‘I’ve Learned Things From The Scalebound Experience,’ Says Xbox Head Phil Spencer

The Scalebound cancellation was one of the most public, high profile, and devastating game cancellations for Microsoft in a generation full of high profile game cancellations. It left Microsoft's game output significantly diminished, and left questions about where Microsoft's first party and exclusives portfolio goes from here.

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tyasia0479d ago

So of course he didn't learn the right thing which would be to stick with projects, or that there was lack of games on the system so they needed the title. Basically his only regret was the fact that there was a negative response.

And this is why Sony is winning even after years they stuck with games like The Last Guardian which turned out in the end to be fantastic.

darthv72479d ago

why would sticking to the project by "the right thing" to do? We really know nothing as to why it was canceled, just that it was canceled. so speculation runs wild but really the right thing to do is to assess what the outcome of a situation could be and decide if its best to cancel and walk away or ride it into the ground if it fails.

We know the game was not progressing as it should have. We know that PG was taking on other projects that they started after working on this one and were further along in those than this one. That much we do know.

So as a customer (lets say MS was the customer, buying what PG was selling) and you keep getting the run around on when your project is going to be ready while seeing other customers projects are finishing up.... you would get fed up and walk away as well.

As for TLG... that was the ONLY project Ico was really working on and they are a dedicated Sony studio where as PG isnt and was open to other projects concurrently. You want to compare a developer with a single project to one that was trying to do multiple at the same time???

Lets not forget that PG came to them so they were given all kinds of $$ and a schedule and they didn't deliver. They were even given extra time and still did not deliver. For all we know, they used that $$ to finish other projects instead of this one.

Goldby478d ago

oh darth...

are you honestly insiuading that PG used funds that MS gave them to finsih developing games for sony and such? because unless that was allowed in the contracts that is ILLEGAL and is a form of fraud.

reading previous articles, as well as articles from other devlopers who ahve had games cancelled on them (Phantum dust example) t may ahve also been Ms that was either too pushy with milestone dates or that their expectations were so high it was unachievable.

Remember that the remake for Phantum Dust was originally just supposed to be MP, then MS announced througha video that they didnt even source outr to teh developers of the remake that there would be different characters and a single player campaign, but no extra money for them to do so when tehy were already tight for cash.

at the end of the day, none of us have any real say unless we were part of the discussion between Ms and PG. but to insinuate illegal activities is just low man

andrewsquall478d ago

@darthv72 Sony Japan have been working on plenty of titles over the past 7 years since The Last Guardian's conception. At this stage I think we can assume you are never going to get anything right ever.

Sparta07478d ago

" They were even given extra time and still did not deliver. For all we know, they used that $$ to finish other projects instead of this one. "

My god, Darth!!
Your defending of this is very entertaining.

What if Microsoft got mad at PG for finishing Nioh for Sony and not scalebound!? So that's why they cancelled it!!!!

( I mean if you can make up nonsense why can't I ) 🤗

nitus10478d ago

All you are doing is pushing conspiracy theory.

If you ever get to attend management meetings one of the major points of discussion at the start and during the course of any project is resource allocation and funding.

Rather than go into detail just read the reply by "Goldby".

notachance478d ago

"We really know nothing as to why it was canceled, just that it was canceled."

"Lets not forget that PG came to them so they were given all kinds of $$ and a schedule and they didn't deliver. They were even given extra time and still did not deliver. For all we know, they used that $$ to finish other projects instead of this one."

you literally said we know nothing but in the end there you just assume it's all PG's fault LMAO
ahh, Xbox fanboys never failed to make me laugh

guyman467d ago

"For all we know, they used that $$ to finish other projects instead of this one"

LMAO, microsoft fanboy conspiracy theories

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EmperorDalek478d ago

His only regret was the negative response? From what I read, he regrets announcing it too early.

The Last Guardian was delayed because they took ages to figure out how to develop the game on PS3... only to eventually figure out they couldn't really put the game on PS3 anyway. So they developed it for PS4. Would it not be better if it was announced much later? It's stupid that it was revealed in 2009.

This isn't The Last Guardian, it's likely not an issue with making it on the Xbox One itself. It's quite possible Platinum spread themselves too thin, they were working on at least two other projects after all. And lets face it - All Platinum Games have ever done with their games is make good combat. Bayonetta, Vanquish, Nier... Are all good for their combat (gameplay speaking.) Due to the use of huge Dragons, Scale bound would have needed to be a much larger game than anything Platinum has yet made.

I don't see any evidence from their other games that they were capable of making such a large-scale game. That it took so long, and they still had no idea when it was going to be ready is possibly proof of that.

I would have also been put off due to the fact Nier was announced after SB was, and released before Platinum even had a clue when SB was going to be ready. It obviously sucks that it was cancelled, but I can see why they did it.

By the way, did The Last Guardian make a profit? It's not exactly a great example if it didn't.

YEP414478d ago


Gamers like you and everyone else cry too much! Gamers cry about everything.. buy a game you like It or not! A game developer didn't finish a game Microsoft paid for cancel!!! Who cares playing halo wars 2 why ya crying

UltraNova478d ago

Maybe they have a right to express their dissapointment after seeing game after game getting canceld and left with just halo wars 2?

rainslacker478d ago (Edited 478d ago )

I hope he learned that a tweet isn't an appropriate way to announce a cancelled game. I hope he learned that a proper press release which explains as much as possible the cancellation, as well as the reason why, so people can know why they are no longer getting a game that was marketed for years as a reason to get their hardware. I hope he learned that cancelling a game is not good for gamers without the context as to why it's good for them. I hope he learned that allowing the company to say the game was coming along nicely a month before cancellation is just proving that they are blowing smoke, because obviously, if it was cancelled a month later, it wasn't coming along fine.

So on and so forth.

There are so many things wrong with the way they announced this, and I'm sure on the back end so many things that went wrong during the development process, that Id hope they learned something.

What matters most now is what they do with what they learned.

As far as what they learned from the back end development side, who cares? Phil has been in this business a long time. It's not like he has suddenly been thrown into the management of 2nd party games to make sure they're coming along well. That was quite literally his job before taking over Xbox. If he just learned these things with SB cancellation, then MS needs a new top exec who doesn't play around and manages their developers better, so things like this don't drain resources from other projects.

Obscure_Observer478d ago


You had no idea what you´re talking about.

1 - To blame MS and Phil for SB´s cancellation is the easy route to go down for PS fans like yourself. Phil is well aware that. So it´s not a big deal. It´s easy call him out for "mismanagement" clearly ignoring that Platinium is probably the one to blame when Kamya (competent but an arrogant douchebag) come out making a public apology while promissing to "never let us (gamers) down again". That says alot ihmo.

2 - MS don´t own us anything regarding their bussiness decisions but their shareholders and investors. What? Do you think they would even public imply that it was all Platinium´s fault (even if true), forever hurting their image and credibility? That´s nonsense!

3 - Phil Spencer is doing extremely well as far xbox fans can tell. This week MS made some HUGE announcements with Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live Creators Program and (thanks to Sony) Mixed Reality Head Mounts comming for all Xbox One family devices. Yeah. Since Sony has VR to all PS4 family consoles. It would be odd if Scorpio was the only Xbox One console to have VR when the "No one´s left behind" frase still echoes in the mind of gamres. So when the word VR sudenlly desapears from the Scorpio´s features list, some people was quick to jump the gun and said that Scorpio VR feature was gone, while in fact MS was improving and expanding the feature while adding the base X1 to the equation.

Does anybody give Phil´s credit for all of this? I do. And i think all of these HUGE announcements before E3 is to make room for games and more games alongside the Scorpio unveil and more awesome features (maybe OG Xbox backwards compatibility)

rainslacker477d ago

I would blame who's responsible. That would be the producer. MS was the producer in this case.

If they let this game go years and couldn't get it to work that's mismanagement. There is no real way around that. Doesn't matter if Platinum was incapable of making the game, MS was managing it. That's what publishers do through the producer.

Kamiya very well may have over shot, but we dont know, which gets me to what MS owes us.

I brought an X1. One reason I brought it was because they marketed SB for a couple years before I brought it. MS owes us a reason why it was cancelled. They don't owe us the game. They don't owe us money back. They owe us the common courtesy to not act like they were doing those of us that brought the system on the prospectus of maybe playing SB one day a favor. Which is how Phil treated this whole thing. Instead, all we have is finger pointing and blame with no understanding of why we can't get the game. Like most things in the industry, we probably will never know the truth, but we don't even have a good base for an assumption.

"Phil Spencer is doing very well as far as xbox fans can tell"

Really? What exactly has he done? Every big positive thing that he's done was likely in the works before he took over. BC. Every game released and known about on X1 to date, except maybe the Phantom Dust remaster. Scorpio. MS AR stuff? Buying GeOW? Buying Minecraft? Phil wasn't the lead on those things.The timing just isn't right. Someone else started them, he was just in charge when they came to fruition.

The only thing that probably happened on his tenure that we know about so far is Play Anywhere, which likely was a result of MS corporate saying that Xbox had to start making PC gaming relevant so MS could push their own platform.

So I ask you, what other positives is Phil responsible for enacting?

Maybe E3 will show some of this off according to another article. Forgive me if I don't hold out too much hope.

I think many people here mistake his responsibility for promoting MS products and services as his being responsible for actually coming up with the idea and making them a reality. But most here don't know that these things often take years to happen. Very rarely does a decision get made, and it happens quickly.

The only thing I'm willing to give him credit for now is this new game rental service. That might have been under his tenure.

"No one left behind"

Yeah, OK. That seems like typical MS operations there. Nothing to be concerned with there, because MS history proves they are the paradigm of continuous support.

I'm sorry, but you seem to be giving Spencer credit for things that they haven't delivered yet, and to those of us who aren't huge MS fans, we tend to take a more cynical view of them, because half the time, the cynical view usually ends up being what we expect.

I will give Spencer credit for one more thing. He is a great public face for MS. He has fan boys eating out of his hands as if he is the best thing to ever happen to MS and gaming. Something Mattrick couldn't manage. But at least Mattrick delivered on most of what he promised.

It's a shame because I thought he'd be good for Xbox. Maybe he will be in the end. But I have become disillusioned with his ability to actually deliver. If it changes in the future, then, and only then, will I give him more credit.

GorillaTact478d ago


Abandoning a project that doesnt fit a companies primary userbase isnt a mistake. Japanese styled games have never done well on the Xbox, not even in Japan. Scalebound belonged on the Playstation where it might have found a fanbase. Sony should pick it up. That isnt a knock against Japanese developers. FROM Software and Square Enix have made some incredible titles that have done well on the Xbox. Its the style that is a niche on the Xbox.

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FallenAngel1984478d ago

Scalebound would've flopped regardless had if launched on the console

andrewsquall478d ago

It sure would have flopped if we assume all the fanboys' exclamations of "it wasn't even on my radar ever (even though it was the reason Xbox won E3 2014 for me)" lol, were actually telling the truth and not just downplaying the damage of the game being cancelled.

nitus10478d ago

That's a typical fanboy response.

Scalebound graphically did look quite good and the gameplay had potential but IMHO that voice acting gave the game a Dude Bro cringe feature which could easily be fixed. The multiplayer feature which I am quite sure was a Microsoft requirement was most likely the major stumbling block in the overall design.

But unless we were privy to management meetings I guess we will never know.

kreate478d ago

I feel like ppl are not giving MS a chance.

We should give MS at least until this Christmas. At least!

Angeljuice478d ago

Why? What if people want content in the next 9 months.

Seraphim478d ago

How many more Christmases should MS get? They're starting to look like Nintendos' lineup with the sole exception MS does get full 3rd party support. replace Mario and Zelda with Halo and Gears. At least last gen they had a couple fantastic RPGs in Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon. I think this E3 could be a defining moment for MS and they need to deliver not only at the show but with releases coming w/in the next year.

Kribwalker478d ago

I was looking forward to it, had hyped it to my kid for 2 years already, but I'm sure there was valid reasons to cancel it

GorillaTact478d ago

I agree. Phil Spencer saw what I saw, a game that was going to suck.

FallenAngel1984478d ago (Edited 478d ago )

@ nitus

How is that fanboyism when it has credibility? Just look how past Platinum Games on Xbox consoles generally haven't sold well.

Hell look at how FFXV, the biggest JRPG to arrive on consoles this gen, has sold mediocre on XO and you tell me with a straight face that Scalebound had a better chance at success on that platform.

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joab777478d ago

He should never mention the name again. That's the lesson to be learned because now I am sad again! I had forgotten about it and this article ripped open the wound! Thank you!

CrimsonWing69478d ago

I'm salty about that cancellation. The right thing would have been to find a competent developer and let them finish it off.

Seraphim478d ago

hard to claim Platinum isn't competent. Bayonetta, Vanquish, Neir. To each their own but all are solid games. So Platinum are competent and can make solid games not to mention the games their founders and some of the developers have created before creating Platinum.

Biggest problem is we don't know the details around the deal to bring Scalebound to XB or the cancellation of it. MS could have had nothing more than a publishing deal which is why Platinum was taking on those side jobs, to fund their main project; Scalebound. idk that anything pertaining to the deal were ever disclosed. Furthermore, it is a massive undertaking to create such a game to meet AAA expectations. Look no further than Lair which was actually a decent game but had so much more potential. Even Panzer Dragoon, while always ok-good never tried the monumental undertaking such as Scalebound was likely targeting.

CrimsonWing69478d ago

I definitely think Platinum is a good developer, but their track record isn't consistent. From what I was reading before is they just couldn't optimize the game for the platform. In this sense I meant "competent developer" as a developer that could get this optimized for the platform whether that be a bit of restructure to the game while trying to keep the core concept alive or even maybe turning it into a Horizon/Zelda type of game.

I was really interested in this game when many weren't and it just feels like a punch to the gut that all this time getting hyped on it only for them to pull the plug.

TheColbertinator478d ago

Doubt Phil cares about Scalebound anymore.

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