Scalebound was one of the highest profile cancellations of the past year. Platinum Games’ dragon-based action game captured the imaginations of gamers around the world when it was first announced at E3 2014, before the launch of the Xbox One.
However, as time went on, footage and news stories started to slow down, and on the occasions that the game was finally shown, I was left unimpressed. The game was finally canceled on Jan. 9 to both shock from those who passionately followed it and understanding from those who saw it coming a mile away.
At E3 2017, in an interview with Game Watch and translated by DualShockers, Xbox boss Phil Spencer opened up on the cancellation, stating that he believes the game was announced too early and that both Microsoft and Platinum Games agreed that the game couldn’t match the growing hype and expectations that the fans had. And while he still trusts and respects director Hideki Kamiya, the pair ultimately thought it was best to shelf the game.
Spencer says that Platinum Games has a lot more ambition than most other Japanese developers, who have taken largely to developing mobile games, and Spencer feels that many of them should come back to consoles and follow Platinum Games’ example.
He also tossed out the Final Fantasy XV development team as an example of a Japanese studio that has figured out how to communicate better with the West.
Too much, too soon, too little
I remember seeing Scalebound for the first time and reacting with cautious enthusiasm. Of course, I wanted to play the game since I’m a huge fan of Platinum Games, but I also remembered thinking that Microsoft could have just been trying to appeal to the Japanese game fanbase before its console launched. This means that it was just as much of a marketing tool for the console as it was the game.
Microsoft was aiming for a niche that it has always struggled to tap into, and now, it seems like the game did more harm than good.
It’s a shame, as always when a game with huge potential fails to come out, but hopefully we all learn from it and move on.