Microsoft and Platinum Games have confirmed Scalebound, a high profile Xbox One exclusive, has been cancelled and the two companies have pulled out of the project entirely.
With Microsoft's "monster" Project Scorpio console on the way, the company is in dire need of new exclusive games--right now Sony is absolutely thrashing the competition with its huge array of PlayStation exclusives. But instead of gaining new all star titles, Microsoft has just lost one of its biggest exclusives: Platinum Games' action RPG Scalebound.
"After careful deliberation, Microsoft Studios has come to the decision to end production for "Scalebound." We're working hard to deliver an amazing lineup of games to our fans this year, including "Halo Wars 2," "Crackdown 3," "State of Decay 2," "Sea of Thieves" and other great experiences," Microsoft confirmed to Windows Central.
I'm actually worried about Project Scorpio now. I don't think anyone wants to buy a new console just to play old games; they want heavy hitters that leverage the full brunt and might of the world's first enthusiast console, which may use AMD's next-generation Ryzen CPUs in tandem with its high-end Vega GPU architectures. Scalebound was a big piece of Xbox's upcoming exclusivity, and represented something major for the brand.
So why was Scalebound cancelled? No one knows for sure, but Platinum Games says it came down to "business decisions" on Microsoft's part. This isn't exactly a surprise, however: Scalebound has been in development since its reveal at E3 2014, and the official Scalebound Twitter has pretty much been dead since September, only breaking the silence to announce the cancellation.
After careful deliberation, Microsoft Studios has come to the decision to end production for Scalebound. Read More: https://t.co/lTQD8PJ6GX— Scalebound (@Scalebound) January 9, 2017
I'm thinking that Scalebound was nowhere near finished and wouldn't meet its deadline. This could speak volumes about Microsoft's underpowered Xbox One, since all future Xbox games have to be playable on three different consoles--the Xbox One, Xbox One S and Project Scorpio.
Perhaps Microsoft's dev tools, which are tied to Windows 10's Universal Windows Platform and have been touted as extremely easy to use, aren't actually so dependable. Maybe devs are having some troubles hitting the targeted spec with Project Scorpio's new Game Mode functionality, and maybe Platinum Games fell into a kind of development hell trying to get Scalebound working properly on all three systems.
I doubt we'll have any official information as to why the game was cancelled, and I don't think Platinum Games will open up about what it was like scaling the game across three different consoles.
In any case, the future for Xbox is kind of bleak if you ask me. I'm not interested in Halo Wars 2 at all--although Creative Assembly is handling things, I don't trust anything that 343i is involved in any more, and Halo is pretty much dead to me--and Sea of Thieves looked like a token indie of sorts at best.
I hope Microsoft has some more surprises in store to compliment their beastly new high-end console, because, after all, what good is a powerful console if you don't have good games?