PlatinumGames director Hideki Kamiya has publicly apologised to Microsoft for the cancellation of Scalebound.
Speaking in a new interview on the Cutscenes YouTube channel, Kamiya spoke frankly about the development challenges Platinum experienced with the dragon-powered Xbox One exclusive, admitting: “We weren’t experienced enough.”
“We were working in an environment we weren’t used to,” Kamiya said.
“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 apologise both as a creator and as a member of PlatinumGames.”
Scalebound was a hotly-anticipated Xbox One exclusive announced by Microsoft during E3 2014. Here’s that eye-catching reveal moment:
As development struggled, Scalebound failed to materialise. A PC version was mentioned at E3 2016, where co-op gameplay was shown during Microsoft’s press conference. Kamiya himself took to the stage to introduce the clip:
But Microsoft cancelled Scalebound early 2017 and that was that. According to Eurogamer sources, work on the game took a serious knock autumn 2016, when several senior members of the development team were forced to take a month away from the pressure of the project’s heavy workload. These project members then returned, but Scalebound was now behind schedule. With continuing issues surrounding the game’s engine and overdue deadlines, the decision was made that the project could no longer continue.
In April 2020, Xbox boss Phil Spencer told IGN Scalebound was “something we’ve all moved past”, while admitting regrets over how the game’s development unfolded.
“It’s a tough one,” Spencer said. “I have a ton of respect for Platinum, [director Hideki] Kamiya-san and the team and I feel no ill-will. And we talk to those guys – there’s no animosity between the teams. We tried to go do something and it didn’t work.
“I regret we were as public about what we tried to go do. I did some learning around Fable Legends and Scalebound about being public about things before I know we have a real, believable plan that I can hold in my hands and know was going to be there. And we just didn’t get there with Scalebound and the team. And I say that about both teams.”
Spencer also put to bed any chance of a Scalebound revival:
“Of course we’re going to be a little upset we weren’t able to deliver on our goals for that title. We’re not working on it. I’m not at Platinum today but I’m almost positive they’re not working on it. It’s something we’ve all moved past. It’s not something I see as a high point in my role – having to cancel a game we’d talked about for years. But for the people out there thinking there’s something still in the works – there’s not.”
As for Platinum, it went on to release The Wonderful 101: Remastered last year. Upcoming projects include Sol Cresta, Bayonetta 3 and Babylon’s Fall.