Scalebound was one of the higher profile cancelations of the previous generation. The PlatinumGames-developed RPG was revealed at E3 2014 at Microsoft’s press conference and was canned in 2017. Certain members of Platinum have talked about it, but now Director Hideki Kamiya has apologized to the fans and Microsoft for the ill-fated game.
Kamiya spoke about the game in a new interview on the Cutscenes YouTube channel. He began talking (around the 6:17 mark) about how he wanted to make a photorealistic game in a high fantasy world, but how those ambitions were just a little too far outside of Platinum’s wheelhouse.
“It was a big challenge for PlatinumGames,” he admitted. “We were working in an environment we weren’t used to. We were developing on the Unreal engine, we also lacked the necessary know-how to build a game based on online features. The hurdles we had to overcome were very big. We weren’t experienced enough and couldn’t get over that wall, leading to what happened in the end. I’m sorry to the players who looked forward to it, and moreover I’m sorry to Microsoft who had placed their trust in us as a business partner. I want to apologize both as a creator and as a member of PlatinumGames.”
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Platinum had just worked with Japanese publishers at that point and has only teamed up with non-Japanese publishers like Activision with The Legend of Korra and Transformers: Devastation that came out in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Kamiya had explained the differences of working with a Western publisher, saying that working with Microsoft was more about “next-generation game development” as opposed to the “as long as it works out in the end” approach of Japanese publishers.
With that mentality of pushing forward, it’s easy to see how he felt the team was overwhelmed with making an online game that was much bigger than its other projects. PlatinumGames had some critically acclaimed games like Vanquish, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and Bayonetta at that point, but even this proved too much for the talented team.
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Xbox and Platinum employees have also spoken about the game’s failings in the past. Studio Head Atsushi Inaba told Video Games Chronicle in May 2019 that “both sides failed.” Head of Xbox Phil Spencer told IGN in April 2020 that it was a “tough one” and that he has “no ill will” toward Platinum. He also said that Xbox wasn’t reviving the title at that time.
Scalebound didn’t take up the entirety of the interview as he also talked about The Wonderful 101‘s origins as a licensed game, how it relates to some of childhood stories of his, and how he salvaged the idea once the deal with the mysterious IP holder went through. While he doesn’t state it directly here, the IP holder was Nintendo as it was originally supposed to have Nintendo characters.
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