While the action-RPG’s demise isn’t all that surprising, the fact it comes at the start of what was already a dire year of exclusives for Xbox raises questions about Microsoft’s intentions for the brand.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer said it was a tough decision, and while murmurs of relationship trouble between Microsoft and Scalebound developer PlatinumGames have been lingering for days, the studio remain silent.
In an official statement on the studio’s website, PlatinumGames broke its silence regarding Scalebound‘s cancellation.
“We are very disappointed things ended up this way, especially since we know many of our fans were looking forward to this game as much as we were,” the statement reads.
Platinum assures gamers that it’s still hard at work on other “fun” games, including NieR:Automata, which launches in March, as well as GRANBLUE FANTASY Project Re:Link and LOST ORDER.
“We will keep working hard to meet your expectations and we look forward to your continued support!”
Scalebound director Hideki Kamiya then took to Twitter, apologising to fans.
“I’m very sorry to everyone who was looking forward to this game,” Kamiya said. “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. I’ll work extra hard to never have to let you down like this again, so I hope you will keep watching over us in the future too.”
Scalebound‘s cancellation comes as the third of five Xbox exclusives that were revealed at E3 2014. Only Ori And The Blind Forest from that list has been released, with the Phantom Dust remake changed to a remaster, and Project Spark never leaving beta.
There are question marks over Crackdown 3, although insider word is that development is coming along, despite some internal issues.
It stands as the only major exclusive planned for Xbox One in 2017 ahead of the release of Xbox Scorpio.
Microsoft will look to E3 2017 and Gamescom 2017 to convince gamers that Scorpio is a worthy upgrade, or that at the very least, the Xbox One as it stands is a good investment.