Hideki Kamiya is the mastermind behind some of the most beloved cult classics in gaming, from Devil May Cry to Viewtiful Joe, Bayonetta, and of course, Okami. So when Microsoft announced at its E3 2014 press conference that Kamiya’s studio, Platinum Games, was developing an Xbox One exclusive called Scalebound with him at the helm, it was a big deal and a huge score for the then-beleaguered console.
Two and a half years later, we’ve seen gameplay footage of Scalebound at Gamescom 2015, E3 2016, and Gamescom 2016. Despite said footage being a little rough around the edges, and despite the delay from 2016 into 2017, the game showed a ton of promise and a really cool concept. With Platinum’s track record, we were all but sure the kinks would be ironed out and we’d get a fantastic experience when the game came out this year.
Or, rather, we would have, except Microsoft has just announced today that, following in the footsteps of Phantom Dust, another cult classic unveiled at the same conference, Scalebound has officially been canceled.
Kotaku and Eurogamer first broke the news, and an official statement from Microsoft soon followed:
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 official statement
Eurogamer cites sources that state the relationship between Platinum and Microsoft became less than friendly during development, with several members of the team including Kamiya himself being forced to take breaks from the pressure of developing the game. It also seems as if the technical issues on display during Scalebound‘s various demo appearances, along with its delays and missed deadlines, were a factor in Microsoft’s decision to cancel the game.
It’s not often that we get the cancellation of such a visible game that’s had several major showings and publicity pushes. It surely comes as a blow to Kamiya, who first conceived the idea of Scalebound ten years ago before developing Bayonetta and began developing the game in 2013. No word on whether or not the IP is owned by Microsoft or if Platinum will be able to continue development with another publisher, as Microsoft refuses to comment on its business dealings and partnerships.