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GVMERS: Microsoft vs. Platinum and The Tragedy of Scalebound


NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Capcom veterans Atsushi Inaba, Hideki Kamiya, and Shinji Mikami joined forces in 2007 to found PlatinumGames. The company developed an impressive stable of IP within a matter of years, operating out of Capcom’s backyard in Osaka, Japan, while producing critically acclaimed games such as Bayonetta and Vanquish for Sega. These titles and several others set a cadence for Platinum, mixing combo-based action with over-the-top visuals for incomparable interactive experiences. All the while, however, Hideki Kamiya had another idea brewing in the back of his mind, a concept that would finally give respect to the larger-than-life creatures he’d long adored.

Scalebound was to star a young man stranded in a fantastical world whose companion, the fire-breathing dragon named Thuban, constituted the last of its kind. Instead of an antagonistic or purely functional relationship, the two unlikely allies forged a bond that united them across storytelling and gameplay mechanics. Publisher Microsoft Studios fell head over heels for Platinum’s pitch, signing a deal that would make the sprawling adventure exclusive to Xbox One.

The public similarly grew attached to Scalebound, fawning over every screenshot and morsel of gameplay footage shown during its fleeting life cycle. But it never actually saw the light of day, not outside of well-crafted vertical slices and glowing press previews. Announced during the nadir of the Xbox One’s early days, Scalebound seemed a beacon of hope for the beleaguered console. Thus, all were surprised when Microsoft abruptly ceased development on the project, pulling the plug the year it was to hit store shelves. And the fact that Microsoft owns the intellectual property rights means the keys to Kamiya’s unique vision remain outside of PlatinumGames’ reach for an indeterminate length of time.

This is the tragedy of Scalebound.
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