Platinum wants to resurrect canceled RPG Scalebound, but don’t get your hopes up

Thuban roaring in Scalebound
(Image credit: PlatinumGames / Microsoft)

PlatinumGames has shown interest in resurrecting Scalebound, its Xbox-exclusive action RPG that was canceled back in 2017, and has called on Xbox boss Phil Spencer to open discussions.

Speaking to IGN Japan, PlatinumGames president Atsushi Inaba and vice president Hideki Kamiya said they’d like to return to the game with Microsoft’s involvement.

“Often in an interview, you might hear a developer politely saying, ‘Yes, if we had the opportunity we’d love to work on that again’, but we don’t mean it that way,” Inaba said (translated by IGN

“Both Kamiya and I are serious – we really would love to work on Scalebound again. I’d like to discuss it with Microsoft properly.”

Kamiya, who created Scalebound and served as its director said “development had progressed a fair way, and it seems pointless for Microsoft to just hold on to that and not do anything with it.

“Phil! Phil! Let’s do it together!,” he added, directing his plea towards head of Xbox Phil Spencer.

This isn’t the first time Kamiya has lamented the game’s cancelation. Last year, in an interview with YouTube channel Cutscenes, he apologized to both fans and Microsoft that the game was eventually shelved, citing the scale of the project as its downfall.

"It was a big challenge for PlatinumGames," Kamiya said. "We were working in an environment we weren’t used to. We were developing on the Unreal engine, we also lacked the necessary know-how to build a game based on online features. The hurdles we had to overcome were very big.

"I’m sorry to the players who looked forward to it, and moreover I’m sorry to Microsoft who had placed their trust in us as a business partner," he added. 

"I want to apologize both as a creator and as a member of PlatinumGames.”

The cover art of Scalebound showing Drew and Thuban

(Image credit: PlatinumGames / Microsoft)

Analysis: a Scalebound revival isn’t likely

First announced in 2013 as an Xbox One exclusive, Scalebound gathered quite a following for its dragon-oriented take on magical realism. The game would follow Drew, a man from the modern world who is plunged into a fantasy setting, and his dragon companion, Thuban. You’d be able to explore its non-linear world, as well as customize and issue commands to Thuban during combat.

As exciting as that might sound, the likelihood of Microsoft ever reviving the game is close to zero. Back in 2020, when speaking on an IGN podcast, Spencer dismissed the possibility that Microsoft would pick up the game again.

“It’s a tough one because I have a ton of respect for Platinum, Kamiya-san, the team and I feel no ill will. We talk to those guys, there’s no animosity between the teams,” Spencer said.

“We tried to go do something and it didn’t work, and I regret that we were so public about what we tried to go do. 

“I did some learning around Fable Legends, I did some learning around Scalebound about being public with things before I know that we’ve got a real, believable plan and something I’ve felt in my hands is going to be there.

“We just didn’t get there with Scalebound and with the team. And I say that across both teams.”

Thuban and Drew standing in a field in Scalebound

(Image credit: PlatinumGames / Microsoft)

Microsoft is a very different company now from the one it was when it first became involved in Scalebound’s development. Industry trends have moved on, and Microsoft is more interested in cornering the market outside through proposals that don’t involve making platform-exclusive games, such as extending the features and portfolio of Xbox ame Pass. What was an appealing development proposal back in 2013 is unlikely to be so appealing 10 years later.

Add in Microsoft's recent proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, as well as its takeover of Bethesda last year, and it doesn’t seem likely it would want to produce an ambitious RPG based on an original IP through an external development studio. Given how many resources and how much talent it will soon be packing in-house, it may no longer need to use PlatinumGames, and similar studios, for such projects.

That’s unlikely to be much of a disappointment for PlatinumGames. Inaba has said it wants the studio to move in a different direction than their past titles, with an apparent focus on live service games.

  • Best RPGs: top role-playing games on PC and console
Callum Bains
Gaming News Writer

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games.