Welcome to the FlipSide, where the good and the bad in video games collide. Every week, I will recap one positive news story, one negative news story, and then explain why I feel that is the case. Let’s begin this week with the bad…
After speculation arose from multiple sources, Eurogamer & Kotaku both running reports of the game’s cancellation, Microsoft came out and confirmed that Scalebound has been cancelled. Scalebound was supposed to be an Xbox One exclusive developed by Platinum Games. Platinum Games is known for games like the Bayonetta series and Metal Gear Rising: Revengence. It was going to be an action RPG set in a fantasy world that consisted of dragons and things of that nature. It was shown off at Microsoft’s E3 press conference multiple times. This included a gameplay demo in 2016 after the game had been delayed earlier in the year to 2017. The cancellation has been a hot topic throughout the week and it has some big impacts in the industry.
First and foremost, Xbox loses a Microsoft exclusive. This hurts a lot especially when Sony’s big first-party developers are beginning to take form and release games. Games like Horizon: Zero Dawn, God of War, Detroit: Being Human, and Spider-Man all round out a nice AAA exclusive catalogue coming from Sony in the next year or two. Those four games alone beat what Microsoft has coming which includes Halo Wars 2 and Crackdown 3. The crazy thing with Microsoft is that after 2017 there isn’t much coming on the horizon as far as we know. After the games I mentioned coming from Sony, there is still Death Stranding and The Last of Us Part 2. Xbox One is already losing in console sales to the PS4 and with these big games coming from Sony, that gap is only going to get bigger in my opinion. Sure, Xbox has some big hitters coming up soon, like Crackdown and State of Decay, but losing this exclusive and possible new franchise hurts the exclusive resume for the Xbox One.
The bigger impact is to Platinum Games I believe. Platinum Games hasn’t had the most consistent track record. They have some successful titles like Metal Gear Rising: Revengence and Bayonetta 2, but there have also been some duds mixed in. The Legend of Korra and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan come to mind to make a muddled resume. The cancelation of Scalebound brings more cloudiness to the caliber of this developer. Back in late 2014, some would argue Platinum Games was a proven developer after the smash hit Bayonetta 2 was on the Wii U. That’s not the case anymore. However, they still have Nier: Automata which looks awesome coming up on the horizon to rebound from this news and Ninja Turtles, but I don’t think you can be as confident in PlatinumGames like we once were anymore.
However, on the FlipSide this week…
Awesome Games Done Quick is this week! Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) is a week long event where some of the best speed runners are invited to speed run games for charity. The event is broadcasted on Twitch throughout the week and is live for most of the day. All kinds of games are there. From Super Metroid to Burger King: Sneak King, everything is played for our entertainment. Some of these runs are truly magnificent to watch, with some awesome moments. I forget the year, but there is a blindfolded run of Punch-Out!! that is incredible to watch.
Besides being a fantastic human being, there are all kinds of reasons to donate. Different donation amounts can qualify you to win different prizes. There are donation competitions to tell a speed runner what to do during there runs. The most notable of this is to “save the animals” or “kill the animals” during the speed run in Super Metroid. I haven’t gotten around to watching much of it this week so far, but it is still going on currently. It ends just after midnight eastern time January 15th. Even if you just pop in quickly to send a donation and can’t watch for an extended period of time, all of these runs are easily found on YouTube. This event that happens twice a year is super cool to be a part of and I highly encourage all of you to go watch and donate to this amazing community.
Scalebound being cancelled does suck on many different levels, for the developer Platinum, the publisher Microsoft, and the player who was eagerly awaiting. I can’t help spilt milk, but maybe if you were planning on buying Scalebound, you may want to donate it that to AGDQ. Don’t let the sadness of a cancelled game keep that money in your pocket. Who knows, you may even win a cool prize for donating, but at the very least you will feel good about doing it. I will be back next week with more of the good and the bad in the world of video games.