Today is a sad day to announce that one of the most anticipated Xbox One exclusives, Scalebound, was officially cancelled.scaleblund hd
Sharing sad news isn’t necessarily a difficult task. As a critic, it happens regularly enough to know how to handle the information. Scalebound, however, should be treated a little differently; it was considered a gem from the moment it was unveiled due to its gameplay and setting. Although the title began its development phase in 2013, developer Platinum Games decided to showcase it for the first time during Microsoft’s E3 2014 Media Briefing. The cinematic trailer was enough to wow most of us.
Scalebound was developed by the same team responsible for Bayonetta. As a matter of a fact, the original concept for the game was drawn out in 2006. Fortunately for the gaming industry, the team decided to go ahead with the production of Bayonetta instead. The decision solidified the developer and put it on the map as one of the best in the industry. What would have happened if it was the other way around? No one can really know for sure!
(Trailer provided by Microsoft Studios & posted via GAMEOXO)
An Uneasy Decision to Make
The sad news revolving around the cancellation of Scalebound hit the community by storm. All over the Internet, critics and fans alike have been talking about the drop non-stop since the sun has risen. While fans have been expressing their disapproval, others have been active on forums, such as this Reddit thread, discussing about possible reasons behind the can.
In a tweet addressed by Phil Spencer (below), the head of Xbox stated that it wasn’t an easy decision to make. However, he remains confident that the other games in the lineup will live up to the Microsoft name.
@TiC_Podcast Difficult decision, we believe result is better 4 Xbox gamers, still disappointing. Im confident in 17 lineup thats our focus
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 9, 2017
I understand that it might have been difficult to give this cancellation a greenlight, but what I don’t seem to comprehend is why traces of the game are being removed! Microsoft also provided an official statement backing up Phil Spencer’s tweet.
“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, Seas of Thieves and other great experiences.” – Microsoft Studios
Scalebound was cancelled, not postponed. An important element to take note of is the fact that the companies involved, Platinum Games and Microsoft, are going to extreme lengths to remove traces of the game. How so? Well, official trailers of the game published on YouTube are being deleted. You can still find them if you look at unofficial channels. Will Microsoft go as far as to request users to remove all footage of the game from their accounts? Is this a cover up?
What Could Have Caused This?
When you hunt online, it isn’t easy to find a clear answer as to why the game was cancelled. There are many theories out there, but only a few make sense. Details fail to mention the truth. The cancellation could be caused by the development team taking quite a stressful mental tax. One of the recurrent reasons, however, points toward the deadline not being achievable.
“Following up on the news that Scalebound from Platinum Games may be cancelled we have also now heard some things about the head developer Hideki Kamiya. Apparently, development has been quite taxing on members of the team especially Kamiya to the point where he had to take time off for mental health concerns.” – ThisGenGaming
The headaches were probably caused by internal issues revolving around the game’s engine and overdue deadlines. If you remember well, Scalebound was announced as an open world big enough to fly on a dragon’s back. The first gameplay footage showcased was a pre-alpha, which left the developer very little time to go through the alpha, beta and gold phases within a year. That doesn’t even include time for bug fixing and game optimization.
In my opinion, Microsoft assessed the situation and deemed the game incapable of delivering on its promises. Instead of going through the same hardships Hello Games had to go through following the release of No Man’s Sky, I wouldn’t be surprised if the decision to can the game was taken to protect both the developer and the publisher in case of a similar scenario.
Scalebound was cancelled and yes, it is a sad day when such a promising game gets canned. Should we really be bothered? I believe that it isn’t that much of a deal. The game did look good and promising, but it isn’t a real reason why we should be bummed. It is true that players will never experience it, but this isn’t the first time a big title was canned. If what I believe happened is true, then we gamers should praise the game for going down while it was ahead instead of shooting itself in the foot the same way some other unpolished games did.
That said, the IMGMR team wishes a good fortune to Scalebound’s head developer Hideko Kamiya and his entire team.