scalebound

Microsoft Cancels Xbox One Exclusive Scalebound

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After several years in development, upcoming action-dragon Xbox One title Scalebound has officially been canceled. Microsoft has released the following 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 3,” “State of Decay 2,” “Sea of Thieves” and other great experiences. For more information on our 2017 plans, please visit https://news.xbox.com/2017/01/05/xbox-closes-milestone-year-in-2016/.

According to Windows Central, the only explanation given for the sudden cancellation was “business decisions”. As of E3 2016 game development on Scalebound was still going strong. PlatinumGames released a new trailer that focused on multiplayer.

But social media and updates for the game quietly slowed down, and stopped completely last September.

Scalebound was to be a third-person action game starring a young man from our world who’s transported into a magical realm of dragons and monsters. The hero bonds with a dragon, and the pair would travel and battle together. The game was officially announced back at E3 2014, and was initially set to release at the end of 2016 before being delayed into 2017.

PlatinumGames is known for making over-the-top action games like Bayonetta and Transformers: Devastation. Their recent titles have not fared very well, however. Star Fox Zero received mixed at best reviews, with a 69% metacritic rating. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan hovers around a 50% metacritic rating, and has since been pulled from digital stores.

News of Scalebound’s cancellation is also bad news for Microsoft, who’s left with a dwindling supply of stalwart 2nd-party developers and a dearth of console exclusives for the Xbox One.

ultimate game sale rise of the tomb raider

Tomb Raider Writer Rhianna Pratchett Moving On From Series

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Tomb Raider developers Crystal Dynamics announced that new reboot writer Rhianna Pratchett will be moving on from the now two-game series.

“Rhianna was instrumental in helping us find Lara’s voice in the 2013 origin story,” writes Crystal Dynamics. “And through Rise of the Tomb Raider she shaped Lara into the evolving heroine we know today. The entire team thanks Rhianna for her dedication and tireless efforts on the games.”

Pratchett took to twitter to express her own heartfelt thanks with the amicable split.

The recently rebooted series have received very favorable reviews. One of gaming’s most famous characters was re-imagined as a more realistic and gritty action heroine rather than a blow-up doll with guns. The sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, continued the same superior writing and gameplay. It was released as an Xbox exclusive in 2015 before coming to PlayStation 4 and Windows PC in 2016.

For her work on Rise of the Tomb Raider, Pratchett won Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing from the Writer’s Guild of America Awards in 2016.

While her work on Tomb Raider has been her biggest yet, Pratchett has been quietly working as a writer in the video game industry for far longer than that. Her writing credits include Prince of Persia, Mirror’s Edge, and the Overlord series.

Tom Clancy's The Division

Steam Reveals Top 100 Best-Selling PC Games of 2016

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Directly following their large annual winter sale Valve has presented their top 100 highest grossing games of the year on Steam. The best-sellers are broken up into multiple tiers, from platinum to gold. Best-sellers include a list of the biggest releases of the year, such as XCOM 2, Civilization VI, and The Division, as well as older main-stays like Counter-Strike and Grand Theft Auto V.

The following 12 games make up the “Platinum” category, representing the highest grossing games of the year on Steam (presented here alphabetically).

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Dark Souls III
  • DOTA 2
  • Fallout 4
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Rocket League
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division
  • Total War: Warhammer
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • XCOM 2

Interesting to see No Man’s Sky up there, with its widespread criticisms and reports of mass refunds. Despite its incredibly rocky launch and controversy over content, the game sold remarkably well. Also funny to see both Dishonored and its new sequel in the Bronze category. A lot of folks waited until now to jump into the series.

DOTA 2, valve’s in-house MOBA, remains very popular as well. It’s also free to play, meaning enough people bought in-game loot to make DOTA 2 one of the highest grossing games of the year.

Valve doesn’t publish or make public any actual sales numbers. These best-seller lists are the best indicator we have of PC gaming on the world’s largest digital service.

The Steam Awards also wrapped up at the end of the winter sale. Users voted each day in a number of multiple choice categories. Here are the winners:

  • Villain Most In Need of a Hug: Portal 2
  • I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award: Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • Test of Time: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Just 5 More Minutes: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • “Whoooaaaaaa, dude!”: Grand Theft Auto V
  • Game Within A Game: Grand Theft Auto V
  • I’m Not Crying, There’s Something In My Eye: The Walking Dead
  • Best Use of a Farm Animal: Goat Simulator
  • Boom Boom: DOOM
  • Love/Hate Relationship: Dark Souls III
  • Sit Back and Relax: Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • Better With Friends: Left 4 Dead 2