E3 2014: Scalebound Proves that Platinum Stays in Business by Being Exclusive

E3 2014: Scalebound Proves that Platinum Stays in Business by Being Exclusive

Hideki Kamiya's newest project looks stunning, but probably wouldn't have come into being without its status as an exclusive.

One of the bigger surprises of Microsoft's E3 2014 showing came when Platinum Games' Hideki Kamiya took to the stage to announce his company's newest game -- an exclusive for Xbox One.

As a fan of Platinum -- even in their days as the Capcom offshoot, Clover -- I've always wondered how they continue to exist when so many other Japanese developers have fallen. Each of their productions feels just as lavish as an AAA game, but with a degree of complexity and strangeness that alienates the mainstream crowd. Even the Wii U's The Wonderful 101, with its incredibly goofy atmosphere, has an extremely intricate fighting system that's as complex, intense, and rewarding as anything you'll find in Devil May Cry.

It's hard to believe Bayonetta 2 would exist without its status as a Wii U exclusive, just as it's hard to believe Scalebound would exist without being tethered to the Xbox One. Admittedly, it's a strategy Microsoft tried with the 360, and one that didn't work out quite as well as they'd hoped. Though their console was big, beefy and American, they extended a hand to people who associated video games with their Japanese legacy. Hence, not one, but two role-playing games by the creator of Final Fantasy himself! Of course, those games happened to be Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, two RPGs that held their ground but didn't exactly set the world on fire. The Kamiya connection feels different to me, because he's not just a name -- he has a studio full of immensely talented people to back up this reputation.

This stands as a smart move for Microsoft, because Scalebound seems to be more than an ersatz Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest engineer to pander towards a very specific demographic. True, the protagonist is basically Dante-lite, complete with an overblown sense of coolness that rides the uncomfortable border between sincere and tongue-in-cheek -- seriously, that whole "nonchalantly listening to tunes while performing superhuman feats" was laughably lame when Jessica Biel did it in 2004's Blade Trinity.

Still, Scalebound seems to be presenting itself as a game where everything you fight is a screen-filling monstrosity, which could be an interesting take on the tedious yet oddly compelling battles of Monster Hunter -- and I'm definitely not the only person to make this comparison. Based on my experience with Platinum's games, I don't expect Scalebound to hit any sooner than 2016, but I'm just happy Kamiya's team has another chance to make the kind of game they do so well.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Read this next

Hideki Kamiya: "I want to work on a Devil May Cry and Viewtiful Joe remake"

The PlatinumGames director reveals what Capcom titles he'd like to work on again.

Bayonetta Director Explains How Canceled Scalebound Can Help Future Platinum Games

Scalebound is dead, but the memories will last a lifetime.

Xbox Boss: "I Know We Have To Take Risks" After Scalebound Cancellation

Phil Spencer admits that Microsoft may have faltered, but promises to right the ship.

Scalebound's Kamiya and Platinum Games Promise "To Keep Delivering Fun Games"

Platinum and Kamiya apologize to fans after the cancellation of Scalebound.

Revisiting Xbox E3 2014: Remembering All The Games That Died

Microsoft's E3 2014 press event was a time of joy and dreams. Now we have to live with the crushing reality.

Opinion: What Does Scalebound's Cancellation Mean for Platinum Games?

Scalebound's cancellation is very troubling for a studio determined to live and die by its original IPs.

More News

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Has a Classic Mode For Proper Turn-Based Combat

You don't need to worry about all that newfangled action combat.

Discord Is Ending Nitro's Game Subscription Service but Will Still Sell Games

Games you've purchased aren't going away, but Discord is getting out of the games subscription biz.

Why Astral Chain Might Be the Year's Biggest Surprise for the Nintendo Switch

In a year of Fire Emblem and Pokemon, PlatinumGames has found success on the Switch.

More on Xbox One

Borderlands 3 Pandora Typhon Log Locations

Here’s where to find all of the Typhon Logs on Pandora in Borderlands 3.

Borderlands 3's Endgame Fights for Position Against Destiny 2 and The Division 2

Gearbox is not letting Borderlands 3 getting lost in the MMO shuffle.

A Discovery in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Beta Suggests Supply Drops Will Return

Despite criticism over microtransactions in the previous two games, CoD might be bringing back random-roll drops.

We've (Maybe) Reached A Turning Point in the Fight Over Loot Boxes

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | A U.K. Parliamentary committee report offers another wake-up call for the industry, but the ESA hits snooze once more.

Apex Legends Is Teasing a Reveal In-Game, Coinciding With This Weekend's Tournament

We might get our first details on Season 3 during this $500,000 invitational.

Here's the Roadmap for Destiny 2: Shadowkeep's Launch

Everything from the launch of Shadowkeep through the raid and seasonal pass.