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Xbox exclusive Scalebound canceled, Microsoft confirms

Platinum’s co-op action game is no more

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Scalebound - dragon Thuban screenshot
The dragon known as Thuban in PlatinumGames’ Scalebound.
PlatinumGames/Microsoft Studios
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Scalebound, the much-anticipated dragon action game from PlatinumGames, has been canceled by Microsoft Studios, the publisher announced today.

“After careful deliberation, Microsoft Studios has come to the decision to end production for Scalebound,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to Polygon. “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.”

The announcement confirms a report from Kotaku, which cited multiple sources in saying that Scalebound was “in trouble and may be cancelled.” Eurogamer also reported today, based on multiple sources, that Microsoft and Platinum have “parted ways” and that Platinum had stopped working on the project before the end of 2016.

“With continuing issues surrounding the game’s engine and overdue deadlines, the decision was made that the project could no longer continue,” said Eurogamer.

Scalebound was announced back at Microsoft’s E3 2014 press briefing as an Xbox One exclusive. Platinum’s Hideki Kamiya took the stage to promise “action at a whole new scale,” showing a trailer in which players teamed up with a massive dragon to battle giant monsters.

Microsoft brought Scalebound to Gamescom 2015 to show off four-player co-op action; at the time, the company said it was aiming for a holiday 2016 window. However, just over a year ago, Microsoft delayed the game to 2017.

The company most recently mentioned Scalebound in July 2016 as one of the titles that would support the Xbox Play Anywhere initiative, which allows for compatibility (and in some cases, a cross-buy feature) between a game’s Xbox One and Windows PC versions. Scalebound did appear at Gamescom in August, but it was not playable there. Kotaku noted that prior to Microsoft’s cancellation announcement, the company had removed the Scalebound page from the official Xbox website.

The past year has been rough for PlatinumGames. The Japanese studio released three poorly received titles in 2016: Star Fox Zero and the bundled title Star Fox Guard — both of which were co-developed with Nintendo — and the abysmal Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, which was pulled from digital storefronts last week. With the cancellation of Scalebound, Platinum’s only 2017 project is the action role-playing game Nier: Automata, which is scheduled to be released March 7 in North America. The studio is also working on two undated titles, Granblue Fantasy Project Re:Link and Lost Order.

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