Slaying Dragons is cool. A chap named George apparently killed a Dragon many years ago and was duly bestowed the honour of being the Patron Saint of England, so there is no doubt it is a serious achievement. Maybe Phil Spencer had eyes on the “Patron Saint of Xbox” moniker when he set his gaze upon Scalebound, and quashed the life that Platinum Games had given it?

RIP Scalebound

RIP Scalebound

Yes, the news has surfaced that the hotly anticipated (by me) Scalebound from the renowned Japanese action game specialists Platinum Games has been canned by the Xbox division. Development has ceased, funding has been terminated, and the game will never see the light of day. The Xbox doesn’t offer an overwhelming selection of Japanese-styled games, let alone high budget fare as ambitious as Scalebound. The game has featured in the previous two E3 conferences and seemed destined to… I dunno, at least come out one day. It might even have been good, but we will never know.

After careful deliberation, Microsoft Studios has come to the decision to end production for “Scalebound.” We’re working hard to deliver an amazing lineup of games to our fans this year, including “Halo Wars 2,” “Crackdown 3,” “State of Decay 2,” “Sea of Thieves” and other great experiences. – Microsoft

We’re sorry to say that on January 9, 2017, Microsoft Studios announced the cancellation of Scalebound. 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 – Platinum

The statements offered by Microsoft and Platinum (above) offer no real insight, so all we can do is speculate, shed a tear, and move on.

The big concern for Xbox fans is that Scalebound isn’t an exception. The name will be etched on the Xbox memorial wall alongside Fable Legends, Phantom Dust and Project Spark. Someone has probably already pencilled in Crackdown 3 and Cuphead, just in case.


It was nigh 3 years ago that Phil Spencer took over as head of the Xbox division. The man dazzled Xbox fans and games journalists alike with his silky words and perfect answers to all the difficult questions, and was very quickly credited with righting the sinking Xbox One ship. Today people are wondering if the wool has been pulled over their eyes and in fact Phil Spencer is the harbinger of Xbox annihalation.

Personally I have never really been bedazzled by Phil’s ability to say the right things, and always maintained that we should wait and see the fruits of his labours before casting judgement. Now I don’t want to say “I told you so”….. No really, hear me out. I just want to say “slow down”. Stop jumping to conclusions and pointing accusing fingers. The jury should not have reached any conclusion just yet.

Let’s assume for the moment that Scalebound was terrible. It is a plausible theory as Platinum have never really delivered a game so ambitious, and the last E3 showing was pretty ropey. Should Phil:

a) Release it anyway and pretend to be surprised by the critical reception

b) Keep delaying the game and throwing money at Platinum until something changes

c) Cancel the game.

The answer is debatable actually, but mostly because all 3 options are bad.

Maybe Scalebound and Fable would have turned out  to be shit?

Maybe Scalebound and Fable would have turned out to be shit if they released?

Now here’s food for thought: Maybe Fable Legends was bad as well. I know the 4v1 asynchronous multiplayer concept held no appeal to me what-so-ever, and wasn’t the Fable game I wanted. What about Phantom Dust? Is anybody confident that was looking good? Phil and his team showed these games the cold embrace of death. In doing so, maybe he spared us the cold embrace of playing subpar games, and saved Microsoft around 16 boat loads of cash to invest elsewhere.

The problems with these games most likely stem from the decision to invest in them in the first place. AAA games typically take 3-4 years to develop, so realistically Phil and his team are not the ones that greenlit these projects or at the very least, Phil wasn’t in charge at the time. And that goes both ways, if Crackdown 3 heralds the dawn of super cloud powered explosion extravagansers that revolutionise gaming as we know it… That wasn’t Phil either.

Now please don’t assume I am trying to prop up Phil’s reputation or restore hope in the Xbox division. I look at the 2017 XBox/PC games line up the apathy I feel is almost suffocating. I recognise that studios like Lionhead are gone, which seems far too severe an action to me. By contrast, I appreciate the move to put Xbox games on the PC, and I am cautiously optimistic that the next crop of Xbox games (the ones that we really can attribute to the current team) will be worth the wait.

What do you think? Is Phil evil incarnate? Are Microsoft pulling out of the console business? Is the cancellation of Scalebound somehow caused by pesky Sony fanboys, or perhaps covert Russian intervention? Maybe Phil is a mere puppet with no say at all, simply a face to distract us from the illuminati?  Let us know! No registration necessary.

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Asa W

I am just some British chap that is enthusiastic about games and related technology. I put my opinions into articles thinking other people might want to read them, so you could probably call me egotistical as well. Any publishers or platform holders reading this: My integrity can be bought for a low low price. Call me xx

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22 Responses

  1. Penny Melton says:

    Satya Nadella is the problem not Phil, what Phil WANTS AND GETS are two different things he still has to follow orders from his BOSS Above, (Nadella) I just don’t think Satya is really invested in Video Games compared to Steve Ballmer, I’m really sad Ballmer left as he LOVED The XBox Brand and even saved it.. While gamers have the right to be upset and mad at Phil, he has done alot,for the XBox Brand, end of the day Microsoft signs those checks they might not be that invested now.

  2. Penny Melton says:

    IDK, I understand gamers are upset, let’s remember what Phil has done for the XBox Brand is phenomenal, from where the XBox One was announced with its awful policies to where it is now. the XBox One S is the Game Console, the XBox should have been from day 1. So I think He is absolutely the right guy for Xbox and is doing the best he can. But your Question is WRONG! Don’t forget what Phil wants and what Phil gets are TWO different things. He still has to follow orders from the suits above with,that I MEAN Satya Nadella, He’s the one who gave Phil orders to bring XBox One games to WINDOWS 10! With the GOAL,being to push Windows 10 Ecosystem, Games, Music TV, have everything connected to your Windows account.

    • G. Lehri says:

      Yeah I do like Phil. But just as we give him credit for the good things Xbox does, we can critique him for the failures. I do understand that he might not be directly responsible for the failures or is held back by decisions of the suits.

      Let’s see how E3 pans out. If it is perceived as a failure then Spencer naturally should be called out for it.

  3. Xbox One is da best says:

    Please POS Ponys, shut up. Your Godlike Sony closed a whole Studio, Guerrilla Cambridge and kickt all the people working there on the street and no help to find a new job.
    That Microsoft stopt 1 game is peanuts; closing a whole studio is bullshit and weak. I tell you’re POS $ony will close the next studio in a few weeks namely MediaMonocule, than maybe you POS Ponys wake up and smell the shit, the shit that is $ony and the POS Waitstation 4. Now come on with your salty tears, i drink them like champagne poor poor POS Ponys.

    • Theodore Marvin "Ted" DiBiase says:

      I am actually impressed that you are concerned about the financial wellbeing of the employees of Guerrilla Cambridge (I have no idea who that is), in most cases being made redundant can’t be easy, especially as they have families to support.

      When you say you drink tears like champagne, do you mean you wait until there is a sufficient amount to fill a champagne flute? Don’t get me wrong, I’m more on the sec side of the fence when it comes to champagne but I think tears might be a bit too dry for my pallet.

    • G. Lehri says:

      Last warning mate- any more posts like that and I’m just going to delete your comments because you’re not actually making any point worth reading and are killing any chance of a proper debate. We might not get many comments on here at the moment but I’d rather have none than the pointless bickering with stupid terminology like “POS Ponys” etc.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Xbox sales are at an all time high.

  5. Theodore Marvin "Ted" DiBiase says:

    Investing in game development, like any R&D, will lead to some tough choices. It takes a strong person to put their hand up and cancel a project after significant investment but in a time where budgets aren’t increasing, the best decision can be to divert funds elsewhere.

    Without knowing the current state of the game it’s impossible to say if it’s the right choice. It’s one thing to sign-off the cancellation of a game but there should be equal scrutiny in the approval of game development, which you would hope could help reduce the risk of cancellations. At the end of the day, it is ok to fail, the important point is being able to take a learning from it for future game development decisions.

    On the subject of Scalebound, is there any truth in the rumour that it might be moving to Nintendo?

    • G. Lehri says:

      Absolutely agree on your point regarding tough choices and it must have been a very hard call to cut development after no doubt, millions sunk into the project.

      With regard to Scalebound moving to Nintendo that is highly unlikely as Microsoft own the IP rights to it.

      • Theodore Marvin "Ted" DiBiase says:

        Will you do an article on the Nintendo Switch? I think they had/are having an announcement. Regardless of the outcome, I’ll be purchasing one but it would be good to hear your thoughts. I’ve enjoyed the opinion pieces i’ve read on here so far!

        • G. Lehri says:

          Yes we are working on an article right now regarding the Switch! Thank you for enjoying our pieces. Means a lot!

  6. Frank Ramsey says:

    medman is telling it like it is. Recore failed therefore Scalebound get the axe. Wake the **** up.

  7. Xbox One is da best says:

    Phil is the savior of the Xbox and he did make all the right decisions. Only POS Ponys
    say he is just a talking mouth that says everything Microsoft tell him to say.
    The Scorpio will make the POS Ponys go mad, the scorpio IS the best console ever, and will have the best games ever, just like the Xbox one …

    • medman says:

      Here folks, lies the brain of your typical know nothing gamer. All show, no substance Microsoft does it again. Poor critters like this one here fall for the lie year after year, and at the end of every year are left with nothing but ashes in the mouth. They’ve gotten used to the taste. They get nothing, and like it. They pinned their hope on clouds. Nothing. They pinned their hope on exclusives. Very little to show for that. They pinned their hope on Halo. Nope. Then Quantum Break. Dud. Then Recore. Woops. Now Scorpio. Poor things. It will be the most powerful console ever devised….and not a thing to play on it. Oh, unless you count old 360 games. Yikes. Heaven help them.

    • Theodore Marvin "Ted" DiBiase says:

      What does POS stand for?

    • YOUDIEMOFO says:

      I feel it came out years later and was nothing but the best it would have some serious issues….. Wake up person with the blinders on their eyes. WHOA…..! Such a knowledgeable comment you made their. Must have been hard to find them facts online.

      Sorry pal, but Microsoft have dropped the ball so many times in the last couple of years it is pretty disgusting…

      I personally was going to buy their “S” as it supports blu-ray UHD discs. Seriously though after seeing that they have less than %30 of the exclusives/games that my already old and dusty PS4 has I chose to stay away from it altogether.

      And by the time the Scorpio drops I’ll have already incrementally upgraded my pc, so that purchase will not be happening either. Plus I’ve been gaming at 4k/100fps or higher for years, so I’m not missing out on and or gaining anything by attempting to jump on the ol’bandwagon.

    • Anonymous says:

      Get rid of him G. Lehri. Get rid of this impossible fucking retard NOW

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