Well this sucks…..
There’s more to this story than a mere difficult production situation:
Studio Interference from Microsoft
Can’t say I’m really disappointed. Through the whole dev cycle and every demo PG put out I couldn’t invest beyond a “Oh, that’s cool.” and promptly move on. The game was a stretch even at the demo state–one huge graphically diverse creature being proc’d on a game console? Easy to do (relatively). But dozens of them? I don’t think even the vanilla PS4 could handle it. If Scalebound was a PC game I could see it, but the specs on it would be a hit in the wallet–not the 24Gs RAM for PC Arkham Knight, that’s still fuck-off insane. It’s still a bummer, though. I’d understand shelving it until Project Scorpio so PG had more processing power to work with (a la Crackdown) but outright canning Scalebound seems like such a waste.
Microsoft has been dropping the ball when it comes to compromising with the smaller studios making exclusives for their console. To Microsoft, it’s either their way or the highway.
For instance, when Darkside Games had been working on the Phantom Dust reboot, they asked Microsoft to add a few more million dollars to their budget when they realized the $5 million Microsoft provided wouldn’t be enough to complete their project. And Microsoft refused. Then a week later Microsoft cans the project, causing Darkside Games to being forced to lay off most of their employees and eventually they went bankrupt (all because Microsoft was being too stingy to add 2 or 3 million extra dollars to the project).
Not making this up, here is an article that explains all this:
With Scalebound, Microsoft wanted to force Platinum Games in add in multiplayer despite the game originally being intended as a singler player experience, which would factor into causing the performance issues the project was experiencing.
And it’s not just Scalebound or Phantom Dust getting canned, Microsoft has been setting ridiculously difficult milestones for smaller studios making exclusives for their consoles; it’s really no wonder director Hideaki Kamiya has decided to take a long break. And Crackdown 3’s development seems to be suffering from this too according to a supposed insider recently.
Because of this Microsoft’s exclusives have been declining (with like 3 this yeat I believe) with some of them either declining in sales or underperforming such as the Halo series and Gears of War 4 respectively.
No offense to the developers, but the trailers I watched were an odd juxtaposition of the “DMC” youthful, rebellious angst and attitude with the whimsy and family-friendly fantasy of “How to Train Your Dragon”.
Edgy Tyler Durden-like youth with a dragon and a hair stylist who should be drowned in boiling hair-wax: “Let’s go kick their ass!”
*The Dragon grumbles with a wry smirk*
“Oh Dragon-y, you’re so whimsical and poignant in your observation. Tee-hee-hee.”
I was waiting for them to viciously kill medieval armored knights to some rave remix of “Boo Bop Bophop Bob (I love you, too)” or “Passamashloddy”.
I guess that I just didn’t “get” the tone, but the only other thing that (in the demo I saw) was offputting was that the player was literally killing like 3 enemies while the dragon mowed down armies with fireballs and tail swipes. I dunno, it didn’t feel like there were ‘stakes’.
And this is SOOOO unfortunate becaus Platinum Games is THE SHIT: Vanquish, Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, etc. Some of the best hack-and-slash games with the most INSANE premises and PLAYABLE action sequences in the past generation, so there was a lot of hope I had for this game. I don’t doubt that the premise would have been 1000x better than my first impression, but I guess by what I’ve heard about the hardware requirements it would have been a fucking monster on even the new PS4 and XBONE systems. Too bad, really.
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