Scalebound, Hideki Kamiya’s current passion project, seems to have had a much longer, bumpier development history than any of us realised. Considering he’d directed Bayonetta, and then immediately moved onto The Wonderful 101 only to announce that not long after that game’s release, you’d be forgiven for thinking Scalebound only started production around that time.
But as revealed in an interview with Gamespot, the game has actually undergone pretty dramatic changes since its inception. Kamiya first came up with the first draft of the game back when Platinum first formed in 2006. It was originally a Wii game starring a young girl who would give orders to dinosaurs via the Wiimote. The project was temporarily put on hold while Bayonetta was in development, then it was revived again as soon as that game was released. Apparently, as soon as Kamiya returned to the project, he changed the dinosaurs to dragons, but still kept the same basic concept. As things went on and a prototype was developed, Kamiya realised that he wanted the player character to be more participatory in fights, rather than just giving orders and watching them happen, and so they tooled with the idea of making the character a swordsman, or someone older. The game was again shelved in order to develop The Wonderful 101.
In its current incarnation, starring hotheaded, aggressive teenager Drew, Kamiya says that he wanted the game to have an adventurous world to explore, which is why dinosaurs were replaced by more active dragons, and the protagonist was shifted to someone who was far more engaged in each fight, rather than being a passive part of things.
It’s great that Kamiya seems to finally be able to finish a game he’s been thinking about for almost a decade at this point, but it’s almost a shame that the original idea seems to have been shelved. While Scalebound‘s more action-heavy gameplay definitely fits more in line with Platinum’s strengths as a developer, the prototype they’d developed sounds really rather interesting. It’s also a little odd that a female protagonist wasn’t kept at all, given how Kamiya’s first game at Platinum starred an incredibly active, strong female protagonist.
Scalebound is set to release on Xbox One in 2016. Any thoughts on the game’s development history? Happier with the current plan, or would you have rather seen the original idea come to life? Let us know in the comments!