Scalebound’s cancellation was probably one of the most surprising things to have happened in our industry over the last few years, more so for Xbox One owners than anyone else. Holding the promise of the level of quality one usually expects from a PlatinumGames title and also having the potential of becoming the kind of major exclusive the console had been sorely lacking (and still does, many might argue), its cancellation came as a bit of a shock.
Since the new broke in January of 2017, the masses have blamed Microsoft for their involvement in what happened, but according to PlatinumGames’ studio head Atsushi Inaba, the blame lies with both sides. While speaking in an interview with VGC, Inaba talked about how there were things that could have gone better on both ends, and as is the case with any cancellation in the industry, the entire blame can’t be shifted to a single party.
“Both sides failed,” said Inaba. “[Scalebound] didn’t do all of the things that we needed to do as a developer. Watching fans getting angry at Microsoft over the cancellation wasn’t easy for us to watch. Because the reality is, when any game in development can’t get released it’s because both sides failed.”
“I think there are areas where we could’ve done better and I’m sure there are areas that Microsoft as a publishing partner wish that they could’ve done better,” he added. “Because nobody wants a game to be cancelled.”
Inaba then went on to speak about how PlatinumGames has moved on from the experience of the game’s cancellation, and what lessons they have learned from the entire ordeal.
“At the bare minimum, it’s unique for us as a title in so much as we feel that we didn’t do all of the things that we needed to do as a developer,,” he said. “There were a lot of painful lessons, but that helped us grow as a studio. We obviously can’t go into details about it, because there are rules of engagement as a developer. We want to make sure that the publisher who gave us a chance to make a game in the first place isn’t treated poorly. The truth is, we don’t like to see Microsoft take the brunt of the fan ire because game development is hard and both sides learned lessons, for sure.”
Inaba also went on to admit that maybe Scalebound had been announced prematurely- which is something that Microsoft themselves have admitted in the past as well.
Earlier this year, rumours and speculation started to emerge that Scalebound was being revived by PlatinumGames and Nintendo as a Switch exclusive title, though it seems unlikely that that actually ends up happening.
Recently, Inaba also spoke about how PlatinumGames have decided to self-publish more games going forward, and how that decision has led them to allow greater creative freedom in their projects, one of which they’re working on right now, and remains unannounced. Read more on that through here.