Xbox Founder Seamus Blackley Explains Why Scalebound Had To Come To An End
(Last Updated On: April 1, 2017)

Were you among the crowd of fans that were disappointed about Scalebound’s demise when it was canceled? Well, Seamus Blackley, the founder, and creator of the original Xbox explains what happened.

In an interview with The Inner Circle Podcast, Seamus Blackley talks about how disappointing it was to hear that Scalebound was canceled, joking that he “hated” Phil Spencer for ending the game before it was released. He shifted the conversation off of consoles and transitioned to a new topic to cryptically talk about Scalebound’s cancellation.

“I have a question for you guys, Phil has taken a lot of heat for a lot of first party cancellations, and there was one that was very near and dear to my heart that got canceled that I shall not name, but you can probably guess. I mean,  what do you guys think of that? What are people saying about that? “

The Inner Circle team responded —

“It was Brutal, I was probably one of the first people to tweet Phil.”

And that he did. Here are the tweets in question. You can click on the below Tweets to read all the follow-up replies from the community as well.

The reason why The Inner Circle team found it so disappointing was because the Xbox One doesn’t have a long list of awesome RPG titles, and Scalebound was doing something pretty different from what we usually see. Blackley went on to explain why Phil had to do what he did and make the tough call, saying…

“Well, I mean look. Also, You’ve got to put yourself in Phil’s position. [….]


“If Scalebound was gonna fail and it wasn’t looking good and builds weren’t getting any better, then that’s Phil’s credibility. So if Phil says ‘No We’re not canceling it’, right? And the Microsoft executives and board of directors and people are looking over his shoulder because he has a lot of bosses, right? Now, he’s F*cked On Credibility. Right?


“If it keeps on not working out, then all the other stuff  he believes in that he’s trying to keep alive, he loses his ability to do that too.”

He even mentions No Man’s Sky and how bad that burned him to the point that even after the developers patched the game, he’ll never go back to it because the developer’s lost all their credibility.

Blackley goes on to explain how if Phil Spencer had pushed for a game that wasn’t moving along in development the way they had planned and he continued to push the game towards release, his credibility at Microsoft would be on the line, and all future titles he wants greenlit for Xbox would have a very difficult time moving forward once his credibility was lost.

So instead of risking the launch of a game that could possibly spell disaster and be a huge disappointment, he instead made the tough executive decision to just cancel the project altogether.

In turn, Spencer saves his credibility and can use his influence to push for other games and get other companies funding for bigger and better projects. As Spencer points out in his above tweet,  they are confident with their 2017 lineup, so hopefully, they’ll have something amazing to show us at this upcoming E3 2017 that won’t be a major let down.

You can listen to the full podcast as they talk about the history of Xbox, and then work their way up to more current events. But if you want to jump straight to the Scalebound content, head on over to the 45:40 mark and listen from there.


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Helping provide news, previews, reviews and info on new and upcoming indie titles and mainstream games, Nick’s passion for gaming and eye for detail extends across various genres and styles. Need to contact this author? Use our Contact page.

  • BurntToShreds

    The only reason why people were hyped about Scalebound is because it had Platinum’s name attached to it. Looking at the footage that was shown off, the gameplay looked like it lacked the speed, precision, and overall Platinum-ness of Platinum’s other titles. I’m personally glad that it got canceled. People keep saying “yeah, but it would have at least been SOMETHING for their exclusive lineup!”. Yes, yes it would; it would be the one bad/mediocre console AAA exclusive Platinum game when stacked up against Bayonetta 2 and NieR: Automata, likely hurting Xbox more than helping it.

  • Murilo Carvalho

    Wait E3 2017 and you will see!

  • BrightSide45

    For all the good he has done this is hands down his worst call…Even worst then the DRM stunt they pulled off at the Xbox one’s launch….Near atonima got a 9/10 on most game review websites so we all know platinum games has talent . I’m waiting to see what Phil has in store for us but calceling scale bound will follow him for the rest of his career if he truly doesn’t have an ace up his sleeve.

  • LurkerJK

    Pff, april fool lies, the real reason was that the game was too good for current year, gamers did not deserve it and the multi billion dollars it would have earned for microsoft would have caused just too many taxes for Spencer and he did not want to do the paperwork.

    We all know that EVERYTHING Platinum ever touched turned out to be the bestest game ever, specially that TMNT game, there is just NO CHANCE that this game was a turd, specially after the boring mmo looking footage, nope, not a chance

  • Patty Moo Moo, Scaddy FooFoo

    Blackley is one of the few who calls it straight down the line. He’s always been that way as far as Xbox is concerned. They should’ve never let him or J Allard go.

  • nathan carter

    Well. Here comes the wave of bullshit before the scorpio is revealed. Damn I thought this scalebound bullshit was done and over with. FUCK SCALEBOUND GET OVER IT.

    • Phasmatis75

      Monies on them screwing up the Scorpio announcement either because

      A) It’s too expensive, which has been hinted at several times
      B) It doesn’t deliver what MS’s employees wouldn’t shut up about, there was an article awhile back about them having to tell a certain employee (horrible with names) to shut up about the PS4 Pro. Them boasting on and on about native 4k render, premium console, and all the others bits have set it up to a point where they’ll look like a joke if they fail to meet any of that.

      Dunno, but I think MS might be finished with gaming in the next couple years. They’ll probably sell off the Xbox division with all it’s IPs.

  • MusouTensei

    Fuck his credibility, their 2017 line up is utter garbage.

    • Gozu Tennoh

      Just what I thought. He cancelled the only decent looking game on the whole platform.

      He’s neck deep in shit games and still talks about credibility.

    • Nick

      Yep… Looks like both Xbox and Nintendo has a lot riding on this years E3. There better be some heavy hitter reveals coming up. @[email protected];

  • Anthony Lee Davis

    If anything couldn’t they have sold it to somebody instead of just outright cancelling it. I don’t really know the politics of how games are made but it’s just seems closed minded to cancel something they they put a lot of time and money into. I mean look at crackdown 3 it’s been in developmentioned forever but they just keep driving it along

    • Nick

      That’s a good question… because Nintendo picked up Bayonetta 2 when no one else would. I don’t know how copyright works and how you transfer IPs to other companies. I’ll look into this, but we may not ever get the details…

      • Phasmatis75

        The game is a mess and not the vision that the developers want to make. Multiplayer, forced microtransactions (which the developers outright refused to do), changing the MC, are all Microsofts decisions.

  • Jack Tripper

    Phil said it himself that maybe they announced the game too early. instead of putting out a game that may get 6.5 or 7s he decided it was best for the company to cancel it… I agree the game did not need multiplayerr.

    • Captain Marvelous

      Why are 6.5’s and 7’s bad? At the very least it’d be one of the more unique games on the Xbox One’s line up. Even if it didn’t end up being as successful as Zelda or Horizon, it’d still be something dammit.

  • Retsuprae

    Honestly this game didn’t need multiplayer. They could of made an epic action RPG that could of competed with the likes of Zelda and Horizon but forcing in multiplayer because they wanted to milk microtransactions was a bad move.

    • LurkerJK

      I hate when they tack on multiplayer to these kind of games, not only it takes resources away from the main part but it brings in the wrong kind of gamer and then they are all clamoring about the mp being poor, the journos and youtubers are always going on about this shit too, its like they need to flaunt that they have friends to everyone

      This reminds me about the other day when i was baffled about the amount of posters i saw worried about mass effect’s multiplayer or saying that the mp was all they cared about… its a effing horde mode… its not even a good one… go play killing zone or left for dead, leave single player games alone

  • JJ

    No. I expect him to tell the developer STOP what they are doing and transfer those skin for SINGLE PLAYER BAYONATA CLONE, which the developer is very good at making.

  • Γεώργιος Αρχαιοκαπηλίδης

    “He even mentions No Man’s Sky and how bad that burned him to
    the point that even after the developers patched the game, he’ll never
    go back to it because the developer’s lost all their credibility.”

    He compares a lazy-made game made by nobodies where the developers lied to the customers with a game made by a talented development company that puts passion to the most games they make. Very bad comparison.

    • chaoguy

      It makes me wonder what happened behind the scenes.

      Did Platinum not give their A game because the Xbone doesn’t sell in Japan, and they figured “why bother if it’s SJW westerners?”
      Did Microsoft have too much fiddling and oversite, and the end product was turning into a mess?
      Did Microsoft think the end product (even if they didn’t interfere) wasn’t gonna have a big enough profit margin, or chance for DLC?

      We’ll never know.

      • Phasmatis75

        From Rumors (so grain of salt) Microsoft were unbearable to work with. They changed the entire dynamic of the game, even forcing them to add in 4 player coop which they struggled to get working consistently and had obvious balance issues with based on the footage shown.

        The final straw was Microsoft wanted Microtransactions in the game (which I believe since every game they’ve put out recently has had them), but the lead developer outright told them no and I guess the developers had had enough of Microsoft.

        Microsoft isn’t that beloved in the developer community. They burned bridges with the indi scene, they burned bridges with regular developers over promising TV and Kinect were there to stay up to the very moment they publicly announced otherwise, and in general are a shit SJW filled company.

  • So it was cancelled due to corporate politics. Pretty shitty, I guess.

    • Nick

      I took it more like behind the scenes the devs weren’t making very good progress, and he (Spencer) was afraid it could turn out like the next No Man’s Sky. Instead of rushing out a crappy game that everyone would hate, he just ended the project.

      “If Scalebound was gonna fail and it wasn’t looking good and builds weren’t getting any better, then that’s Phil’s credibility”

      ^ That little bit suggests the game got stuck in development hell and there were possibly more bugs then they could fix with the current budget. So instead of wasting money trying to force it to work, Spencer just moved on to another project.

  • Living While Alive

    That’s actually, quite, logical!

    • Laytonaster

      Shit, man. I mean, I’m still very sad about the cancellation of Scalebound, but I’ll admit Spencer made a practical decision. And I appreciate that he isn’t beating around any bushes or trying to push this off on someone else. He did what he thought was right, without bullshit.