When news broke that Scalebound was cancelled, Xbox owners around the world were quick to let their displeasure be known. In an age where dead franchises and second chances are aplenty, PlatinumGames mentioned that they would love to return and finish what they started but it looks like any hopes that that would happen soon have been effectively squashed by Xbox boss Phil Spencer.
Phil Spencer sat down with the folks over at IGN for the Unlocked Podcast to talk about the current state of the cancelled game saying “We’re not working on it,” Spencer said. “I’m not at Platinum today, but I’m almost positive they’re not working on it. It’s something we all moved past.
“It’s not a moment that I see as a high point for me in my role, having to cancel a game that we had talked about for years. But yeah, for the people out there who are kind of thinking that maybe there’s something still in the works, there’s not.”
In a previous interview with VGC, Platinum studio head Atsushi Inaba mentioned: “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.”
Platinum has showed interest in revisiting the cancelled project since its demise back in 2017 several times over, but there are a few factors that would need to happen first and it doesn't look like that's in the cards anytime soon. "Both sides failed," said Inaba. "Scalebound didn't do all of the things that we needed to do as a developer."
He added, "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. Because nobody wants a game to be cancelled."
He then went on to discuss the lessons learned from the entire ordeal and all the disappointment it left behind in its wake:
"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. 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."
With PlatinumGames' recently announced Tencent partnership to aid in project funding, the topic of Scalebound came up once more this time in an interview with Eurogamer Portugal. While the studio head said that they would "love" to go back to the cancelled IP, that decision, despite new funding on their side, lies solely with Microsoft as they own 100% of the IP. "Whatever happens with this project, we can't really do anything with it unless Microsoft leaves us. But it's a game that we fall in love with and love. If the opportunity arises, it's something we would love to return to."
While the future of Scalebound looks grim, the team over at Xbox may surprise us with their renewed initiative for the next generation, but for right now? It's off the table.