Xbox head re-affirms commitment to Phantom Dust following gameplay footage leaks

Yesterday, footage of the upcoming Xbox exclusive Phantom Dust leaked online, following a shift in game's developmental studio. Phantom Dust was a card-builder / JRPG hybrid released for the original Xbox. The in-development reboot was revealed at last year's E3 via a CGI trailer.

Phantom Dust's original developer Darkside Games were removed from the project, leading to the closure of the company. It's unclear exactly what happened, especially considering that the footage below looks quite decent.

Speaking with Kotaku, an anonymous developer from Darkside discussed the game's combat. The sequences above detail a 1v1 player vs. player scenario, complete with environmental destruction and attractive visuals. Players would select a deck of skill bearing cards before battle, and would then be presented with random cards from their deck as the battle continued. The developer expressed his disappointment that he didn't have footage of the game's more impressive levels of environmental destruction, in addition to criticising Microsoft for the unceremonious handling of Darkside's involvement in the project.

"I believe that the vertical slice we delivered was as good as anyone could have reasonably expected, it was very nearly E3 demo good, way beyond what a vertical slice should be. But apparently not good enough for them. And to hear them quickly say they're finishing development elsewhere is certainly a slap."

Kotaku's source indicates that the project was originally intended to be 70% original game, 30% new. It could be that Microsoft want to reboot the game in its entirety, and have decided to bring the project in-house rather than outsource.

Xbox head Phil Spencer tweeted his commitment to the game, responding to fears that the project had been cancelled. His comments echo the PR narrative Microsoft sent to me previously regarding Darkside's closure, which state explicitly that the game is still in development.

"Change of studio for a game is never easy and will put us back a bit but I'm committed to the game."

It's unlikely that we'll hear more about the game in June at this year's E3, given the turmoil over its development - but Microsoft still have an impressive line-up to talk about, and have been teasing surprises for quite some time.

Source: Kotaku

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Interesting game. And to think that Xbox one doesn't focus on games /s
  • I think it's great with Phil Spencer in charge, the guy bleeds video game passion.
  • Overall, I like Phil Spencer and what he has done, but he seems to have taken an extreme anti-Kinect view, dating back to the summer after people on Twitter jokingly referred to him as the "killer of the bundled Kinect" and he retweeted it. Since that unboundling, we haven't had any new 1st-party Kinect games announced, only one bundle has included Kinect (which has been in and out of stock at most major retailers for months now) whereas five bundles have not, the $50 discount on the Xbox has, save for a 2-week anomaly, only applied to the non-Kinect version fo the console in all of 2015, and you cannot find the standalone Kinect in stock anywhere (even at the Microsoft Store--the MICROSOFT store--it's been out of stock for all of 2015 there), and Kinect nor its games ever get promoted by him (no mention of the word at E3, Gamescon, PAX, or GDC). I understand the unbundling of Kinect--give gamers a choice. But to give them a choice, you actually have to give them a choice (i.e. make the Kinect available for sale too). The Kinect is an amazing technology, one that is way underappreciated, and it's vexing to see Xbox's head snub it just as it has had a slew of solid games come out for it (Dance Central Spotlight, D4, Fantasia, Fruit Ninja Kinect 2, etc.). In fact, his blatant lack of promotion of D4--an Xbox One exclusive, and Microsoft Studios' publisehd game that uses Kinect technology and received positive reviews and therefore should've been promoted strongly--more than frustrated the game's developer, Swery, who said acknowledged his frustration about it many times on Twitter. That's my only pet peeve with Phil. Anyway, sorry for the rant. As for Phantom Dust, it seems interesting. I like unique games. Never played the original. The card game system seems a bit odd, though the destructible environments seem awesome.
  • This isn't the first time that MS fails to use a once promising feature or at least promote it well enough. I'm not talking about WP or GfWL. The hard drive in the original Xbox for example. Every console came with it, but they never made use of its full potential...
  • We've been wanting this since Xbox v1
  • Wow nice
  • Sounds a lot like Baten Kaitos on GameCube which I loved.
  • Sadly it won't live up to the perfection that was Baten Kaitos.
  • Halo 5 Countdown is up! Anyways I still love PD.
  • Missed playing the original, would definitely pick this up if I had a One.
  • Lucky for you, they've made the Xbox One available for purchase.
  • Would be great if this game comes back. In my opinion, one of the best game for xbox. It wasnt card based tho
  • the running animations look bad and the card art looks ugly but I'm so glad they kept so much of the original style. That game was fantastic