PlatinumGames' Hideki Kamiya apologizes to Microsoft and to fans for Scalebound's cancellation
PlatinumGames developer Hideki Kamiya has spoken out about the Scalebound project - a planned Xbox One exclusive action RPG that was announced in 2014 and ultimately cancelled in 2017 after a difficult development beset with various struggles.
In a new chapter of the 'Kamiya Chronicles' interview series on YouTube, the beloved game director breaks his silence on the topic of Scalebound - and reveals that he clearly views some of the responsibility for the game's failure to make it to release as landing on his shoulders.
"I'm sorry to the players who looked forward to it, and moreover I'm sorry to Microsoft, who had placed their trust in us as a business partner," Scalebound's director Kamiya says in the video interview. "I want to apologize both as a creator and as a member of PlatinumGames."
Elsewhere in the interview, Kamiya reveals some of the genesis of the Scalebound project, mirroring comments made to RPG Site all the way back in 2015 during an extremely promising-looking behind-closed doors demonstration of the game. Here's a transcript of Kamiya's comments on Scalebound:
"Scalebound was a project we had teamed up on with Microsoft. They expected good things from us, and we needed to live up to those expectations with the project. Teaming up with Microsoft meant releasing the game on the latest Xbox console. I once again had the desire to make a high-end game. I wanted to go back to something photorealistic. While it was a personal wish of mine, I thought it was also a necessary mission for PlatinumGames to improve our graphical ability and get to the next step of modern game creation.
So we first decided to go with a universe like that. I loved fantasy worlds since I was a child. I've always enjoyed worlds with swords, magic and dragons. When I was a child, I don't know if people overseas are familiar with these, but I would play Sorcerian, Hydlide, all these fantasy games from the classic PC era that I really enjoyed. I always wanted to make something around that theme. This is how I thought of a world revolving around a young man fighting together with a dragon.
However, it was a big challenge for PlatinumGames. We were working in an environment we weren't used to. We were developing on the Unreal Engine, we also lacked the necessary know-how to build a game based on online features. The hurdles we had to overcome were very big. We weren't experienced enough and couldn't get over that wall, leading to what happened in the end.
I'm sorry to the players who looked forward to it, and moreover I'm sorry to Microsoft who had placed their trust in us as a business partner. I want to apologize both as a creator and as a member of PlatinumGames."
When RPG Site saw Scalebound in presentations that were never revealed to the public, including in live gameplay sessions played by developers, it appearted to show great ambition and promise - but throughout development, we frequently heard of struggles and difficulties with the game and its concepts on both the PlatinumGames and Microsoft Game Studios sides of production, with the game developed at an extremely turbluent time at Microsoft towards the tail end of the ill-fated era when Don Mattrick was at the helm. This ultimately led to its cancellation, which has always seemed like a shame - and now we have Kamiya's perspective.
You can see the full video, which also includes comments on the development of The Wonderful 101, on the Cutscenes YouTube channel.