PlatinumGames has shown interest in resurrecting Scalebound, its Xbox-exclusive action RPG that was canceled in 2017, and has called on Xbox boss Phil Spencer to open discussions.
Talking to IGN JapanPlatinumGames President Atsushi Inaba and Vice President Hideki Kamiya said they would like to return to the game with Microsoft’s involvement.
“Often in an interview, you can hear a developer politely saying, ‘Yes, if we had the opportunity, we’d love to work on it again,’ but we don’t mean it that way,” said Inaba (translated by IGN)
“Both Kamiya and I are serious – we would really love to work on Scalebound again. I would like to discuss this with Microsoft properly.”
Kamiya, who created Scalebound and served as its director, said that “development has progressed fairly, and it seems pointless for Microsoft to just keep this and do nothing with it.
“Son! Phil! Let’s do this together!” he added, directing his appeal to Xbox boss Phil Spencer.
This isn’t the first time Kamiya has lamented the game’s cancellation. Last year, in an interview with the YouTube channel cutsceneshe apologized to fans and Microsoft for the game being shelved, citing the scale of the project as its downfall.
“It was a big challenge for PlatinumGames,” said Kamiya. “We were working in an environment that we were not used to. We were developing on the Unreal engine, we also didn’t have the necessary know-how to build a game based on online resources. The obstacles we had to overcome were very great.
“I’m sorry for the players who have been waiting for this, and in addition, I’m sorry for Microsoft who placed their trust in us as business partners,” he added.
“I want to apologize as both a creator and a member of PlatinumGames.”
Analysis: A Scalebound Revival Not Likely
First announced in 2013 as an Xbox One exclusive, Scalebound has gathered a huge following for its dragon-oriented vision of magical realism. The game would follow Drew, a man from the modern world who is immersed in a fantasy setting, and his dragon companion, Thuban. You’ll be able to explore its non-linear world, as well as customize and issue commands to Thuban during combat.
As exciting as it may sound, the likelihood of Microsoft reviving the game is almost zero. In 2020, when talking about a IGN podcastSpencer ruled out the possibility of Microsoft resuming the game.
“It’s hard because I have a lot of respect for Platinum, Kamiya-san, the team and I don’t feel any regrets. We’ve talked to these guys, there’s no animosity between the teams,” Spencer said.
“We tried to do something and it didn’t work, and I’m sorry we were so public about what we tried to do.
“I learned a little bit on Fable Legends, I learned a little bit on Scalebound about being public with things before I know we have a real, believable plan and something I feel in my hands will be there.
“We just didn’t get there with Scalebound and the team. And I say that on both teams.”
Microsoft is a very different company now than it was when it got involved in the development of Scalebound. Industry trends have changed and Microsoft is more interested in dominating the foreign market through proposals that do not involve creating platform-exclusive games, such as extending the capabilities and portfolio of Pass Xbox love. What was an attractive development proposition in 2013 is unlikely to be so attractive 10 years later.
Add in Microsoft’s recent proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, as well as last year’s acquisition of Bethesda, and it doesn’t seem likely that it wants to produce an ambitious RPG based on an original IP through an outside development studio. Given how many resources and how much talent you will soon be packing in-house, you may no longer need to use PlatinumGames and similar studios for these projects.
This is unlikely to be a big disappointment for PlatinumGames. Inaba said he wants the studio to move in a different direction than its previous titles, with an apparent focus on live service games.
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