The Xbox One’s 2017 games lineup took a hit today, as the PlatinumGames-developed Scalebound was unceremoniously yanked by publisher Microsoft Studios.
News of the cancellation leaked out ahead of the official announcement, with Microsoft later releasing a statement saying, ““After careful deliberation, Microsoft Studios has come to the decision to end production for Scalebound.”
The title was originally introduced at E3 2014 and seemed to have promise. PlatinumGames had developed critically acclaimed darlings like Bayonetta and The Wonderful 101, and the game’s action-JRPG (Japanese role-playing game) feel looked like it would fill a void in Microsoft’s Western-heavy lineup.
Scalebound‘s juxtaposition of a modern character (complete with headphones) in a fantasy world filled with dragons also provided the game with a unique flavor.
It wasn’t long, however, until rumblings surfaced online that all was not well with the game’s development. In 2015, creator Hideki Kamiya took to Twitter to express unhappiness with Microsoft’s marketing plan for Scalebound. And in 2016, the game was delayed out of its original holiday window and into 2017.
The exact reason for the game’s cancellation is unclear. Microsoft’s statement did nothing more than confirm that the news was true. Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox at Microsoft, told a user on Twitter that canceling the title was a “Difficult decision, we believe result is better 4 Xbox gamers, still disappointing. Im [sic] confident in 17 lineup thats [sic] our focus.”
Losing a console exclusive may sting for some Xbox One owners, but gamers on the platform still have titles like Crackdown 3, Cuphead, Halo Wars 2 and Sea of Thieves to look forward to in 2017. And, if past years are any indication, Forza Motorsport 7 will likely make its way to the system later in the year. Still, on a console full of racers and shooters, a game like Scalebound would have been a welcome change of pace.
Perhaps at E3 in June, Microsoft will give fans something new to be excited about.