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Scalebound Cancelled Following Development Woes

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Microsoft and Platinum Games have ceased production on their action RPG collaboration Scalebound, following reports that development on the title was behind schedule.

According to Eurogamer, development on the game stopped near the end of 2016 after a number of key personnel were “forced” to take time off to reduce the pressures of production. This decision compounded the team’s inability to ensure smooth development, resulting in the cancellation.

When the reports surfaced earlier this week, Microsoft released an official statement that was light on details, but big on future plans:

“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.”

Since word of the cancellation broke, the game’s director, Hideki Kamiya, has taken to Twitter to apologise for letting fans down:

Excitement around Scalebound had been building since its unveiling at Microsoft’s E3 press conference in 2014, and the gameplay trailer released since then only made the game look more appealing. The last trailer, shown at Gamescom 2016, showcased four-player co-op, as players came together to bring down an enormous crustacean.

Despite the marketing focus on multiplayer, Scalebound was shaping up as Microsoft’s biggest single player game of 2017, making the list OnlySP’s most anticipated titles of 2017 last week, so its sudden cancellation comes as a blow.

The possibility remains that another publisher will step in to help see the game to completion, as happened with United Front Games’s Sleeping Dogs, but such Cinderella stories are rare in the gaming industry.

Although this cancellation will undoubtedly harm the fortunes of Platinum Games going forward, the developer still has a number of games in production, including the PlayStation 4 games Nier: Automata and Granblue Fantasy Project Re:Link, and the mobile-exclusive Lost Order.

Damien Lawardorn is an aspiring novelist, journalist, and essayist. His goal in writing is to inspire readers to engage and think, rather than simply consume and enjoy. With broad interests ranging from literature and video games to fringe science and social movements, his work tends to touch on the unexpected. Damien is the former Editor-in-Chief of OnlySP. More of his work can be found at https://open.abc.net.au/people/21767

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LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Technology Will Deliver a ‘Brand New Way to Explore the Entire Saga’

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LEGO Star Wars

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga will benefit from modern technological capabilities leading to a whole new project rather than just remastering older episodes.

In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, James McCloughlin game director at TT Games discussed the studio’s technological progress regarding game design compared to 15 years ago. McCloughlin confirmed that instead of remastering episodes one to six, the studio is developing a whole new experience to align with current player standards.

“We wanted to create a new Star Wars game which was designed without the technical restrictions of the older games—mainly episodes one to six—and since then we have learned so much as a studio.” He continued, “The older Star Wars games were great for that generation of gamers, but now players expect and need a lot more freedom in their play. With this game we hope to give players a brand new way to explore and enjoy the entire saga.”

One of the main features expected to dramatically change will be the size and scope of episodes one to six. McLoughlin highlights that player freedom is one of the biggest expectations of gamers and cited his experience working on Shadow of Mordor, Shadow of War, and the Batman Arkham series.

“Freedom is a massive part of modern games—since the days of the cantina [in the early Lego Star Wars games], we have designed and developed over-world spaces from Middle Earth to Gotham City all with different challenges and hurdles to overcome. This game should be an amalgamation of all of what we have learned so far as a studio.”

Furthermore McLoughlin explained that TT Games monitors consumer reception to its games, so after The Skywalker Saga is released the studio will consistently evaluate players’ reactions (both good and bad): “We now have a greater toolset to evaluate play through analytics and user testing that just wasn’t as readily available 15 years ago,” he explained. “We can now very easily target sectors of play and enhance the areas we know get the most traffic, to help make the entire experience great from start to finish.”

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is set to release in 2020 for PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. OnlySP’s Mike Cripe got to see the game in action at E3, finding that it may yet be as good as the highly anticipated Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

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