We broke the confirmation this week that one of Xbox's high-profile exclusives — Scalebound — has been canceled.
Rumors have swirled about the reasons as to why Scalebound was shuttered, with commentators pointing fingers at both Platinum Games and Microsoft. Microsoft declined to give detailed reasons for the game's closure, citing "business decisions" in a statement to us earlier in the week.
In a series of tweets, Platinum Games studio head Hideki Kamiya offered Scalebound fans condolences, while putting to bed rumors published by various outlets that he and co-developer Jean Pierre Kellams took a month break from Platinum Games with stress.
As you may have already heard, Scalebound has unfortunately been canceled. I'm very sorry to everyone who was looking forward to this game.— 神谷英樹 Hideki Kamiya (@PG_kamiya) 11 January 2017
Sorry to bring you such bad news at the start of the year. All I can do for you is to promise to keep delivering fun games.— 神谷英樹 Hideki Kamiya (@PG_kamiya) 11 January 2017
I'll work extra hard to never have to let you down like this again, so I hope you will keep watching over us in the future too.— 神谷英樹 Hideki Kamiya (@PG_kamiya) 11 January 2017
And...I took time off for my mental health? ...Me!?— 神谷英樹 Hideki Kamiya (@PG_kamiya) 11 January 2017
Platinum Games also offered an official statement on their website, apologizing for the way things ended up while adding that they were looking forward to Scalebound as much as the game's fans.
I expect it could be some time before we hear the full story about what happened with Scalebound, but if I had to speculate, I'd think that Microsoft is being more aggressive on quality standards, following disappointing critical receptions for Quantum Break and ReCore. Scalebound had been in development for four years, and felt far more ambitious than Platinum Games' signature projects, rocking 4-player co-op and open-world gameplay. It also already suffered delays, and it seemed as though to get Scalebound to the standard Microsoft wanted would've required even more investment, which the company likely calculated could be better spent elsewhere.
Still, it's not a good look for Microsoft Studios, with the cancellations of Fable Legends, Phantom Dust, the closure of Press Play and Lionhead Studios, and various other misfires under its belt in recent years. Games being canceled is an industry reality, but it's all the more controversial when it comes from the table of a platform holder. Hopefully, Xbox will deliver the goods with its strong-looking 2017 portfolio, while giving us something to look forward to beyond this year.
How do you feel about Scalebound's cancelation? Where do you lay the blame (if any)? Let us know in the comments.