Xbox One Exclusive Scalebound Has Been Cancelled

Xbox One Scalebound

Times have been hard on venerated studio Platinum Games.  Last year saw the release of two of their biggest critical flops with Star Fox Zero and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan.  The latter of those two has already seen its license expire surprisingly early and has been pulled from all digital storefronts less than a year after its release.  Seeing two disappointments from the studio in a row is unexpected given their history of high-quality releases with games like the Bayonetta series and Metal Gear Rising.  Platinum Games was also formed by several former members of Clover Studios, know for its own cult classics like Viewtiful Joe and Okami.  Now, one of their highly anticipated titles, Scalebound, has been cancelled.

Why Xbox One Scalebound was cancelled?

Scalebound was going to be a cooperative hack-and-slash that would have had you and your friends working with huge dragons to bring down even bigger monsters.  It officially ceased development according to a statement released by a Microsoft spokesperson on the game’s official website.  The game was planned to be an Xbox One exclusive and was posed to be a valuable title for broadening the console’s appeal.  Microsoft makes mention of several Xbox One exclusives that are still on the way in their statement concerning the cancellation, including Halo Wars 2 and Sea of Thieves.  An exact reason on why development ceased has not been stated.  Platinum Games is still working on releasing NieR: Automata, a sequel to the 2010 action-RPG published by Square-Enix, sometime this year.

What are your thoughts on this promising title hitting the end of the line?  Did Scalebound‘s announcement and/or cancellation have any effect on your decision on whether or not to get an Xbox One?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Overwatch: First Strike Comic Cancelled

Blizzard’s hit first-person shooter, Overwatch, has garnered plenty of praise for its world-building despite lacking a single-player campaign that fully explores said world.  As such, many fans have been eagerly anticipating the release of Overwatch: First Strike, a graphic novel published by Dark Horse Comics that would have explored the origins of the original Overwatch strike team and the beginning of the game’s universe.  It turns out that fans will have to wait a lot longer to see how it all began as the First Strike comic has officially been cancelled.

Michael Chu, the lead writer for the game, recently announced on the official Overwatch forums that graphic novel was cancelled just before the digital version of it was scheduled to release.  Chu stated that the reason for the comic’s cancellation comes down to it being planned out during the early days of the game’s development and that the plans for the game’s story has changed since then.  Essentially, it comes down to wanting to keep the narrative consistent and avoid potential plotholes that the now outdated graphic novel could create.  Blizzard still plans to release free animations and comic shorts as they have in the past to further explore the world of Overwatch, including the origins of Reaper, Soldier:76, Ana, Torbjörn, and Reinhardt as the First Strike novel would have.

If you’re curious about the lore of Overwatch, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide with all the information you need to know.  What are your thoughts on the cancellation of First Strike?  Do you regret the loss of this storyline?  Did Blizzard make the right call on this?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

The Hero Trap Cancelled After Undershooting Kickstarter

Despite reaching its Kickstarter funding goal, SMASHWORX’s Gauntlet-inspired rougelike game, The Hero Trap, will not be seeing released and has had development cancelled.  This is the result of the developer intentionally asking for less than with its funding goal than would actually be required to develop the game.  SMASHWORX released a statement regarding the cancellation, but has set it so that only backers can view it.  However, some have already transcribed the announcement and you can read the contents of the postmortem here (if any of the backers of the project can confirm or deny that this transcription is completely accurate, please let us know).

According to the transcription, SMASHWORX undershot their goal in the hopes that they would either make their project appear more enticing to backers and garner the actual funds they needed through stretch goals or, failing that, could use what they did raise to entice a publisher into covering the remainder of the costs.  Neither of those ideas came to fruition, and so the entire project was scraped.  SMASHWORX has promised that it will refund all of its backers, but they’ll have to do so without assistance from Kickstarter as the campaign is no longer their concern and there are plenty of potential problems that can occur as a result of that.

Undershooting crowdfunding campaigns has been a serious problem with the practice for some time.  SMASHWORX has certainly shot its own reputation in the foot with this fiasco and will have an uphill battle with any future projects they might pursue.  Not only that, undershooting in general makes crowdfunding more difficult for studios that are actually honest with their projections.  It makes their projects appear cheaper than they actually are and warp peoples perceptions on how much studios should expect for their base funding goal.  Compare The Hero Trap‘s $25,000 goal to Lab Zero’s $150,000 campaign simply to add a single new character to their already-completed game, Skullgirls.  When the specific costs of creating a character for a fighting are broken down, Lab Zero’s goal is perfectly reasonable, but just taking a casual glance at those two numbers paints a very unrealistic picture in someone’s head.

What are your thoughts on the cancellation of The Hero Trap and the practice of undershooting?  What other caveats of crowdfunding do you think deserve attention?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.