Scalebound Cancellation Was at Both Platinum and Microsoft’s Fault, Says Platinum Head
The fault for Scalebound's cancellation shouldn't solely be at Microsoft's feet, says Platinum Games studio head Atsushi Inaba.
The cancellation of any video game is always disappointing, but the case of Scalebound stung a bit more for some fans of Platinum Games. Almost two and a half years later, Platinum Games head Atsushi Inaba spoke about the cancellation in a surprisingly candid fashion. Although many following the game were quick to blame Microsoft for shelving the project, Inaba defended the publisher, saying that Platinum themselves had a part in the game’s “failure.”
Speaking to VGC in an interview, Inaba claimed that “both sides failed,” and the game in its state “didn’t do all of the things that we needed to do as a developer.” Inaba continues:
“Watching fans getting angry at Microsoft over the cancellation wasn’t easy for us to watch. Because the reality is, when any game in development can’t get released it’s because both sides failed. I think there are areas where we could’ve done better and I’m sure there are areas that Microsoft as a publishing partner wish that they could’ve done better. Because nobody wants a game to be canceled.”
Game development is more complicated than casual fans know it to be, and there will always be a number of factors out of our realm of knowledge in a situation such as this. While it may have been easy to use Microsoft as a scapegoat, considering some negative opinions with how they’ve handled game studios in the past, there are more logistics that came into play that led to the untimely death of Scalebound.
Continuing Inaba’s defense of Microsoft:
“We obviously can’t go into details about it, because there are rules of engagement as a developer. We want to make sure that the publisher who gave us a chance to make a game in the first place isn’t treated poorly. The truth is, we don’t like to see Microsoft take the brunt of the fan ire because game development is hard and both sides learned lessons, for sure.”
It’s the courteous and good faith move to take as a developer, and surely a relationship with Microsoft is one that Platinum Games would want to keep. Although if we’re being honest, I’d be curious to hear what director Hideki Kamiya has to say two years later, as that particular figure is known for some incendiary and off-color comments online.
On the positive side, Inaba seems to believe that Platinum has grown from the “painful lessons” of that whole ordeal. While observers thought that the cancellation of Scalebound led to the developer moving towards self-publishing, Inaba said that this was not the case. Platinum’s next project due for release is Astral Chain, which is being supervised by Kamiya and will release exclusively on Nintendo Switch on August 30.