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PlatinumGames says Scalebound was cancelled because 'both sides failed'

Many months ago, Microsoft canceled Scalebound and fans weren't pleased. The title was supposed to be an Xbox One exclusive from acclaimed Bayonetta developer PlatinumGames. It featured a Devil May Cry-like character and spectacular battles between various different dragons. However, the title didn't live up to the quality Microsoft expected, and as a result it was shelved. While many gamers blame Microsoft for the decision, in a recent interview between VGC and PlatinumGames studio head Atsushi Inaba, more information was revealed.

Inaba doesn't want Microsoft to take the blame for the cancellation because mistakes were made on both sides. Inaba issued the following statement to the outlet.

Wasn't easy... Both sides failed... didn't do all of the things that we needed to do as a developer. Watching fans getting angry at Microsoft over the cancellation wasn't easy for us to watch. Because the reality is, when any game in development can't get released it's because both sides failed. I think there are areas where we could've done better and I'm sure there are areas that Microsoft as a publishing partner wish that they could've done better. Because nobody wants a game to be canceled. At the bare minimum, it's unique for us as a title in so much as we feel that we didn't do all of the things that we needed to do as a developer. There were a lot of painful lessons, but that helped us grow as a studio. We obviously can't go into details about it, because there are rules of engagement as a developer. We want to make sure that the publisher who gave us a chance to make a game in the first place isn't treated poorly. The truth is, we don't like to see Microsoft take the brunt of the fan ire because game development is hard and both sides learned lessons, for sure... I wouldn't say our experience with Scalebound influenced us to go towards self-publishing. Quite frankly, the reality is that we've had plenty of titles canceled in the past: that's part and parcel of what comes with making video games.

Development is a complex process and the blame lies on both sides. It's great that Inaba was able to clarify the matter so that fans have the complete picture.

Do you hope to see Scalebound in the future? It seems that Microsoft holds the rights to the franchise, so you never know.

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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

19 Comments
  • The ones getting mad at Microsoft are probably not even XBOX users but PS fanboys trying to fan the flames.
  • You sound like a MS/XB fan. So tell me. HONESTLY. Are you happy with the number of exclusives that MS provided compared to that of the competition?
    Look at this from a neutral person and not a MS/XB fan. Do they deserve praise or criticism for their output of true AAA exclusives this generation.
  • He’s talking about PlatinumGames. Don’t try to start a flame war.
  • Funny, he didn't even mention Platinum Games in his comment. lol
  • As an outsider, after the latest E3 on-stage demo... canceling it made sense.
    Game was basically a ps1 era game. The cancellation didn't bother me btw. Roughly, I buy more than 50 games a year, I have plenty other games to enjoy (or to skip).
    * Most PS4 exclusives didn't mater to most PS4 owners either.
  • Right. XB1 owners shouldn't get more games because you only buy 50 games a year and you have enough games.
    Why do we even need or want MS to make games, right? * Yes, byt that silly logic not just PS4 exclusives but ALL PS4 and XB1 games "didn't matter" for most PS4 and XB1 owners. So your answer is companies should just not invest money into making games. Your priority seems to be MS and not games. Ok then...
  • Releasing sub par games in order to fill an exclusive quota is a poor business decision. I'm pretty much paraphrasing you there, by the way.
  • > Yes, byt that silly logic not just PS4 exclusives but ALL PS4 and
    > XB1 games "didn't matter" for most PS4 and XB1 owners.
    Yes, not all exclusives are equal valuable, no matter which platform.
    e.g. Persona5 sold around 2m, Last Guardian took a lot longer to make (10 years) but sold lesser.
    Those games pretty much mean nothing to many people's life. > So your answer is companies should just not invest money into
    > making games. Your priority seems to be MS and not games. Ok then...
    I didn't say that.
    Devs can do whatever they want. I don't care.
    Releasing quality games is a good thing and I welcome GOOD games, esp game with newest techs.
    However, those niche boring games... are pointless. People can live without them. Like Last Guardians, Blue Dragon or Lost Odyssey, I'm sure ScaleBound won't sell and the gameplay will prob sxxk. A few Xbox owners might brag about it, but majority wouldn't care. PS fanboys will laugh at it till the end of the world tho. > Releasing sub par games in order to fill an exclusive
    > quota is a poor business decision.
    That is correct.
  • I’m glad they cleared the air on this honestly. I understand being upset due to lack of exclusives but anything else just wasn’t fair. There were always going to be two halves to the story. What gets me is that people treat Platinum like gods when the reality is they’ve stumbled many, many times. Metal Gear Rising was nearly a huge debacle on their part until Konami stepped in, Korra was boring, Transformers was just “okay”, etc. Kudos to Platinum for trying, but it’s not hard to conceive of a situation where they aimed way too high with Scalebound and MS failed to pay attention and reign them in while it could be salvaged. Shame for everyone, but at least this paints a more realistic picture of what happened.
  • In Metal Gear Rising's case, it was PG that saved the game. The initial concept was done by an internal studio at Konami and it just wasn't going that well so the project was outsourced to PG. Glad that more info on this can out. It was good that nothing negative was said by both sides but fanboys used this as a reason to bash MS as much as they did.
  • TNMT died in less than eight months... but Metal Gear Rising's situation was the opposite.
    btw, TMNT, Nier, Scalebound and many other games were all roughly developed around the same period, resource management issue imo... Nier was the only one that came out alright.
  • I hope we see it picked up in the future... there aren't many 4 player couch co-op games out there. Last decent one I played was Project Eden on the PS2, which required all 4 players to work together to advance through levels using each character's unique traits.
  • Still, MS went foward and lauched Recore, State of Decay, Sea of Thieves and Crackdown 3. All mediocre games at best. It's hard to imagine Platinum making a game so bad it wouldn't be lauched by MS, considering the low standards of Xbox's exclusives.
  • I mean, this is a fair call, how bad must Scalebound have been?
  • Korra was boring.
    TNMT died in less than eight months.
    Games including TMNT, Nier, Scalebound and others were all roughly developed around the same period, resource management issue imo... Nier was the only one that came out alright. The last E3 on-stage didn't look fun (will be worse off-stage) and... was it 2016? There was no foot IK, not even the simplest, primitive form of foot IK was implemented. PS1 era tech, basically. The project prob needed another 5 billions + 3 years to cook.
  • I never played ReCore or State of Decay 2, but Sea of Thieves and Crackdown 3 are fantastic games. Both of them are some of the most fun I've had gaming this generation.
  • State of Decay is a brilliant game imo but if you don't like character and base management it may not be for you. Recore is a nice puzzle platformer in an open world with an interesting story where you have 4 robotic helpers that help you through the various platforming challanges. Wasn't the best out of the gate due to load times but now with all the patches and the 4K upgrade it's well worth a buy if you are into 3rd person platformers. I've found that the bandwagonery of this gen has made people underestimate Xbox games woefully. There have been some clunkers and not enough games have been released but the quality, at least for me, has been very good.
  • The issue is that all the games listed were, on release, not stellar experiences. ReCore had load issues and plenty of bugs, State of Decay 2 was a buggy mess, Sea of Thieves lacked content, Crackdown 3 had a fun campaign if you're an early teenager, but the movement, combat and driving literally had not changed since the first game on the 360, and it really should have. Not to mention the outright appalling multiplayer that was a huge slap in the face to anyone following the game. Sure games get better with patches, but reviewing a game at launch based on what it could be like if the developer had made it properly is, to put it simply, ******* stupid.
  • Were people blaming Microsoft? I entirely blamed Platinum. They were the developers. They obviously failed to deliver a quality product within the agreed-upon time frame. Microsoft is the one that lost a ton of money on this. Platinum didn't lose anything--they got years worth of free funding and didn't even have to put out a product.