Xbox boss wants to keep taking risks, despite Scalebound cancellation

Xbox-but-also-PC-exclusive Scalebound was set to be an open world fantasy RPG with dragons and cooperative play, developed by one of the most respected action studios in the business. But then, earlier this week, it was cancelled. Likely reasons abound, but we don't really know why (yet), only that all parties are very disappointed, not least the game's director Hideki Kamiya.

Phil Spencer has also expressed sadness at the cancellation, but now he's pledged that a failed experiment like Scalebound won't stop the company from taking more "risks". By risk, I guess he means new IP, rather than "fantasy RPG with dragons". 

"I know we have to take risks," Spencer wrote on Twitter. "I realize right now probably sounds hollow but I agree." In another tweet, addressing the topic of Scalebound specifically, he continued the theme. "It hurt me as well and to the community I apologize. I want everything we start to turn out great, to take risks, create diversity."

He also said "first-party internal studios are critical", and that the company won't stop signing independent studio projects. 

Microsoft still has a few worthwhile first-party projects in the offing: Sea of Thieves and Crackdown 3 are on the far horizon, while Halo Wars 2 is due fairly soon. Still, the company is clearly lagging behind its closest competition Sony when it comes to well-received first-party exclusives, so expect a combative E3 this year.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.