After four long years in the making, Platinum Games has put an end to the development of their much-anticipated Fantasy RPG, Scalebound.
Microsoft Studios and Platinum Games are parting ways and sadly, the game they have been working on has also been lost. Scalebound was to be the first game released under their partnership, and the endeavour has come to a prolonged and irresolute end. The news spread quickly after yesterday’s press release with Kotaku when Microsoft stated:
“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.”
The prospective director Hideki Kamiya (renowned for his work on games such as Resident Evil 2, Bayonetta and Devil May Cry) had called Scalebound the biggest game he has had the opportunity to work on in his cumulative career. After his successes of the video-game adaptations of Avatar: The Last Airbender and the Transformers Series, Kamiya’s next steps as a director were to “make a game with dragons”; with Scalebound’s fantasy open world set as the backdrop for this ambitious endeavour.
The game was to revolve around Drew, a young protagonist who finds himself transported to a fantasy world ruled by fearsome monsters. There, he teams up with Thuban, the last dragon alive and the pair embark on a quest to bring down some awesome beasts.
Where Did Scalebound Go Wrong?
The game began development in 2013; an extraordinarily slow start to production considering initial concepts for the game started surfacing as early as 2006.
From the offset, Scalebound exhibited a wavering presence in the competitive gaming scene, at first, it flew to the top of the leaderboard for the best upcoming games and continued to dip in and out of the limelight for the next few years or so. The official release date was changed multiple times, the latest push occurring in late 2016 when a relatively vague 2017 release date was announced.
Further suspicions began to circle the internet when social media went quiet around September last year. Platinum Games fell silent after this last post on Twitter with a shoutout to ArtofMarss for his artistic rendition of Drew and Thuban in action.
ArtofMarss brings us this cool, stylized take on Drew and Thuban from #Scalebound! (https://t.co/hJ9UsM6dv6) pic.twitter.com/lJbQET6P5t
— PlatinumGames Inc. (@platinumgames) September 24, 2016
A few months in the dark left us questioning whether production of Scalebound was truly lagging…
Rumours suggest that development suffered majorly over the past few months, putting development on hold due to an overworked management team. Employees in key positions for the game’s progression were forced to take a month’s break from the project due to excessive workload and upon their return struggled to get the game’s development back on track. Production slipped too far behind and Microsoft made the decision to cut the game from their portfolio completely. Other than this small piece of information, we are at a loss as to why the game failed to complete development, whether there was something bigger going on behind the scenes, particularly between Platinum Games and Microsoft employees, is unclear.
What Can we Look Forward to?
After this letdown, there is a heavy weight of disillusionment resting on the gaming community this new year. Sudden cancellations in 2016 are still lingering such as Halo Online and Fable Legends, another long-anticipated Microsoft production. As an Xbox exclusive, Scalebound was one of a limited number of games that incited a lot of excitement amongst Xbox One owners. At THG we hope the fate of Scalebound doesn’t set the course of action for other much-anticipated games of 2017.
Here are our most anticipated Xbox Exclusives out in 2017:
Developers: Cloudgine, ReAgent Games
Release date: TBA
Developers: Studio MDHR
Release date: TBA
State of Decay 2
Developers: Undead Labs
Release date: TBA
Halo Wars 2
Developers: 343 Industries, Creative Assembly
Release date: February 21st
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