PlatinumGames is one of the most celebrated developers out there. Since the company’s formation in 2007, they have released classics like Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and The Wonderful 101. Unfortunately, not everything the company has touched turned to gold. In fact, some games they worked on did not even get released.
The most notable among these is Scalebound. This canceled title is unique for how much the public actually saw of it before receiving the axe. It showed promise, but ultimately was canceled for several reasons. The ten lesser known facts can help fans mourn what could have been from this Microsoft exclusive.
10 Platinum Was Trying To Make A Hit
This might sound silly to read, since every developer wants a game to be successful. It is worth noting that PlatinumGames was looking to make Scalebound a big hit, using Microsoft’s power to help. The game was being designed to reach a larger audience than the studio’s prior efforts. As great as PlatinumGames titles are, the fast-paced combat is not easy for everyone to access and understand.
9 Was In The Works As Early As 2006
It is no secret that games take a long time to make. Even before full development starts, a project can spend months, even years, in the planning stages. According to PlatinumGames, Scalebound was in development as early as 2006. Ultimately, other projects like Bayonetta took priority. Knowing how long it spent cooking makes its cancellation even more tragic. Imagine how the creators feel having so much work and planning thrown down the drain.
8 Dinosaurs Were Once In The Game
The main draw of Scalebound was the cooperation between the player and a computer-controlled dragon. Dragons were not always a part of the picture, however. During its early stages of pre-production, PlatinumGames was experimenting and tinkering with using dinosaurs instead. Dinosaurs generally do not seem friendly, while dragons have sometimes been amiable, depending on the story.
7 Four Player Co-op
PlatinumGames rarely includes multiplayer or co-op in its titles. It is understandable, since adding such a feature would probably add a slew of design challenges to the style of game for which the developer is known. Scalebound was set to tackle these issues, and the public even got a glimpse at how it looked. Watching the co-op gameplay demonstration is pretty awe inspiring. The monster the players take on has a similar sense of scale to a boss from Bayonetta.
6 Directed By Hideki Kamiya
Scalebound was being directed by Hideki Kamiya, one of PlatinumGames’ founders. Fans already know the name, but anybody not in the know should understand how prestigious of a name he is.
Hideki Kamiya started his career at Capcom where he directed Resident Evil 2. While at the company he worked on numerous other titles, including Devil May Cry, before starting PlatinumGames. He also directed Bayonetta, a game renowned for its almost perfect combat.
5 It Was Originally Planned For The Nintendo Wii
While the final console for which it received work was the Xbox One, this platform did not exist way back in 2006. The original intention was to bring the game to the Wii. Instead of a more direct combat approach like the gameplay demonstrations show, the original concept was a little more passive, using the Wiimote to order the dinosaur companion around. The link to Nintendo did not sever there, however. Many rumors float around about work continuing on it for the Nintendo Switch, but Platinum denies these.
4 Microsoft Still Holds The IP
Hideki Kamiya has expressed interest in returning to the game, but it is ultimately not up to him. Microsoft still holds the IP, so the developer would have to come to an agreement with the publisher if the project were to be revived. Microsoft’s strengthening relationship with Nintendo is what led to the rumor about the game receiving a second life on the Switch. Given the changes Microsoft has gone through since Scalebound’s initial cancellation, a revival does not seem out of the question.
3 The Protagonist
The main character was named Drew. Looking at the gameplay demo, his look and style felt incongruous to everyone else. This has a rational explanation. Drew was actually from the real world and was transported to this land where Scalebound is set, called Draconis. Judging from what little the public saw of Drew, he felt like a typical wise-cracking, carefree protagonist one sees in PlatinumGames titles, though surely he would have had more depth upon playing the finished product.
2 The Original Protagonist
When Scalebound was first being prototyped back in 2006, it appeared to be a drastically different beast. Dinosaurs and the Nintendo Wii were not the only changes. The original protagonist was a little girl.
The idea was to have players in the girl’s shoes, ordering the dinosaur during battle. However, this was changed when it was decided the player should also be directly involved in combat. Since a little child cannot fight, the protagonist was completely redesigned to Drew.
1 Why It Was Cancelled
Upon the game’s official cancellation in 2017, many were quick to point the finger at Microsoft. In an interview, Atsushi Inaba describes how fans should not place the blame entirely on Microsoft. He goes on to say how a cancelled game is generally a failure on both the developer and the publisher. It is easy to dump on a big company like Microsoft, especially during that time, while everybody wants to root for PlatinumGames, often considered an underdog in the industry.