Scalebound, the action RPG Microsoft exclusive developed by PlatinumGames, had been one of the most anticipated games of 2017. But, in a sudden and strange turn of events, Microsoft decided to cancel it back in January 2017. A lot of disappointed fans asked why, and now head of Xbox Phil Spencer has issued an apology to those fans, as well as some insight as to why Microsoft would cancel a highly anticipated console exclusive when they have so few to begin with.
In an interview with Japanese gaming site GAME Watch (translated by DualShockers), Spencer states that the cancellations “hurt him” as much as it did the fans, and that he was disappointed with the decision. He also expressed his deep respect for everyone at PlatinumGames, and especially to Hideki Kamiya, the director of Scalebound.
Spencer also said that Scalebound may have been announced to early, which caused pressure from fans that became harmful during the development process. Eventually, fan expectations were raised so high that the studio wasn’t sure it could actually meet them, and that’s when Microsoft decided to shut it down.
Basically, he’s saying its the fans’ fault they don’t get to fight alongside a dragon companion. You all got no one but yourselves to blame.
During that same interview, Spencer stated his belief that Japanese gamers are getting interested in console gaming again, partly due to the success of the Nintendo Switch. He also expressed his admiration of the innovation of Japanese developers, and hopes to be able to work with Kamiya again in the future.
Though Microsoft is an American company, Spencer believes that the Xbox can still make a strong connection with Japanese gamers, and hopes to hear feedback from them on how to better appeal to them.
I’m thinking the first tip would be something along the lines of “don’t cancel the games we develop.”