The head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, says that the decision to cancel Platinum Games' action-RPG Scalebound was "difficult" but that it's a decision that is "better for Xbox gamers."
Yesterday, Microsoft stunned gamers by revealing that Scalebound has been cancelled. After confirming that the highly anticipated action-RPG – which had been scheduled to release on PC and Xbox One sometime this year – had been canned, Microsoft was quick to remove all of the trailers for the game off of the web too. This dashed any hopes that the Platinum Games-developed title could be revived and that Microsoft would change its mind. Understandably, gamers were massively disappointed.
Many took to social media to voice their frustrations at Scalebound's cancellation, with one podcast account sending a tweet to the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer. After telling the Xbox boss that the Scalebound cancellation "hurt" and that Microsoft's E3 2017 presentation had better be "mind blowing," Spencer replied that although it was a "difficult decision" to cancel the game, it's one that he feels is "better for Xbox gamers." And although that decision is "still disappointing," the Xbox boss is "confident in [the 2017] lineup."
On the one hand, it's easy to see why Spencer is so optimistic about the state of Xbox One and PC games this year. Open-world action title Crackdown 3 is targeting a holiday 2017 release date and will soon let players exact justice in its destructible environments, while nautical multiplayer game Sea of Thieves will be out soon as well. Away from the software side of things, 2017 is also the year of Project Scorpio (as many Microsoft and Xbox executives have been keen to hype up), as gamers will be able to get their hands on the new hardware which has been described as the "most powerful console ever." So it's not as though Xbox fans don't have plenty to look forward to.
On the other hand, however, it's understandable for many gamers to feel that the rest of this lineup doesn't make up for the loss of Scalebound. For one, there's an argument that Microsoft needed a big budget game from a Japanese studio like Platinum Games to help improve the Xbox One's terrible sales in the region. There are also additional concerns that the full slate of Windows 10/Xbox One exclusives planned for 2017 (a list which includes Halo Wars 2) wasn't especially large in the first place, and that without the title, Microsoft cannot compete with the exclusive games headed to PS4 in 2017, including open-world RPG Horizon Zero Dawn.
Microsoft undoubtedly hears these concerns though and it likely took these things into consideration before cancelling the game. All that's left to do now is sit tight and hope that the company will figure out a way to impress Xbox gamers without Scalebound.
Scalebound is no longer coming to PC or Xbox One.