Platinum Games is a studio that needs little introduction, and the creative minds behind games that push the envelope of video game aesthetic and quirky gameplay mechanics have been given the recognition they deserve. Titles like the positively-received Bayonetta 2 show a team of developers that aren’t afraid to make crucial changes to their already successful properties if it means crafting a better player experience. While they can’t all be hits, Platinum Games’ commendable dedication to innovation means its games will be memorable.
It’s an interesting mental exercise when discussing studios like Platinum Games to imagine how many iterations of each new IP there were before finally arriving at the finished product. Now, an interview between Gamespot and Scalebound director Hideki Kamiya has shed some light on exactly how much Platinum Games’ eagerly anticipated title has changed over the course of eight years.
Kamiya revealed that well before Scalebound became one of the sleeper hits of E3 2014, the game went through a number of prototype phases that were all shelved in favor of the design we see today. One of those prototypes, coming at the end of The Wonderful 101‘s development, is perhaps the most drastically different. Kamiya stated:
“When they first started, the idea was for a Wii game and we wanted to use a Wii remote to do the orders for the dinosaurs. You were in control of the dinosaurs…and they’d do cool things.”
Although dinosaurs might not be a mammoth departure from the dragons that make up Scalebound‘s various game modes, including a 4 player dragon-riding co-op, Kamiya wasn’t done there. Apparently, the biggest change came to Scalebound‘s protagonist, who began life as a little girl with the power to control dinosaurs:
“We changed the dinosaurs to dragons, but at that point the lead character was even weaker than [current Scalebound protagonist] Drew…she was actually a little girl who was with these dragons.”
Kamiya further elaborated that, while the original protagonist was much younger and the game as a whole was less violent, it was the inclusion of dragons that made the director want players to be able to participate in the action directly. This led Platinum Games to design a character who would be able to use swords more effectively, arriving at the same Drew who wowed audiences in the game’s debut trailer.
While Scalebound is making steady progress towards release now, its fascinating to explore how much thought and restructuring went into its production earlier. Although the shift from a Wii game based heavily on motion sensors to an Xbox One title about riding and fighting dragons is likely a good business decision, it remains to be seen if Scalebound will really benefit from switching protagonists as well.
What do you think of Scalebound‘s Drew? Would you have been interested in a game about a little girl with the ability to control dinosaurs? Let us know in the comments.
Scalebound is slated to release exclusively for Xbox One during the Holiday 2016 season.