Scalebound Articles RSS Feed | Scalebound RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network The 3 Most Believable Reasons Why Scalebound Was Cancelled Fri, 20 Jan 2017 11:02:38 -0500 Serhii Patskan

Scalebound, an exclusive action RPG for Xbox One and PC, has been cancelled. Microsoft made the announcement on January 9, 2017 and killed the dream of so many fans who had been eagerly awaiting the game. Scalebound was supposed to be a fresh concept that combined an open world with action and RPG mechanics.

People that had the chance to play the game at various conferences reported that it looked awesome. So what happened? Why did Microsoft cancel an expensive AAA title that had been in development for almost four years? Let’s find out.

The Developer: Platinum Games

Why Scalebound Was Cancelled

Platinum Games is a Japanese development company that was founded in 2006 by Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil 4, The Evil Within), Atsushi Inaba (Nier: Automata, Bayonetta 2), and Hideki Kamiya (Devil May Cry, Bayonetta).

Platinum Games made some of the most stylish and insane action video games we've ever seen, including Bayonetta, Vanquish, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Currently, the company is working on Nier: Automata, which should be out on March 7, 2017.

So what does Scalebound mean for this company? It turns out that it means more than people imagined. It was actually the first project the newly-formed Japanese development team started work on -- but due to its scale, the game was postponed for almost 7 years.

The development of Scalebound finally started in 2013 as a part of the partnership deal between Platinum and Microsoft. The project was truly ambitious and required a lot of effort from both companies. While Platinum worked on innovative combat and RPG mechanics, Microsoft made sure that the game looked as appealing as possible.

However, the insiders say that Microsoft intruded into the development of the game too much and too often. This kind of attitude infuriated the director of Scalebound, Hideki Kamiya, which didn’t improve the relationship between the two companies at all.

On the contrary, the reports say that as of Autumn 2016 both sides came to the conclusion that there is no way for two of them to move forward with the development of the game. Here is a bit from an interview with Polygon in 2015 that explains how Kamiya felt during the development of Scalebound (read the full interview here):

"Up until now, the style of the Japanese publishers I've worked with is, for better or worse, 'good-ol'-days game development. To be blunt, their vibe is 'as long as it works out in the end.' Microsoft is the first overseas publisher I've worked with, but is seems like the overseas style is, for better or worse, 'next-generation game development.' It is focused not just on the final result, but also on the process you take to get there. For someone as irresponsible as I am, it's hard to get my head around sometimes."

The Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Why Scalebound Was Cancelled

This is not the first time that Microsoft cancelled a game due to misunderstanding with third-party studios. In the first half of 2016, the publisher made the decision to cancel Fable Legends -- a continuation of the Fable cult-classic series of video games.

More than that, Microsoft even shut down Lionhead Studios, which had developed the game for many years but wasn’t ready to release it. Fortunately, it can’t shut Platinum Games, so there is at least one positive side to this story.

When rumors started circulating that Scalebound had huge problems during the development, Microsoft decided it simply couldn’t release a subpar product under its  name. The company decided to review the entire design of the game, which brought an inevitable clash of opinions with the developer. The last time the game was shown at GamesCom 2016, and after that there were no updates whatsoever.

In December 2016 the rumors started flying about the cancellation of Scalebound, which were then confirmed by Microsoft in January. Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, commented on his Twitter account that the decision to cancel Scalebund was hard, but it was made after a lot of consideration.

We can deduct three main reasons why this decision has been made by looking at the history of development and into the events of the last few months.

(Speculated) Reasons Why Scalebound Was Cancelled

Why Scalebound Was Cancelled

1. It took too long to develop the game.

The development of Scalebound began in 2013, and at that time Platinum and Microsoft agreed to release the final game by the end of 2016. However, in the beginning of 2016 Platinum released a statement that it would postpone the release of the game to 2017.

"In order to deliver on our ambitious vision and ensure that Scalebound lives up to expectations, we will be launching the game in 2017. This will give us the time needed to bring to life all the innovative features and thrilling gameplay experiences that we have planned."

So what happened there? The game definitely needed to be worked on, and since it wanted to put too many things together, it was really impossible to bring everything to a solid conclusion in just three years.

The combat system looked interesting, but it mostly left gamers confused. The main protagonist named Drew had a special connection to his dragon sidekick -- Thuban. Together they would engage in battles against monsters inhabiting the world of Draconis.

However, Thuban was designed to be controlled by an AI in unpredictable ways, which didn’t make much sense at the time. Drew’s combat style was a mix of various level attacks that depended on factors such as speed, damage, and range (depending on the weapon equipped).

On top of that, Platinum and Microsoft wanted to include a multiplayer mode.

So with so many things in the development queue, the game would never be ready by the end of 2016. It wouldn’t even be ready by the end of 2017. And since the new footage didn’t answer the gamers’ questions about the gameplay mechanics, any further delay would kill any interest in the title.

All this culminated into huge amounts of pressure for both the developer and the publisher.

2. The game was riddled with technical problems.

Microsoft wanted the game to look as good as possible, hence the suggestion of making the game look photo realistic. That’s why the development team decided to bring a new graphics engine into the production -- Unreal Engine 4. However, insider reports claim that Scalebound’s production had huge problems with implementing all the innovative gameplay mechanics into a newly acquired Unreal Engine 4.

Platinum Games had no experience with this type of software, and it was apparent after the reports started coming that the game was riddled with bugs and glitches. The framerate suffered greatly during the last Gamescom presentation, while certain animations looked blurry and unfinished.

The biggest criticism received the failed anti-aliasing (TAA) effect that was supposed to make the picture extra crispy. However, the gameplay shown in previews proved that there is too much inconsistency between in-game footage and the press releases. See the comparison below:

Why Scalebound Was Cancelled

Screenshot from the press release.

Why Scalebound Was Cancelled

Screenshot from the actual gameplay.

3. The team fell apart due to stress.

It’s hard to accept one’s failure, and that’s why we will never hear any official statement on the fact that the development team for Scalebound couldn’t handle the pressure of the production. But rumors have been circulating lately that Hideki Kamiya and former Executive Producer JP Kellams took time off of developing the game due to stress.

The famous industry insider Shinobi602 tweeted the following on his account:

However, Kamiya himself responded that it was never the case:

Another user on Reddit posted the response from the Platinum Senior Graphics Designer about his opinion of the game.

“MS pulled the plug because the game design was really bad. He said the story was good, the engine was good but the actual design was appalling. 4 years of his life he'll never get back, he's happy he's moved onto better and bigger things though.”

Looks like not only Microsoft and Platinum had a hard time of communicating, but neither the people in the Japanese team.


Scalebound is now irrevocably a thing of the past, even though there was some serious potential for the game. Microsoft couldn’t possibly delay the game any further, since the production budget would’ve blown out of any reasonable proportions. So the only correct decision was to cancel the game for good.

We will never see Drew riding his massive dragon Thuban -- now it’s just another hugely ambitious idea torn to shreds by the rules of the industry. On the other hand, Platinum promised to deliver even bigger and better games in the future, so the cancellation of Scalebound is not the end of the world.

What do you think about Microsoft cancelling Scalebound? Whose fault do you think it is? Share your opinions in the comment below.

Are Game Developers Losing Their Focus? Sun, 15 Jan 2017 04:00:01 -0500 Bryant Pereira

The gaming industry is ripe with success, disappointment, and canceled projects. At the end of the day, all three are inescapable elements of the medium. But with Microsoft's recent cancellation of Scalebound, gamers around the web are simply questioning: Why?

What was it that led to the cancellation of one of the most anticipated games in recent memory?

Of course, the reasons could be many, although two reasons could be the number of projects developer PlatinumGames a.) released last year and b.) is currently working on. 

And in the process, perhaps they've lost their focus. 

Platinum Games Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan

Between mixed reviews for Star Fox Zero and poor reception for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, the popular action developer doesn't have the best track record recently.

Both of those titles, along with Transformers: Devastation and Legend of Korra, were games licensed through publishers like Activision. In other words, Platinum was working on IP outside of their wheelhouse.

Their real passion projects, like Bayonetta and the Wonderful 101, are games that absolutely represent that Platinum style of gameplay, and show what the developer is capable of. These are games gleaming with personality, from the zany, vibrant characters in the Wonderful 101, to the satisfying, fluid combat in Bayonetta. These are experiences that can't be found anywhere else. 

So when Platinum began work on Star Fox Zero, many fans of the series thought the studio's take on the beloved franchise would be the most promising licensed title of the bunch, bringing veneration back to the adored troupe of misfits. But instead, the game was a mess and its development proved that Platinum works best on its own terms.

If Star Fox: Zero had been exclusively built from the ground up by Platinum, instead of in collaboration with Nintendo, we may have not had the frustrating and shoehorned motion controls, mundane gameplay, and easy-peasy adventure we were served. Instead, Star Fox Zero may have actually been something much (much) more interesting. 

When Mutants in Manhattan was announced, it sounded like a dream come true. Platinum-style gameplay mixed with a franchise that's spawned dozens of great action titles simply made sense. Yet the game had awkward combat, was less than five hours long, and didn't support local multiplayer -- all major disappointments for many gamers and franchise fans. 

And really, it all comes down to this: If Platinum hadn't released Mutants in Manhattan, Star Fox: Zero, and Transformers: Devastation all within a year's time, each of those games would have fared better. The mechanics would have been sound. The narratives fully fleshed out. And the intangibles (like motion control and multiplayer) fully realized. 

How do I know this? Just look at Bayonetta 2, arguably Platinum's crowning achievement. 

Bayonetta was a critically appraised title, but it didn't sell enough for Sega to publish a sequel. However, with Nintendo backing the game financially, and sufficient time to really work on their craft, Platinum went against all odds and made a sequel that improved upon the original in just about every aspect.

The stylized gameplay was tighter, more fluid, and it removed the stuttering quick-time events from the original. Being able to work with assets and code already used in Bayonetta saved Platinum a ton of work, and gave them the opportunity to improve upon an already great system. They even managed to mesh perfectly on a Nintendo console, adorning a variety of Nintendo themed unlockable costumes. The game went on to receive multiple perfect score reviews from myriad gaming outlets.

There's no doubt that working on multiple titles at once is strenuous for development teams, especially when they have deadlines to meet -- which, in other words, is always.

It's not uncommon for game developers to work 60-80 hour weeks during crunch time, and developers often have a limited set of resources, making development cycles arduous endeavors at best. And while there are certainly teams dedicated to specific games, multiple titles can (and do) spread those resources thin.

And that's what appears to have happened, most recently, with Platinum Games: The studio has spread itself far too thin, leading to the development of some objectively "bad" games. 

One can only hope that NieR:Automata, GRANBLUE FANTASY Project Re:Link, and LOST ORDER get the same amount of care that Platinum gave to Bayonetta 2. 

But it's not just Platinum that's perhaps stretching themselves too thin and losing focus. Let's look at a developer that flourished making a series of similar games -- Telltale Games.

Although most of the studio's titles are well received and sell gangbusters, some say TellTale's games are
becoming formulaic. This, coupled with the fact they've been using the same old engine for years (and years and years), is beginning to cause concern some fans.


Since Telltale released the wildly successful The Walking Dead: Season One in 2012, they've released 10 titles, most of them in the episodic format the studio's are known for. The most recent, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, still uses the same engine, TelltaleTool, created in 2004.

Yes. 2004. 

And although the engine receives regular improvements to graphical capabilities and compatibility for new systems, a new engine could optimize games on a whole other level. We would be able to see massive graphical overhauls, less loading screens, and more interactive gameplay, among other things.

Telltale's writing and storytelling are both top-notch, but the gameplay found in their games is starting to get stale, and they don't seem to be doing too much to innovate. Make some choices, fight with quicktime events, walk around for secrets, and...repeat.

But it's not all doom and gloom. Some studies do it right -- and stand as shining examples of how to correctly tackle multi-game development while staying focused on each game's core elements. 

Some studios, like Blizzard, have been multi-deving for years, finding success through all their major titles, all while supporting online games like Diablo 3, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch. This, of course, can be partially attributed to Blizzard's merger with Activision and a massive pool of resources. With over 4,700 employees, it's no surprise they can develop so many titles.

Other developers, like Ubisoft, are also able to juggle multiple project at once, such as games in the Assassin's Creed and Far Cry franchises. But again, these developers have huge (huge) teams and budgets at their disposals, helping the vault many of the hurdles faced by small-to-medium sized developer and indies. 

And speaking of indies, this theme or "over-development" is especially prevalent  the early-access Steam community.

Studio Wildcard found huge success with Ark: Survival Evolved, maintaining a “mostly positive” rating on Steam with almost 115 thousand reviews. But since Ark's initial release in June, 2015, Wildcard has published a spin-off title and expansion, all while still in early-access -- instead of focusing on the core Ark experience. 


What's more, Keen Software House is another studio that is trapped in the early-access Sarlacc PitSpace Engineers, released in 2013, is still in early access. Despite that, Keen Software House released a spiritual sequel, Medieval Engineers, in 2015. Both games continue to receive updates, but show no signs of coming close to being completely finished products.

Decisions such as these can make one wonder whether these games will ever even be "officially" released.


The gaming industry is a profit driven one, and sometimes executive decisions are made in the interest of money over content or the best interest of the consumer. Multiple projects can spread a development team's resources thin and cause them to lose focus, and sometimes, that can result in rushed products, delays, and ultimately, game cancellations.

As we head into 2017 full force, it's almost a guarantee that this trend will continue. But who knows, perhaps something will ultimately break the cycle... 

Have you been disappointed by a developer promising too many games at once? Are you already tired of waiting for both Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Kingdom Hearts 3 for the next six years? Let us know in the comments below!

Xbox Exclusive Scalebound Now Cancelled Mon, 09 Jan 2017 23:14:09 -0500 Will Dowell

Platinum Games' dragon adventure in the making, Scalebound has been cancelled. With rumors of troubled development circling around the internet for a few days now, Microsoft has officially stated that Scalebound's development has ceased.

Shown off in E3 2014, Scalebound was a cooperative action game in which players would use their dragons to fight fierce beasts. Since then, it struggled through a series of delays, finally ending as Microsoft axed the product.

According to the official Microsoft press statement:

"After careful deliberation, Microsoft Studios has come to the decision to end production for Scalebound. We’re working hard to deliver an amazing lineup of games to our fans this year, including Halo Wars 2, Crackdown 3State of Decay 2Sea of Thieves and other great experiences."

This has been yet another blow to Platinum Games, especially after its lackluster performance last year with Star Fox Zero and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan being critical and commercial failures. Hopefully their next release, Nier: Automatafares better as this has been a poor start for the new year.

Scalebound to Receive Comic and Book of Lore from Titan Comics Mon, 05 Sep 2016 01:15:39 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Platinum Games' upcoming dragon-packed action RPG Scalebound is to receive tie-in comics and a book of the game's lore, both from Titan Comics, which was announced on the game's official Twitter earlier this week. 

Titan Comics will be releasing both the lore book and the comics sometime in 2017, although not much else is known about either of them as of yet. The lore book is claimed to be titled The Book of Sages, and will be an in-universe book written from the perspective of several of the main characters present in Scalebound. 

The comic books related to the game are planned expand on the lore present in Scalebound, and will, according to Titan Comics Sales and Marketing manager Ricky Claydon, "...appeal to an even wider audience," presumably than the game itself. As of now, it has not been made clear if the comics will be a limited series to fit in with the game, or an ongoing series of some sort.

Scalebound's The Book of Sages as well as the comics are planned for release in 2017, as is the game itself on Xbox One and PC. 

You can watch a recent trailer for Scalebound below:

E3 Evaluation: Microsoft Press Conference Wed, 27 Jul 2016 12:48:10 -0400 Dalton White I

So last month all gamers waited in anticipation for the E3 Press Conferences to show and wow us with what they have been cooking up for their audience. This year E3 had some solid presentations among its press conferences but also some cringe moments along the way. So basically it was the normal air and fare for E3.

Naturally, from forums to the live Twitch chat, there always seems to be a tremendous amount of competition between gamers who prefer different consoles. Sometimes it’s nice to see fellow gamers sticking up for their preferred systems but more often than not there are forms of bias, harsh words and annoying spammers present as well. For this set of E3 Evaluations, the plan is to comment and judge on the content and overall tone of the press conferences. Did they impress gamers and give their loyal fans something to look forward to or did they drop the ball this year? We finally have gotten down to the last two conferences which are both the big names in the gaming world. Bringing up the back of the herd is Microsoft.

Starting off running:

Microsoft came out swinging from the very beginning with Xbox One S. It is nice that Microsoft is giving its fans access to their games for a lower price but with small memory space the question is “is it worth it”? Naturally, Microsoft covered their bases with their exclusives. Following the Xbox One S was Gears of War 4 which had a nice lengthy presentation of its gameplay, played by voice actor Laura Bailey. The game looks gorgeous and has all the crazy violence that fans of the series could hope for.

On the topic of shooters, Microsoft had those in spades this year.Tom Clancy’s The Division and Battlefield One also made appearances during the conference, but it was disappointingly nothing that wasn’t shown or covered in Ubisoft’s conference.  One of the last announcements of the conference was that Halo Wars 2 was in the works, so it is safe to say that Xbox owners have a lot of shooters to look forward to in the future.

Zombies and Fighting Games, Oh My!

Moving on from shooters to zombies Microsoft’s conference had plenty of those. The fourth installment in the Dead Rising series seems to have a strong Christmas theme to go with its December release date. Was not expecting to hear some holiday music in July especially while seeing a guy decapitate zombies. The trailer for State of Decay 2 was not as revealing about what the game has in store for fans, but it looked like it had potential. There was also a healthy amount of fighting titles shown during the conference as well. Killer Instinct has a new character in the works, and Tekken 7’s trailer looked gorgeous and featured Akuma having a slug fest with Heihaci.

Emphasis on Hardware:

Microsoft also devoted a short section on new features coming to Xbox owners. Language region independence and the implementation of Cortana didn’t seem all that exciting. However, the use of background music and the new Arena platform setup for online matches seemed rather useful and made me jealous that my PS4 won’t be getting that kind of treatment. These new features on top of the Xbox Play Anywhere feature make the Xbox One quite the tricked out console.

Spotlight on Indies:

One surprising fact that Microsoft pointed out in their conference was that they have some very impressive indie games coming out soon. Games like Inside, Cuphead, Below and We Happy Few made a very solid impression. We Happy Few’s trailer, in particular, left me wanting more about its very odd and surreal world.

Curiously Microsoft’s expansive selection of indie games seems reminiscent me of Sony’s conference at last year’s E3.

The Big Guns:

Although the Xbox One’s indie games had their time to shine Microsoft also showed off some impressive titles which both featured explosions and gigantic beasts. There hasn’t been much released about Scalebound, but the gameplay shown at the conference showed that the huge enemies and cooperation between dragons and humans could be as gorgeous as it is epic.

A short demo of Final Fantasy XV had the player fighting against a humongous Titan, a well-known summon in the Final Fantasy franchise. The scope of the battle was just amazing, and the music that played during it had the right level of hype.

Overall Feeling and Ending

Microsoft was very consistent: they started out with new hardware and ended with another “addition to the Xbox family”. The guys at Microsoft gave Project Scorpio a lot of hype as the “most powerful console this generation” but not too much more than that. Microsoft’s conference was very impressive with plenty of games, new and old, and some new features for their console hardware. They covered every check on the “E3 to do list”. This doesn’t mean the conference was flawless. There were definitely low points during the presentation such as the gameplay for Forza Horizon 3 or the new enhancements to Minecraft, which overstayed its welcome.

Xbox One S

One thing that got repetitive and annoying was the announcement before almost every game that it was a “Xbox and Windows Exclusive”. It was fine the first couple of times but after a while, it just seemed redundant. Also during the trailers, there would be little inserts or updates, usually with information we already knew, at the bottom of the screen that threw off the immersion and distracted from the trailers and gameplay.  When weighing the pros and cons of the overall conference, I’d give Microsoft a solid B+. It wasn’t perfect, but it covered so much and had some real epic moments of gameplay and releases that excited their audience.   

Do you agree with my evaluation? Any comments or arguments? If so, please leave a comment and stay tuned to GameSkinny for more E3 Evaluations and gaming news. If you want to check out the entire experience for yourself, you can check it out on Youtube.


Three Xbox One games to keep an eye on Thu, 23 Jun 2016 11:29:07 -0400 Eric Adams

Well, it took a while, but Xbox One finally has something to talk about. E3 was the perfect platform for Microsoft to generate excitement about the future of their gaming console. What did they do? They announced not one, but two new systems along with a slew of really great looking games. Among those games, three really stood out as something different and interesting.

While the talk of the Microsoft conference will be about Project Scorpio and the Xbox One S, a few games will certainly be the highlight when they release in the coming months. A well-known developer makes the first game and just mentioning their name should get people excited. 

Sea of Thieves


Ahoy Mates, all aboard the poop deck and get ready to set sail in Sea of Thieves. This Rare game is the multiplayer pirate game we’ve always wanted. Grab a few friends and board your very own pirate ship while drinking some rum and singing some pirate tunes. Sea of Thieves is so over the top that hilarity and fun are sure to ensue. Just take a look at the E3 trailer released and you can see how much fun it is to play this game.

You either fight to save your ship or go down with the wreckage like a true captain. After playing this game, you will want to binge watch Pirates of the Caribbean. Jack Sparrow will have nothing on you after you have a cup of grog and slow walk your way off the plank and into the shallows. Sea of Thieves has a lot of people talking and while it does not have an exact release date just yet, it is expected in Quarter 1 of 2017.

We Happy Few


I have written about We Happy Few before and it just looks like too much fun to not play. Those of you who like survival horror games cannot miss this game. Set in an alternate reality of 1960’s England, the citizens of Wellington Wells are full of Joy. Joy is not what you think it is. Joy is a drug taken by the citizens to forget a supposed ‘very bad thing’ they have done.

Your mission in We Happy Few is to escape the creepy town of Wellington Wells without getting beaten to death by the creepy townsfolk. The game is a complete acid trip gone wrong and it looks like a bloody good time. We Happy Few will hit Xbox Preview and Steam Early Access on July 26th, 2016 so get ready to fight the joy.



Boy, Game of Thrones makes dragons look awesome but that show has nothing on Scalebound. This game looks to be the first true Xbox exclusive, along with Sea of Thieves, which makes PS4 owners wish they had an Xbox One. This action role-playing game follows a character named Drew and his pet dragon Thuban through the world of Draconis. The game features smooth gameplay transitions between using Drew and Thuban and it also features some awesome looking boss fights.

If all of that isn’t enough, you will be able to play with your friends and their awesome dragons as well. All the while listening to awesome music, so this game is, for lack of a better term, awesome. Scalebound is not due out until 2017 so there is a gruesome wait but Xbox One finally has games worth salivating over. That in and of itself is a good thing for Microsoft. 

What are you most excited about concerning Microsoft? Do any of these games catch your eye? What do you think of the new Xbox consoles? Let me know in the comments section below and be on the lookout for more information about these games.

Microsoft E3 2016: New exclusives, improved hardware, and Project Scorpio console confirmed Mon, 13 Jun 2016 11:09:57 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Microsoft recently held their E3 press conference. And to kick things off, head of the Xbox Division, Phil Spencer, announced that Microsoft will continue to provide fans more exclusive experiences, services, and hardware. This was the revolving message throughout the entire conference.

Xbox One S and Cross-Play

Following this statement, he went on to announce the Xbox One S. The slimmer console will be sold at the same price as the current Xbox One model.

At the same time, Microsoft provided details with their new play anywhere feature. All future titles will have cross buy support for players. This will allow you to play a title interchangeably between PC and console anywhere. Current game saves and achievements will be available as well. The purchase of any Xbox One title going forward will allow you access to the PC version for free.

Reveal: Gears of War 4 Gameplay

The first major title to take stage was Gears of War 4. The new chapter of the franchise was introduced with a live co-op demo. It's set to release for October 11, 2016. An elite wireless controller for the game will be released in celebration as well.

Reveal: Forza Horizon 3


The next focus on the conference was Forza Horizon 3. The racing franchise's new entry had video showcasing new vehicles and the new Australian setting. This Forza installment includes a variety of off-road choices, like jungle terrain.

The game will feature campaign co-op for the first time. Friends will be able to join one another's sessions, and their games will sync to the other player's data, and so forth. Friends will be able to race together to achieve a goal. Forza Horizon 3 is on schedule to release September 27, 2016.

Reveal: Final Fantasy XV Live Demo

Final Fantasy XV followed afterwards, with a live demo that showed Noctis and friends fighting the mighty Titan. The battle showed off how the heroes fiend off the massive threat. During the fight, the enemy army makes an appearance to fight the heroes and the giant without discretion. During the madness, we see our Noctis use the confusion to his advantage to gain the upper hand and win. Final Fantasy XV will be releasing September 30, 2016.

Reveal: Battlefield 1 Gameplay

The next focus of the conference was Battlefield 1. EA's Battlefield is taking place in World War 1. The developer hopes to deliver a war experience unlike any other before with their latest title. Fans can look forward to it's released on October 21, 2016. The title will be available on October 13 to EA early access members.

Update: Minecraft Patch & Cross-Platform Play 

The press conference then changed its direction to the more causal audience as Minecraft took the stage. It was announced that players will be able to connect together regardless of their platform with the Friendly update. The new update will allow players to enter each other's worlds.

New texture packs were also announced, which will allow players to make their creations more realistic. More Minecraft content was teased too for later this year.

Reveal: Scalebound Multiplayer Gameplay

The hardcore theme returned as Scalebound was presented by Platinum Games. The developer went on to showcase the largest boss fight they've ever created with a live co-op demo. The protagonist begins his fight after being joined by a number of players and their respective dragons. Scalebound is set to release sometime in 2017.

Reveal: Halo Wars 2

The next title announced was Halo Wars 2, which is due for release on February 21, 2017. The sequel will be continuing the story immediately where the first title ended when it was released 7 years ago. A new ruthless general with a massive army appears to stand in opposition. A week long beta is available right now for the title.

Confirmation: Project Scorpio is a high-end console

At the end of presser Spencer took the stage to reaffirm their message of more exclusives, more hardware, and more innovation. This included new Xbox Live features and even customer controller colors that were displayed during the conference as well. Eventually, the conversation of hardware innovation became an announcement of Project Scorpio.

Scorpio is confirmed to be a high end gaming console and will be releasing holiday 2017. Further details will be revealed over time. Spencer also went on to assure Xbox fans that all Xbox One titles will be playable with Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Project Scorpio. No one will be left out.

What did you think of the Microsoft E3 event? What games and announcements excited you the most? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

Top 7 Games Xbox One Owners Should Look out for in 2016 Fri, 08 Jan 2016 06:35:29 -0500 shox_reboot


Convinced yet to buy an Xbox One? Regardless of which side you're on the console wars, you have to give credit where its due and the Xbox One looks like it's coming in strong this year.


Any games that you're looking forward to this year that I've missed? Comment below and let me know! 


Ok, so I'm cheating a little bit since this game got pushed back to 2017, but I cannot in good conscience not talk about this gem when discussing must haves for the Xbox One. 


If we want to get really technical about it, the initial release date for this was 2016 so, yeah. 


I think I'll let the gameplay footage speak for itself here.



Devil May Cry style action with a pet dragon in the mix? Platinum Games have really outdone themselves with this one. Even if this is all the way in 2017, the wait will be worth it. 


I mean there's really no way that kind of a formula can fail right? 

Sea of Thieves 

There isn't much information floating out there about this game other than some footage showing off some gameplay. But the few things we can garner from the footage shows that we can expect naval battles from a first/third person perspective. 



Assassin's Creed: Black Flag showed that gamers can appreciate naval battles when done right, so any game that's willing to explore that vein even further is surely one to look out for. 


One thing in particular I hope is true is that this is an MMORPG. There is no concrete information out there confirming this yet but if the clues are to be believed, you can sail off into the sunset in a pirate ship with your friends and plunder the high seas. 


Sea of Thieves is set to release some time this year on Xbox One and Windows 10. 

Crackdown 3

Throw in super soldiers to a sandbox with a lot of stuff that can get blown up. What follows? 




Crackdown 3 seems to be taking the Just Cause route, only it ups its game by throwing in super powers to the mix. Let's face it, blowing things up in a large open world is fun and that's exactly what this game looks to offer. 



If you're still on the edge about this game, one of the key features Crackdown seems intent on offering is unadulterated mass destruction, in multiplayer. 


Plus it promises to justify the existence of the Xbox One's cloud computing feature by using it to its fullest so there's that as well. 


I don't know about you, but I'm really digging the art style chosen for this game. That aside, this game is described as a team-based action game pitting players against each other 5 on 5 MOBA style. 


What sets this apart from the rest of the games out there following the same genre? That big, bad Guardian you can summon of course! 



The MOBA genre, despite its popularity looks like its been beaten to death with little to almost no innovation. However, 2016 looks like it'll be breathing new life to the genre and Gigantic looks like it'll be leading the charge.


Gigantic will also be available on Windows 10. And I believe you can still sign up for the beta last I checked.


Keiji Inafune. That's probably enough to convince you that this will be something special. The man behind Mega Man and the makers of Metroid Prime have teamed up to bring Recore to the Xbox One and Windows 10. 


There isn't much known about this game apart from the short trailer displayed at E3 and there's next to no footage of gameplay, but to be honest, we don't really need those to get excited for this given the pedigree of the team behind this game. 



Taken directly from the website:


As one of the last remaining humans on a planet controlled by robotic foes bent on your destruction, you must forge friendships with a courageous group of robot companions, each with unique abilities and powers. Lead this band of unlikely heroes on an epic adventure through a mysterious, dynamic world.


 While the game was initially set to be released in the first half of 2016, it got pushed to the latter part of this year. Better late than 2017 right?  

Quantum Break

Yet another third person shooter? Yes, but Quantum Break makes itself stand out with its rather unique game play elements. 


While its not exactly a novel idea, the ability to manipulate time has always been a fun mechanic in gaming, and the way Quantum Break employs the mechanic it looks pretty darn cool when you're manipulating time. 



While this makes us wonder how exactly the multiplayer would work out (if the game does feature it.. pretty sure it will) this is without doubt another must have if you own the Xbox One. 


Let's choose not to talk about the fact that your in-game actions are supposed to determine how the TV adaptation of this goes. It could be something else if done right, but if history *cough* Defiance *cough* is to be believed, games and TV series should stay far away from each other. 

Gears of War 4

You can't talk about Xbox exclusives without talking about the Gears of War series and I'm so glad we get to talk about it in 2016. 


This is a game that holds as much weight as the Halo franchise does in the world of Xbox, and for good reason. This third person shooter looks gorgeous, action packed and promises a lot of good old fashioned monster (or alien) killing. 


Oh, and expect brutality. If the previous installations of Gears of War are anything to go by, that is definitely something you can expect. We all know the pure joy of blowing up body parts is on Fallout 4. 



The game is set to release fall 2016 with a multiplayer beta in spring 2016. Usually with a beta announced it means we can rest easy and not expect too many push backs so, Gears of War 4? Definitely something to look forward to.  


The Xbox One, despite making a lot of great improvements to catch up to the PlayStation 4 is still lagging behind in terms of overall popularity. However, the console is on the right track with the number of exclusives its managed to secure and 2016 is shaping up to be a good year for Xbox fans everywhere. 


Heck, I'm a PlayStation 4 owner, but some of the games the Xbox One has lined up for this year is making me want to invest in one. 


After all: we should all learn to get along, right lads? Why not both I always say. 


For the sake of this list though, here are the top 7 Xbox One exclusives to get excited for in 2016. Some of these will be available on PC as well but the name of the game is 'console exclusivity'.

Scalebound delayed until 2017 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 07:51:05 -0500 Alec Pearce

An official blog post from the Scalebound team at PlatinumGames has confirmed that the upcoming Xbox One exclusive's release date will be postponed until 2017. 

Although the team are pleased with the way the game is coming together, it is being delayed to ensure the high-quality that is expected of this product is met and to avoid any disappointment. The blog post states:

"This will give us the time needed to bring to life all the innovative features and thrilling gameplay experiences that we have planned." 

Scalebound is an action-RPG in which you form a partnership with a proud and formidable dragon named Thuban. Together you must combat the evil that threatens to engulf and destroy Draconis and Earth as well as a host of other parallel worlds. Use your weapons to defeat your enemies conventionally or order your dragon to destroy them in a fiery inferno, and team up with other players to take down the strongest foes.

The decision to postpone release will, of course, be disappointing for fans eagerly awaiting the game's launch and the developer's acknowledge this, saying: "We know you’re excited to see more and thank you for your patience."

Evidently more details will be released as the development process continues throughout the year and E3 2016 will no doubt give us a better update on the game's progress.

2015 Console wrap-up, and what to look forward to in 2016 Tue, 29 Dec 2015 04:30:01 -0500 Curtis Dillon

2015 was the year that the PS4 and Xbox One became must-have systems. I personally got a PS4 a few months after it released; I was always going to be an early adopter, but I can see why some people may have held off. Well, the time has come for everyone to upgrade, to make the jump to the current generation. 2015 was a banner year for both systems and you really can't go wrong with either, they both had phenomenal games and even more on the way.

Looking back, 2014 was an OK year but it was very much a transitional one in which the two new consoles were finding their feet. We got some stellar games like Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Wolf Among Us, some underrated gems like Child of Light and Watch Dogs, and an overrated, yet good, game in Shadow of Mordor. But it wasn't anything like 2013, in which we got one of the greatest games of all time in The Last of Us, another masterpiece in GTA V, and many other fantastic titles like Tomb Raider, Bioshock: Infinite and Rayman Legends.

Of course, games were delayed that would have made 2014 a much better year but those titles fell into 2015 and ended up making it a very memorable year. This year we were gifted with Bloodborne, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Life Is Strange, Batman: Arkham Knight, Rocket League, Mortal Kombat X, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Tales From The Borderlands, Fallout 4, and much more. Any of those would probably have been Game of the Year last year, which made this year really tricky to choose, but it's a great problem to have. This was the year that the PS4 and the Xbox One justified their price tags. Some people will argue that neither system have many blockbuster exclusives as of yet but at this point it seems those naysayers will never be pleased.

So looking ahead to 2016 there is so frickin' much to be excited about. I can't really say too much more without touching upon what I want to go into greater detail about below, so I'll just kick the pretenses and the bush beating here, and get right into the big breakdown!


Sony's PS4 has had a phenomenal year. This was the first year since the system was revealed that some trol...I mean fans seemingly started to turn on Sony, largely due to the apparent lack of exclusives. However there was no real lack when compared to Xbox and Wii U. Both had fewer AAA exclusives than PS4, not even counting Japanese titles - which would really push PS4 ahead. That being said, the fact that Sony lacked a big Fall game was noticeable, albeit a blessing in disguise considering the fate of Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Regardless of exclusives, the PS4 continued to dominate sales charts all year long, losing to the Xbox One only twice, in April and October. The console's meteoric success is still outpacing that of the PS2, and it has done so without a big name exclusive, like Uncharted.

Speaking of which, let's finally look at 2016 and to the absolutely huge deal that is Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. The game was originally set to release in 2015 but was pushed back to March 2016, however just yesterday that date was pushed back a month to April 27 (Colin was right). Of course this was met will predictable snide remarks and vitriol from internet trolls but the simple fact of the matter is that delays are only ever a good thing. This game is (probably) going to be amazing, and more importantly for Sony, sell like hotcakes!

But before Nathan Drake and Co. set out on their final adventure, the PS4 will get the blockbuster Street Fighter V in February! Having this title as a console exclusive on PS4 (It's also on PC), is a very smart deal for Sony and will ensure the fighting community finds its home on the PS4.

Also landing in April 2016 is the remake/reboot of Ratchet and Clank, which coincides with the movie. This remake looks amazing and is set to bring the series back to its roots, while retaining the gameplay and level design that was perfected in the PS3 games. Street Fighter V, Ratchet and Clank, and Uncharted 4 are sure to give Sony a big boost in early 2016!

The problem with looking further ahead is that we don't have concrete release dates for everything. We know Sony will have The Last Guardian, Persona 5, No Man's Sky, Horizon Zero Dawn, Drawn to Death, WiLD, What Remains of Edith Finch, Gran Turismo Sport, and potentially Dreams, from Media Molecule. That's a genuinely incredible line-up, and I wasn't even counting the plethora of digital titles that come out on a weekly basis.

We know No Man's Sky is scheduled for a June release, and both Dreams and Gran Turismo Sport have early Beta's next year, implying both games could also release in 2016. The Last Guardian, should it actually come out, seems like a potential August release but it could easily be in October or November. That being said, I am fairly certain Horizon: Zero Dawn will be Sony's big fall game. Everything else is up in the air and we will find out much more in the first half of 2016, but if most of those games actually manage to release next year it will mark the first incredible year for PS4 exclusives.

PlayStation VR

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention PlayStation VR, a product/medium I am incredibly excited about. It seems fairly obvious that most gamers are still wary and unsold on virtual reality, particularly due to the lack of announced games and not having experienced it for themselves. That's a big problem Sony will have throughout 2016.

Sony aims to release PlayStation VR in the first half of 2016 and, so far, the announced games include Rigs, Adrift, Eagle Flight, ARK: Survival Evolved, REZ Infinite, Robinson: The Journey, Golem, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, EVE: Valkyrie, Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, 100ft Robot Golf, Final Fantasy XV, Megaton Rainfall, Gran Turismo Sport, and Ace Combat 7, among many others. There might not be a killer app announced as of yet but the announced games are very impressive and I know most gamers won't care about something like Ace Combat 7, until they put on the headset and fly that jet themselves. Then they will care.

Sony is going all in on PlayStation VR. It's easy to look at it like another PlayStation Move or even *shudders* Wonderbook, but this really isn't the same thing. Sony has invested a ton of money in this new technology and is treating it with as much care as it does a console release. Shuhei Yoshida even compared it to the release of the PS1, saying Sony expects to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of PlayStation VR - that's how much he and Sony believe in it. And rightfully so, for anyone who has actually tried the technology, it is truly revolutionary. This is the biggest leap in gaming since the jump from 2D to 3D, and truth be told it's even bigger than that. Virtual reality's potential extends far beyond games, into virtual tourism, music/sporting events, socializing and much more, this technology is likely to be all-encompassing in years to come, making Sony very smart for getting in on the ground floor.

2016 will be a massive year for Sony with PlayStation VR and I wish them all the success with this incredible new medium.


But let's move on from Sony. Xbox One struggled in its first year on the market, but let's not continue to rehash that ground. Last year, Phil Spencer took over as head of Xbox and he has turned the entire ship around - it cannot be overstated how impressive a job the man has done in the past year.

Under his tutelage, 2015 was an excellent year for Xbox One. Sure it's still lagging behind the PS4 in sales, but it's doing fantastic in its own right. And should the console continue to receive great exclusive games like Halo 5, Rare Replay, and Rise of the Tomb Raider, it's profile will continue to attract more gamers. And that looks to be exactly the case in 2016.

Following on the heels of this year, Xbox One will kick 2016 off with a bang, relasing Quantum Break in April. Quantum Break looks like a very fun, unique game that may only be held back by its tie-in TV show. Later in the year, Scalebound will be unleashed upon gamers. Scalebound is a semi-open-world action game, involving dragons and Beats-wearing, sword-wielding teenagers developed by Platinum Games, the team behind Bayonetta 2 and Transformers: Devastation.

Following on from that insane-looking game, Xbox One will get Sea of Thieves, ReCore, Crackdown 3, Halo Wars: Origins, and Gears of War 4. These games have release windows, from the summer to the fall. This release schedule doesn't include digital games like Cuphead, Below and Inside, meaning Xbox One will have an incredibly busy year!

Not much is known about Gears 4 yet but no familiar faces were seen in the E3 reveal trailer and it seems to be taking the series back to its darker roots. Crackdown 3 looks like more Crackdown, as is the case with Halo Wars. Sea of Thieves and ReCore are very exciting games, largely because they are very different from what we expect of Microsoft. Not much is known about either game but the teams behind both, Rare and Comcept (Legendary producer/designer Keiji Inafune), is more than enough to get players hyped.

Microsoft and Phil Spencer are wisely doubling down on games and nothing else, much like Sony did in 2014. By continuing to pump out great games and not focusing on the entertainment aspects, Microsoft will continue to win back the many gamers it lost in 2014.


What a weird year for Nintendo. With more rumors than games, the Wii U rapidly dying, rare game delays, and the untimely passing of a legend and company figurehead, it wasn't really one to remember.

Yet, we also got one of the best and most creative Nintendo games in years: Super Mario Maker. An excellent game that allows players to create their very own Mario levels for the first time ever, Super Mario Maker was sheer brilliance that inspired a thriving community of creators. Then there was the surprisingly great Splatoon, Nintendo's first foray into the shooter genre. However, those were the two hits of the year, Nintendo had some rare mishaps with Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, Devil's Third, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival, Earthbound Beginnings, and Mario Party 10. It wasn't the stellar year you might hope for at this point in a console cycle but truth be told, the Wii U isn't in its glory years, it's in its death throes.

So we look forward to 2016, a year in which Nintendo is set to reveal and seemingly release its next console. Codenamed the NX, much of what we know about the new system are rumors and speculation -- including console and controller patents that suggest a hybrid between home console and handheld. Another, more recent report said Nintendo expect to ship 20 million NX's in 2016, a number we deem a tad ridiculous considering the underperformance of the Wii U and the downward trend Nintendo has been on for years (minus the anomalous Wii). To put it into perspective, the PS4 only sold 12 million in its first year on the market and it broke records.

The latest controller patent for the NX is fully touch sensitive and playable by itself

So with the launch of a new console on the horizon, Nintendo is a very exciting company right now. We don't know much about the NX but most people are hoping it is a return to more standard gaming, as opposed to the innovative experiments seen with the Wii and Wii U. However all the patents and rumors suggest otherwise. From January to E3 in June we should get many more details and rumors about the new console, including a full reveal. If the console is to release next year as suggested, it should be revealed before E3 in June!

Which brings us to the games. Both The Legend of Zelda and Star Fox were scheduled 2015 releases but both were delayed, something Nintendo's first parties do not often do. Star Fox Zero from Platinum Games really does not look good, for a 2016 game it is very poor in the graphics department and the compulsory GamePad implementations are poorly designed and unnecessary. So here's hoping the delay will see the game resurface in much better shape. Then there's Zelda Wii U, which looks set to be another great entry in the legendary series. Many are expecting a Twilight Princess situation with this game, meaning it may end up on both the Wii U and the NX. This seems entirely likely. Though if Nintendo really wants 20 million NX sales, it should simply abandon the Wii U and force gamers to upgrade.

The NX will need games. That seems a fairly obvious thing to say but I mean big games, from both first-party and, more importantly, third-parties. Nintendo spurned third-party developers, like Ubisoft, with the Wii and Wii U, and it needs to win them back if it hopes to succeed. It isn't enough getting a port of a game like Mass Effect years after it released on PlayStation and Xbox. That makes gamers see Nintendo's consoles as mere additions to their primary console, be it an Xbox or PlayStation, whereas Nintendo need to establish the NX as the only system you need, or at least the best of the three.

So big games are a must. They need complete third-party support, meaning Rockstar's games launch the same day they release on PS4 and Xbox One, and the same for Ubisoft, EA, Warner Bros., and more. It will also need great first-party games. A big single-player Mario game was notably absent from the entire Wii-U cycle, so one can hope that year or two ago Nintendo made the decision to slide it over to the NX instead. Having a game akin to Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario Sunshine on the NX at launch will be a very big deal. If it gets that Mario game, Zelda, Donkey Kong, a new IP, and complete third-party support, then maybe gamers will have to pay attention. If not, I can't envision it grabbing the hardcore crowd.

I'm really not sure what Nintendo can do to make the NX a legitimate contender to the PS4 and Xbox One. If it's is a dedicated gaming system with similar power levels, then won't it be just more of the same? But if it's experimental and ultimately uninteresting to the hardcore gamer, then they won't sell to the most important early adopters. Nintendo find themselves in a pickle, but as a fan it is going to be a very exciting situation to watch play out.

The 3rd Parties

Now that we've analysed the state and potential forecast of each console and their exclusives, let's focus on the third-party games coming to systems in 2016.

January is home to a ton of great digital games, given that AAA games rarely release in that window. Both PS4 and Xbox One will get Gone Home, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India, Resident Evil Zero, and Lego Marvel Avengers, the latter of which is actually a full retail release. A lot to look forward to there, as well as some that are exclusive to PS4.

February, then, is where things kick into gear; Far Cry Primal, The Walking Dead: Michonne, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia, Unravel, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 and Mighty No. 9, among a few very exciting platform exclusives, make February the first big month of the year.

March sees the release of two very big games in Tom Clancy's The Division and Hitman. March also has a few remasters on PS4, including Heavy Rain, Day of the Tentacle, as well as the ever great MLB: The Show.

April, May and June are also very exciting months, with PS4 and Xbox One both getting giant exclusives. On the third-party front however, we'll be getting Dirt Rally, Dark Souls III, Battleborn, Mirror's Edge: Catalyst, ARK: Survival Evolved, and One Piece: Burning Blood. Including the exclusives, that means at least 8 AAA games between February and June!

From June onwards we don't have too many actual release dates but I will list a few of the big titles coming to PS4 and Xbox One; Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Yooka-Laylee, Batman: A Telltale Games Series, Dead Island 2, Homefront: The Revolution, Dishonored 2, Doom, Friday The 13th: The Game, Outlast II, Mafia III, Mass Effect Andromeda, Overkill's The Walking Dead, Overwatch, Paragon, Tekken 7, Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter, Battlefield 5, Titanfall 2For Honor, and the next installments in Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, and all sports franchises.

Needless to say, that's a lot of games coming in 2016The biggest hitters are Dishonored, Mass Effect, Mirror's Edge, Deus Ex, Battlefield, and Doom, as well as the yearly installments and console exclusives. That's a lot for sure, but is that really everything coming next year?

The Unforeseen

My 2015 game of the year is one that I hadn't even heard of at this time last year: Life Is Strange. I won't gush on and one about why I love the game so dang much, mostly because I already did that here, but also because my point is that the very best games can pop out of compete obscurity and take the world by storm, like Rocket League.

That's one of the best things about gaming, we don't know everything we're going to play in 2016, and that's really exciting.

Who knows what giant games might be revealed and released in 2016, I have a sneaking suspicion we will get a Rockstar game, be it Red Dead 3 or my long-desired Bully 2. That would be a similar situation to Bethesda and Fallout 4 this year, which clearly worked very well for them, so why wouldn't Rockstar want to emulate that formula. Plus it only makes sense considering it's been 3 years since GTA V, and the team behind Red Dead Redemption didn't even make that, so it's been a long time that they've had to toil away on something. And that's just Rockstar, Visceral are making a single-player Star Wars game, so hopefully that can be a 2016 reveal and release.

Then there's the plethora of digital-only games that are often revealed and released in the same window, which can often make game of the year lists. There is already a laundry list of exciting, innovative "indie" games coming next year, including Bound, The Tomorrow Children, Firewatch, Cuphead, Inside, Below, Mighty No. 9, The Witness, We Happy Few, Thimbleweed Park, Boundless, and, of course, No Man's Sky. That's a very exciting list of games, but then there's the ones we don't even know exist yet, and they might be the games that capture our hearts more than any other.

My Personal Top 10 Most Anticipated Games:
  1. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
  2. Horizon: Zero Dawn
  3. Quantum Break
  4. Gears 4
  5. Mass Effect Andromeda
  6. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  7. The Last Guardian
  8. Telltale Games: Batman
  9. No Man's Sky
  10. Mirror's Edge Catalyst

So what games are you most excited for? What is your 2015 game of the year? Do you think 2016 can be better than 2015? Let us know in the comments below. 

PlayStation vs. Xbox: PlayStation Is Doing Exclusives Better Thu, 19 Nov 2015 21:13:20 -0500 Curtis Dillon

"PlayStation 4 has no exclusives!"

That's the claim I've heard and read all year long.

"This is the greatest gaming line-up in Xbox history."

That's what Microsoft has touted all year long. Truth be told, though, the playing field is a lot more level than you might think.

PlayStation has always had more and better exclusives than Xbox.

Sure Xbox will always have Halo, Gears of War and Forza, but before the Xbox One, that was pretty much it. Microsoft tried its hand with the Fable series, Viva Pinata, and Too Human, none of which were massive successes. PlayStation, on the other hand has a history of hosting many fantastic exclusives and giving its first-party developers room to breathe and create freely.

Last generation, the PS3 played catch-up to the 360 for many years. Sony's third machine ended up outselling the 360, with a year less on the market. And it did so by having the best games. While Xbox 360 owners twiddled their thumbs between Halo and Gears of War experiences, PS3 gamers were having thrilling adventures with Nathan Drake, killing gods with Kratos, becoming a superhero with Cole McGrath, fighting the endless war against the Helghan, and creating worlds with Sackboy. Year in, year out, the PS3 had exclusives every other month.

A Promising Start for Xbox

This time around, Microsoft aimed to rival PlayStation in that department by having more exclusives - and more than just shooters. They came out of the gate with Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5, and some Kinect titles, as well as showing trailers for Halo 5 and Quantum Break. The first two were easily the most exciting of the launch games, because Ryse had a ton of potential and Dead Rising is a great series to have exclusively.

PlayStation on the other hand, launched with Knack, Killzone: Shadowfall, and Resogun. Games that were initially intended to be launch titles, like Infamous and DriveClub, didn't make the cut-off. Therefore it's undeniable that the Xbox One had the better launch titles.

Microsoft continued its promising start by unveiling Titanfall and Sunset Overdrive - an awesome-looking game by Sony's buddies Insomniac. That was a real blow to Sony. Meanwhile, Titanfall was dubbed the "Call of Duty killer". Then came Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Killer Instinct and more Forza. The Xbox One was really looking like a fantastic platforms for what happened?

Cracks Begin To Show

Titanfall released and was...good. The game was a critical success, but not so much a commercial one, and it didn't bring about the death of Call of Duty like many had predicted. In spite of a year's worth of hype and anticipation, Titanfall faded quicker than a fart in the wind.

Sunset Overdrive was next. The difference with Sunset is that it was actually an amazing game. Sunset Overdrive was a fantastic game from Insomniac that oozed charisma and charm, and yet it sold poorly. Poorly enough that Microsoft never announced any numbers for it, and has referred to it when discussing the challenges of new IP.

A fantastic game that no one played

Forza and Halo did well, as expected. However, neither seemed to shift console sales - plus Halo was a muddled mess with big online issues. Meanwhile, on the other side of the tracks, Sony had big success with Infamous: Second Son, The Last of Us: Remastered, MLB: The Show, and DriveClub, despite The Order: 1886 being pushed to 2015. Microsoft was trying, and even producing some great games, but it wasn't getting the desired results.

And so 2015 rolled around...

Do The Math

2015 was supposed to be the year for Microsoft. Sony had "nothing", particularly after Uncharted 4 was delayed. Xbox fans emerged from the crevices of the Internet to poke fun at PS4 owners. I've even heard industry insiders discuss the brevity of Sony's line-up. However, was it really as one-sided as everyone claimed? Nope. In fact, PlayStation 4 had more exclusives in 2015 than Xbox One.

Let's just start with AAA games. Microsoft's "greatest line-up ever" consists of Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Forza Motorsport 6, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and Rare Replay. That's a great line-up, and probably the best Microsoft has ever had (as per the claims).

2015 hasn't been the best year for Sony; no one will argue that. But it hasn't been anywhere near as barren as you may be led to believe. The year started with The Order: 1886, a ridiculously pretty game that was unfortunately more fun to look at than it was to play. Then came Bloodborne -- the spiritual successor to Demon Souls was a surprisingly big hit for Sony and was all the talk when it came out. Bloodborne is a surefire game of the year contender.

The next big title to hit Sony's platforms, a game I wouldn't count if I didn't already count Gears of War, was God of War III Remastered. Then came the biggest surprise hit of the year, Until Dawn. A fantastic horror game in the vein of Heavy Rain, Until Dawn shocked many by how well it was written, how beautiful it was, and how much dumb fun it was. Then to round out the year we got Tearaway: Unfolded and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection.

So, Xbox One had five exclusive AAA games in 2015, while PS4 had six. Now all in all, quantity is not always as important as quality, and the fact that three of Sony's six were remasters is definitely a factor.

For Xbox, Rare Replay and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition outperformed expectations, Halo 5: Guardians has been a hit, Forza always performs, and Rise of the Tomb Raider has been met with critical acclaim, but sold poorly in the wake of Fallout 4. The sales disappointment of Rise of the Tomb Raider is surely a problem, but it's been a great year for Xbox regardless. It outsold the PS4 in the month of October - marking only the second time this year it has done so, and the fourth overall.

If you want to get really nitpicky...

If we look at smaller titles, PlayStation has had a far better year. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, SOMA, Axiom Verge, Journey (Remastered), Volume, Hotline Miami 2, and Grow Home are just some of the games that came to PSN this year. However, one title in particular really captured the hearts of millions in 2015 -- Rocket League. The second vehicular soccer game from Psyonix has been an unprecedented hit, selling over 6 million copies. The game is likely to come to Xbox One in 2016, but it was a Cinderella story on PS4 this year. The only Xbox digital games you heard talked about this year were Ori and the Blind Forest and State of Decay: Year One.

Party Partnerships

Now I've talked at (great) length about what games came to which platform, yadda yadda yadda, but what's really important and interesting to look at, it the logistics of the exclusives.

Ryse: Son of Rome, Dead Rising 3, Sunset Overdrive, Titanfall, and Rise of the Tomb Raider are all third party exclusives, the latter being only a timed exclusive. The only first-party games Microsoft have published are HaloForza, Rare Replay, and Gears of War: Remastered.

Another amazing game no one is playing. Thanks, Fallout 4.

The failure of the third-party games to be commercial hits has probably hurt Microsoft's relationship with third party developers. Take Titanfall for example. EA and Respawn has both admitted it would have benefited the game being on PS4 - and the sequel will be. Phil Spencer has even said that third party games will be less of a focus going forward, though it's not because Microsoft don't want them.

Looking ahead at 2016, Xbox One exclusives Recore, Crackdown 3, Quantum Break and Scalebound are all second and third-party developed games once again. This isn't necessarily a problem, but like I said, should the games continue to underwhelm commercially, developers will be less inclined to work with Microsoft (and Microsoft will be less inclined to work with them). 

On the other side, every game released by Sony this year, minus Tearaway, was a second-party exclusive. Even the Uncharted Collection was done by independent port house Bluepoint Games (although still published by Sony). This is a less risky business than third-party development because Sony still owns the IP, which is also true for Microsoft with Recore, Scalebound, Quantum Break, and so on.

The point is: Microsoft's third-party exclusives are a very short-term solution.

The company has not built any new series, though it's not for lack of trying. There won't be a Ryse 2, and a Sunset Overdrive 2 or Dead Rising 4 is unlikely. Titanfall 2 will be multiplatform. Whereas there will probably be a Knack 2 for the PS4, there will certainly be sequels to Infamous: Second Son, Bloodborne, Until Dawn, and even The Order: 1886. Already this generation, Sony has created 3, maybe 4, new exclusive series.

First-Party Poopers

Part of the problem is Microsoft's first-party studios. Microsoft owns 343 Industries, The Coalition, Lionhead Studios, and Turn 10 -- all of whom are confined to making Halo, Gears of War, Fable, and Forza for eternity. That's four main studios, all tied to making the same four games over and over; it's creatively stifling and redundant. Imagine if Sony had gone to Naughty Dog and demanded it work on Crash Bandicoot forever - without that creative freedom, we wouldn't have gotten get Jak & Daxter, Uncharted, or The Last of Us.

Then Microsoft also has Rare, BigPark Studios, Mojang, and a litany of small studios that work on tablet and Kinect stuff. Rare is working on Sea of Thieves, a fun-looking game with tons of potential. BigPark is completely in the dark, and Mojang is doing its Minecraft thing.

There's plenty more where these came from

So we kind of know what every single Microsoft first-party developer is working on, and it's exactly what you'd expect. This is why Microsoft has gone to third-parties like Armature, Respawn, Insomniac and Crystal Dynamics to get exclusive games. The Xbox needs more variety.

Sony has no such problem.

Of Sony's first-party developers, we know we are getting Uncharted 4 from Naughty Dog, Dreams from Media Molecule, Gran Turismo Sport from Polyphony Digital, Horizon Zero Dawn from Guerilla Games and Rigs from Guerilla Cambridge, Gravity Rush Remastered, Gravity Rush 2, and The Last Guardian from Japan Studio, and Evolution is still working on DriveClub. Four of those are new IPs.

The rest of the first-party studios are shrouded in mystery -- Sony Bend, Sucker Punch, Sony San Diego, Sony Santa Monica, North West Studio and Sony London. Sony Santa Monica is almost certainly working on a new God of War, but it also helps with development on a ton of smaller games, from The Unfinished Swan to Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. Sony London is working on Virtual Reality. Sucker Punch is well along in the development of something, according to Shuhei Yoshida -- maybe it's another Infamous. Sony San Diego is inevitably making the next instalment in the MLB: The Show series, but it is also helping produce Drawn to Death, Guns Up, and Kill Strain - three other PlayStation exclusives.

I broke down Microsoft and Sony's first-party studios to paint a picture of the future. Sony gives its studios a lot of rope to hang themselves with and, as such, we get extremely exciting new IP like Horizon Zero Dawn, surprising sequels like Gravity Rush 2, and a few artistic experiments like Dreams. Simply put, Sony's first-party titles are much more exciting.

The product of creative freedom

However, Sony also works with second and third-parties, as mentioned earlier with all of this year's exclusives. Also coming exclusively to the PS4 is Detroit: Become Human from Quantic Dream, Street Fighter V, No Man's Sky, Persona 5, Hellblade, and a lot of third-party VR support. This is different from Microsoft, because those games are all almost guaranteed to sell well - Street Fighter V, No Man's Sky and Persona 5 are no-brainers, and Hellblade and Detroit could definitely do well if marketed properly.


I don't want to be a Debbie Downer and spell doom and gloom for the Xbox One, because that most certainly isn't the case. The exclusives games on the Xbox One so far have ranged from good to great, and it's a shame that some of them didn't sell better. If you are a true gamer, you do not wish ill on Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo, because competition is good for everyone.

The failure of Rise of the Tomb Raider is bad news for Microsoft; if a known property like Lara Croft cannot sell, then what can be expected to? However it has baffled me since E3 that Square Enix and Microsoft agreed to send it out to die beside Fallout 4, sandwiched between Call of Duty and Star Wars. Hopefully the game will find some success when it releases on PS4 next year.

Microsoft will always have its staples of Gears of War, Forza and Halo, which may not be the most exciting prospects, but they're a very safe bet. It would be nice to see those developers get more leeway and maybe even develop some new IPs; however, renaming two of them to reflect their respective games kind of suggests they won't get such freedom.

This fall has been a big season for Xbox One, and the winning sales of October are a great sign, but the goal should not be to outsell the PS4. If Microsoft provides excellent games that can only be played on Xbox One, then gamers will come. 2016 is looking exciting for the green brand, with Gears 4, Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, Recore, Quantum Break, and Scalebound, not to mention a myriad of fantastic digital games like Below, Cuphead and Inside. Microsoft could benefit from re-organizing a few internal teams, most of which were working on Kinect, and setting them off to work on new IP. They should follow Sony's example and allow established studios (like Naughty Dog and Guerilla) to stretch their wings and try new things.

The Xbox One cannot afford another Ryse, Sunset Overdrive, or Titanfall, it needs new first-party IPs that can be established into series. Right now, Microsoft is sitting pretty with exclusives but the past two years were not great for Xbox One, and going forward it could serve the company well to take a page out of the competition's playbook. 

Scalebound: A First Look Tue, 04 Aug 2015 20:00:11 -0400 Austin Widmyer

Today at GamesCom 2015, PlatinumGames released their first gameplay trailer for their upcoming game Scalebound. The game is set to be released in 2016 for the Xbox One, and players have a lot to expect from Platinum, who have developed great action games such as Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and The Wonderful 101. Because of how well received these games were, players were hyped for months when Platinum had announced that they would be making a game that featured something that had been seriously lacking representation in this generation of consoles: dragons.

When the gameplay trailer first starts, we are greeted by an awesome dragon flying through a bright, beautiful, and stylized forest landscape that shows once again that Platinum is capable of creating a beautiful game. However, this initial breathtaking view is hindered by the fact that the video played at a choppy speed that took much away from what could have been a spectacular opening. We then hear lines of dialogue from the main character as he and his dragon approach a group of enemies that make him sound similar to DMC: Devil May Cry's Dante, and not in a good way. 

Featuring dragon arms and a snarky, edgy attitude, this character comes off as the generic kid that tries too hard to be cool, and his outfit is reminiscent of an ad for Beats headphones. All of that could be forgiven if not for the fact that even after the opening cinematic had ended, the gameplay still suffered from low framerate and uninteresting sword and bow combat.

However, we must remember not to be too critical of the game just yet. The game is still in pre-aplha, and with how reliable PlatinumGames has been in the past, they are unlikely to disappoint.

Scalebound gameplay revealed at Gamescom 2015 Tue, 04 Aug 2015 09:41:46 -0400 Daniel R. Miller

Platinum Games Director Hideki Kamiya dropped by the Xbox Briefing at Gamescom today to deliver the world premiere gameplay demo for the upcoming Xbox exclusive, Scalebound.  What followed was a five-minute display of non-stop high (with a twist of modern) fantasy action that pretty well established what players can expect from the story and the kinds of interactions the with the dragon companion in combat.

The demo starts off with a CG cutscene, establishing the protagonist as a novice "Beast Tamer," a term used by the enemy troops whose encampment the heroes land in.  Things obviously take a turn for the worse, and the game quickly jumps into combat.  You can watch the trailer below.

One of the first notable things revealed is that the player will be able to command the dragon to destroy enemy obstacles on the fly, further reinforcing the theme of the player and the dragon as one tandem unit.

The game features both melee and ranged combat as well as the use of status-altering items to gain an edge in combat.

At the end of the demo, the trailer also announces that the game will support four-player co-op, a surprising and welcome addition.

Scalebound is unfortunately still a ways away from its Holiday 2016 release, but there is still more footage set to be unveiled over the next few days. 

All that big Xbox Gamescom News: Scalebound, Chat Pads, and More. Tue, 04 Aug 2015 14:41:13 -0400 Phillip W

This is a brief roundup of all the big news from Microsoft's GamesCom Press-Conference.


Remedy Studio, the people behind cult classic Alan Wake, new time bending game, Quantum Break is now being released on April 5, 2015.

The first gameplay for the Crackdown reboot, has a lot of explosions.

Platinum Studio's Xbox exclusive Scalebound is being released holiday 2016. The first gameplay trailer is below.

Rash from Battletoads is a new playable guest character in Killer Instinct. He is available to play right now.

From Software showed off some brand new Dark Souls III gameplay.

Gameplay from the long dormant Homefront: Revolution was shown off today. Along with the announcement of an Xbox One beta.

The newest gameplay trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Halo Wars 2 is coming Fall 2016! Here is the first cinematic trailer.

ID@Xbox announces new games coming first to consoles on Xbox including City:Skylines and We Happy Few.

Features and Hardware:

Xbox backwards compatibility comes to everyone in November. All games with gold games from now on will be backwards compatible at launch.

DVR functionality will let you stream and record to any windows 10 device in 2016.

A new Limited Edition Halo 5 Xbox One is coming October 20, 2015. Pre-orders are up now.

A new Xbox one chat pad is coming in November 2016.


Stay Tuned to GameSkinny for more Gamescom news and impressions.

4 games to look for at Gamescom Sun, 28 Jun 2015 08:30:01 -0400 JDAtkins

Horizon: Zero Dawn

We don't know a lot about this post-post-apocalyptic game, other than the fact that you play a bow-boasting huntress who has a vendetta against giant, robot dinosaurs. Unsurprisingly most people were sold at 'giant, robot dinosaurs'.


The gameplay shown at E3 on this completely fresh IP got the attention of many players – in the throes of a console race that has had much more than its share of remakes or sequels, a new IP can go a long way in establishing dominance. And fans are definitely looking forward to taking down some mechanized monsters. Really, who wouldn't be?


What games and announcements would you like to see at Gamescom? Let us know in the comments below!


More Fallout 4!


It seems like the most obvious statement in the world, but it bears repeating Fans are currently very, very hungry for more Fallout 4, and any legitimate morsel, scrap, or shred of information would go a long way in satiating that hunger. Omnomnom.


With the game dropping in November of this year, gamers were taken aback by how short a wait they would have to endure. But since that first E3 announcement, we've felt every second of that wait . Having someone stand on a stage and tell us a little more about the game would probably only make the aforementioned hunger worse in the long run, but you can't deny the fun to be had with it.




The other game that Microsoft promised to shine a light upon at Gamescom. This is a reboot of a series that helped kickstart the original Xbox console – Crackdown.


Already having a recognizable name, a pre-existing fan-base, and a very flashy cinematic to play off of, Crackdown looks primed to play a big role in the next-gen arms race and do its part to provide a solid exclusive title that the Xbox One can hold over the PS4.




One of the two games Microsoft promised to showcase at Gamescom – was it wise to hold out until then, or should they have taken the opportunity to thrust it into our attentions under the bright lights of E3? Only time will tell, but this game looks great either way.


A fluid fighting game from the makers of hits in the genre such as Metal Gear Revengeance and Bayonetta, Scalebound uses one thing to set itself apart from those predecessors – a really, really big dragon.


Well, we're sold.


With E3 still fresh in the rear-view mirror and providing the gaming community with many talking points, you'd be forgiven for forgetting that Gamescom is next in line.


The event will take place from August 5th through 9th. While it may be at the back of your mind now, it will certainly be at the forefront soon – but what key talking points could help Gamescom shine as an event after such a strong showing at E3?

10 Games to Get Hyped For in 2015 Sun, 25 Jan 2015 11:17:54 -0500 Eric Nicolai


10. Dying Light 


This game, which is being developed by Techland, has been gaining a lot of attention. They recently announced that they were working with the creator of parkour to give more accurate movements to players and AI. Techland had also announced a while back that due to the detailed nature of the game, they had to cut development on last generation consoles, click here for details.


Release Date:  January 27, 2015


Platform:  Xbox One, PS4, PC


9. Mortal Kombat X 


This long-anticipated game is gaining steam as we find out more and more confirmed characters. It's hard to imagine the fighting genre without the Mortal Kombat series. Mortal Kombat has come a long way since the launch of the first game. It is based more on strategy and violence, rather than just straight violence. Ed Boon has done a great job revamping the series with the previous installment and I can't wait to see what he has in store for Mortal Kombat X.


Release Date:  April 14, 2015


Platforms:  Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, PC


8. Scalebound 


This title is being developed by Platinum Games. This is the same studio that brought us Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, and The Wonderful 101 on the Wii U. With such amazing games under the studio's belt and a concept as beautiful as this, Scalebound is sure to be an impressive launch. 


Release Date: 2015


Platforms:  Xbox One


7. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End 


This is Naughty Dog's fourth installment of the praised Uncharted series. This series has grown to be a staple in the PlayStation library. Drake looks marvelous in this installment. Uncharted 4 will be the first attempt on the current gen console and is sure to blow away expectations.


Release Date:  2015


Platform:  PlayStation 4


6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 


This game has had a lot of hype since its announcement. This game looks beautiful in every way. The Witcher 2 was not disappointing and exceeded any expectations I had for it. The depth of this RPG is doubtlessly going suck the players into the world.


Release Date:  May 19, 2015


Platforms:  Xbox One, PS4, PC


5. Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain 


This game looks amazing. We all had a chance to get a small preview of things to come by playing Metal Gear Solid V:  Ground Zero. Phantom Pain is going to be Hideo Kojima's biggest open-world game to date. I can't wait to see what Kojima can do with the current generation console capabilities. Gauging by Metal Gear Solid 4 graphics on the PS3, Phantom Pain will be nothing shy of gorgeous.


Release Date:  June 22, 2015 (speculated) 


Platforms:  PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4


4. The Legend of Zelda Wii U 


The hype about Zelda is gaining steam as we find out more about the game. The last time we saw a major gameplay update was at the Video Game Awards. We had a chance to see the open-world game mechanics put to work. This game alone makes the Wii U worth having.


Release Date:  TBD 2015


Platform:  Wii U


3. Halo 5: Guardians 


This is 343 Industries' second attempt at a Halo game. There have been recent controversies over the changes they have made in multiplayer. However, keep in mind this is a Halo game, and they have never been disappointing. This is truly the first next-gen Halo, and most of us are expecting it to be great.


Release Date:  Q3 2015


Platforms:  Xbox One


2. Evolve


This game is being developed by the creators that gave us Left 4 Dead. It boasts 4v1 matching. Four hunters must track down one player who plays as a variety of monsters. The most-seen monster at this point is the Goliath. For the most part, betas for the game have been open, allowing players to get a taste of the game.


Release Date: February 10, 2015


Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC


1. Bloodborne


This game is being directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, the man responsible for directing Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. Gauging by recent gameplay footage, Bloodborne will not be a disappointment. It looks as though Miyazaki is sticking with the difficult gameplay and fantastic multiplayer elements he's known for.


Release Date:  March 27, 2015 


Platform:  PS4

Hideki Kamiya Gives More Information on Xbox One Exclusive Scalebound Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:16:20 -0400 Jay Prodigious

The time to mount a dragon and take down monolithic beasts is nigh with this next-gen title by Platinum Games.

At E3 2014, Microsoft announced Scalebound as an exclusive title for the Xbox One, as well as a new partnership with Platinum Games. The reveal trailer showed off a beautiful landscape with dragons and a number of beasties that needed to be fended off by the human inhabitants. We saw collaboration between fiercesome dragons and a human counterpart, fighting off horrifying, hydra-like creatures. 

While no more information has been given about this title's specifics, Platinum Games' director Hideki Kamiya spoke in a recent interview about how the game was going to be different than anything they have done before:

The one thing that I will say is that up until this point in my career, and up until this point in Platinum Games’ history, we’ve never made a game like Scalebound.What I’m trying to do with Scalebound is create a very different kind of game than what I’ve created up until this point. We’re trying to create new gameplay, and that is a challenge for me personally.

A former Devil May Cry and Bayonetta developer, Kamiya is known for his difficult games, which require you to be stylish and well-prepared for the whatever the game has to throw at you. This time around, however, Kamiya says that this "is not the type of difficulty that [Scalebound is] going to demand from the players." He goes onto say:

“Easy or difficult can be defined in so many different ways. For example, if it was a very text or dialog heavy game, but yet you went to point where you felt puzzled. So in the past it was really intense, you know really high impact high pace sort of action games that require skills.

In that sense, it may not deliver the experience you’ve seen from our games, but at the same that doesn't mean that it will be easy.” 

In the same interview, Kamiya goes on to comment that Scalebound will have many different approaches to the battles or encounters, which make it a lot less linear than a title like Devil May Cry. You can read more of the interview with Kamiya here.

While no official release date has been set, this new information has given gamers a little bit more to go on til Platinum Games and Microsoft are ready to announce when we'll get to fly with the dragons.