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Everything We Knew About Scalebound

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Platinum Games struggled to find its footing amid sky-high ambitions for Scalebound, which was delayed once before its ultimate cancellation.

Microsoft announced on January 9 that Scalebound, Platinum Games’ Xbox One and PC-exclusive action game, has been canceled. Since the announcement, Microsoft has removed all Scalebound trailers and footage from its Xbox YouTube channel, effectively erasing the game from its history.

But Scalebound hasn’t completely disappeared from our memory yet. Take a look back at everything we learned about the Bayonetta developer’s lost action-RPG, starting with its reveal and first gameplay footage all the way up to its cancellation.

2014: Announcement and First Look

Scalebound was first revealed at E3 2014 as an Xbox One exclusive. Platinum Games showed off a CG trailer featuring a dragon and then-unnamed protagonist Drew, complete with a fight against a giant monster. Director Hideki Kamiya said that Platinum Games had “never made a game like Scalebound.”

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer followed up in October, tweeting that Microsoft wouldn’t release gameplay footage until 2015.

2015: Details and First Gameplay

At the beginning of January 2015, Microsoft’s Ken Lobb hyped Scalebound, saying it would “shock” players. Lobb emphasized that Scalebound was not along the same lines as the Monster Hunter series, which it had been compared to after its announcement.

In June, Microsoft confirmed that Scalebound would not appear at E3 and that it and a few other games were being saved for Gamescom. Phil Spencer tweeted in July that Scalebound was making “good progress.”

Come Gamescom in August, a Scalebound gameplay demo was indeed revealed during the Microsoft Press Conference, marking the first time we saw gameplay. Platinum Games announced during the demo that Scalebound would have four-player co-op, and the game got a holiday 2016 release window.

Most notably, the demo (in addition to a trailer) showed off the main character’s ability to draw on the dragon’s power, and his skin appeared to morph into dragon scale armor. It also showcased action against human enemies in the usual Platinum Games style.

Late 2015: Development History and Future Forecasting

Later that August, Kamiya revealed that the idea for Scalebound had been around since Platinum Games’ early days in 2006, along with Bayonetta. The initial version of Scalebound had dinosaurs instead of dragons and starred a little girl. It was shelved twice before being revised and revived and had been in development for about two years by summer 2015.

At the tail end of August, Microsoft held a Scalebound Q&A panel at PAX Prime, but not much new information came out of it.

At Xbox One Fanfest in Tokyo a month later, Xbox Japan’s marketing manager, Masashi Inoue, said he believed that Scalebound would boost Xbox One sales in Japan due to the Platinum Games fan base there.

Microsoft marketing executive Aaron Greenberg said in December 2015 that Scalebound would have a “broader appeal” and could bring in people who hadn’t played anything from Platinum Games before.

At the end of the year, GameSpot spoke to Kamiya at length about his career and Scalebound, which he had said was his “dream game.” He talked about difficulties in development, including the hurdle of how to best handle the dragon in battle.

2016: The Delay and E3

In the beginning of January, Platinum announced that Scalebound was delayed to 2017. The studio said it was “happy with how it’s coming together” and needed more time to “deliver on [their] ambitious vision.” Greenberg followed up later that month explaining that the delay was also a strategic move, since Scalebound would have had trouble standing out among other holiday games.

During Microsoft’s E3 2016 press conference, Kamiya showed off more gameplay, including four-player co-op and a giant boss.

Scalebound was confirmed for the newly announced Xbox Play Anywhere program. Kamiya also spoke about the delay, joking that all of his projects get delayed and adding that the extra development time would help the team reach their lofty goals for Scalebound.

The last substantial detail we heard about Scalebound was in August, when Platinum Games’ creative producer, Jean Pierre Kellams, revealed dragon customization in an Xbox blog post. After that, Phil Spencer tweeted that there would most likely be “no new Scalebound news before 2017.”

2017: The End

Now, at the start of 2017, the only Scalebound news is that it has been canceled. Spencer tweeted that the cancellation would be “better [for] Xbox gamers” despite being a difficult decision to make, and Kamiya denied rumors that he is taking time off.

Platinum Games’ next game is Nier: Automata, which is coming to PS4 on March 7 followed by a later PC release. A demo is available now.

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    kallie

    Kallie Plagge

    Kallie Plagge is an Associate Editor. She loves Pokemon, anime, and Grunt Birthday Party.
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