Everyone knows by now that Scalebound has been canceled and it was going to be one of the biggest AAA Xbox Exclusives. It was also going to be on Project Scorpio and Windows 10 PCs.
Project Scorpio is supposed to be the first enthusiast level console that will be able to run games at native 4K resolution, the concept is insane. But it needs games that leverage the hardware.
In a Tweet, Xbox Boss Phill Spencer said that Xbox first party games come as a first priority.
With every new gaming console, you need great games to complement that new technology and the same is necessary for Project Scorpio and I believe that Scalebound could have been a great contender for the upcoming console.
I do not say that the game alone would have been enough for people to go and buy the new console but it would have been a great option nonetheless. Canceling Scalebound has taken the gaming community by surprise.
Announcing a game back in 2014 and then canceling it in 2017 makes little sense. Rumors claim that the developing team was under a huge amount of pressure from Microsoft and that two of the creative developers were forced to take a leave from the project. I for one am very depressed by this cancellation and I am sure that there are many people that feel the same way.
With Scalebound out of the equation, there aren’t really many exclusives that are worth looking into. If you want more information regarding the exclusives coming out in 2017 you can check them out. I think that Halo Wars 2 and Crack Down 3 are decent titles but they are not enough to compete against PlayStation and what Sony has to offer.
Why Xbox First Party Games Are Given Priority?
There is a huge difference between the performance of the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio if we take Microsoft’s word for it and believe all the claims are true. This means that games will need to be optimized for both consoles. I do not think that third-party developers will take the time to do this tweaking and tinkering. But Xbox first party games will be optimized for the whole Xbox family which includes the older Xbox One, the current Xbox One S and the upcoming Project Scorpio. This could be one of the reasons why Xbox first party games are being given priority over third party games.
Now I do not mean to say that this was the reason why Scalebound was cancelled, there were different reasons for that happening but I think it is safe to say that these turn of events will cause a lot of tension between Microsoft and other third-party developers in the future looking at how much time and effort was put into the game and it was cancelled years later.
Scaling a game from the Xbox One to the Xbox One S should not be very difficult as both the consoles have similar specs but Project Scorpio is at another level and it is possible that there will be different versions of games coming out for both Xbox One and Project Scorpio. I do not think that developers will be willing to put in the effort keeping in mind that Project Scorpio is going to be an enthusiast console and will cater to a niche market. In terms of business, it would just seem better to cater to the masses rather than cater to a small portion of people that can use the enhanced specs of Project Scorpio.
There is no need to be surprised as this is not the first time that we are hearing something like this. Previously Microsoft made it clear that Project Scorpio will be able to run games at native 4K but it will be up to the developers to decide whether or not they would want to use all that power to go down the 4K road or do something else entirely.
Xbox First Party Games; What Is Old Is New Again
If you think about why Microsoft is doing what it is doing, the only thing that I can make out of all this is that Microsoft is no longer playing by Sony’s rules anymore. The company does not care. They have unified all the hardware for one single OS. The Xbox does not have a different OS anymore and all devices now run Windows 10. Project Scorpio will also be running Windows 10. What Microsoft is doing here is not playing the game short term, but looking at it in the long run.
Instead or releasing 20 games that will take advantage of the upgrades that Project Scorpio provides, the company is going to cut back and give people 6 or 7 games on the upcoming platform and you will also be getting backwards compatibility. So what was old is now new again.
The thing here is that I do not think that people will be willing to pay a lot of money for a next-gen console and then play older games on it. That is just not how things work. Take the PS4 Pro for example. Games that support both the PS4 and the PS4 Pro come with some enhancements on the PS4 Pro. They look better or have a higher frame rate. There is something more that the PS4 Pro has to offer gamers.
It seems that the company has put its fingers in too many pies, so to speak. Here is what they are doing:
- Unifying hardware on an OS-level
- Building enhancements for Windows 10 PCs
- Cross-platform gaming, dev tools
- 4K-ready Project Scorpio console
- Surface hardware
- Xbox brand as a whole
Talking about the Xbox brand, games do not release on the Xbox alone, now games release on Windows 10 and are playing on both Xbox and PC. Some PC games are really messed up and it is harder for developers to port these games on PC. This could be another reason why Xbox first party games are given priority over the rest.
What do you think about Xbox first party games getting priority and what Microsoft is doing with the Xbox brand as a whole?