandon signing independent studio projects but I agree 1st party internal studios are critical.”
As for what exclusives Xbox One and Windows 10 players can look forward to for 2017, Halo Wars 2 is coming this February while Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, and Sea of Thieves also confirmed for later in the year. Spencer is particularly high on Rare’s Sea of Thieves calling it “something completely new” that “has a real opportunity to surprise and delight a lot of people.”
Spencer alluded to other new announcements at E3 in response to a fan’s question about unannounced surprises at the annual convention. “I understand that people like new at E3,” he said.
Whether this includes significant exclusives beyond Forza Motorsport 7 remains to be seen. The latest entry in the racing simulation franchise is expected to make an appearance this year.
There were comments on the Xbox Scorpio front, as well. Spencer said the “1st party teams are getting engines up and tuned, great progress across studios, platform and hardware.”
The question is if the supped up Xbox hardware will get a separate debut before E3. Microsoft and Sony have made pre-E3 reveals of console hardware their own event over recent years to garner attention and free up time during E3 presentations. Spencer and the rest of the Xbox team are putting together their E3 plans now, but the boss is “Honestly not sure yet” if the Xbox Scorpio will get a separate reveal.
Spencer at least admits he knows people want to see a separate Xbox Scorpio event.
The Xbox Scorpio will have the horsepower to best the PlayStation 4 Pro. It is rumored to have 6 teraflops of GPU performance, which puts it well ahead of the PS4 Pros 4.2 teraflops. The extra horsepower is meant to support 4K gaming and virtual reality gaming, though to what extent and at what cost has yet to be revealed.
Microsoft will need the games, especially exclusives, to showcase this extra power in the Xbox Scorpio. And this is what fans are waiting to see.
[Featured Image by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Microsoft/AP Images]