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:
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
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.