Scalebound has been canceled, but it’s just one of a few Xbox One exclusives that failed to reach completion or excite gamers since the system’s launch. From Project Spark to Halo, here are five Microsoft-exclusive partnerships that didn’t work out.
1) Project Spark: Project Spark was first revealed during E3 2013, and even then it failed to excite gamers and press. Microsoft tried to woo the Rare faithful by highlighting Conker DLC, but it was probably the last thing we wanted to see from such an iconic character. Between its complex execution and microtransactions, Project Spark quickly became too much trouble for anyone to actually care about.
This game was live by the end of 2014, but support for the platform ceased in May of last year. Does anyone miss it?
2) Halo: The Master Chief Collection: In contrast to Project Spark, Halo: The Master Chief Collection had quite a bit of hype behind it when it was first revealed at E3 2014. Maybe that ended up being its biggest downfall. It’s hard not to get excited about four full Halo campaigns and all of their multiplayer maps on a single disc.
The game sold fairly well given those prospects, but its momentous launch was severely crippled by server outages, matchmaking problems and generally broken online features. As a way to celebrate Microsoft’s most beloved multiplayer shooter, The Master Chief Collection was a massive failure. One of our editors called the ordeal one of his lowest points as a gamer.
3) Sunset Overdrive: Sunset Overdrive was favored critically, but that doesn’t mean lots of people played it. The Insomniac-developed title had a unique sense of style and movement, cool weapons and plenty to do, but this Xbox One exclusive was unarguably a sales bomb. After three weeks the title had only sold 210,000 copies. Over half of those transactions took place at U.S. retailers.
Sort of like Watch Dogs 2, Titanfall 2 and Dishonored 2 this year, Sunset Overdrive simply didn’t resonate. Maybe it was a flawed concept, or maybe it was a victim of the Xbox One’s rocky launch. Either way, Sunset Overdrive is almost always on sale at absurdly low prices for a reason.
4) Fable Legends: Fable Legends also made its debut around the time of the Xbox One reveal, and its development process seemed to be going smoothly. Its free-to-play multiplayer ambitions didn’t really resemble what we expected from Fable as a franchise, but that’s OK. Players had experienced closed betas, and updates were still being made as of Jan. 2015.
However, just two months later, Microsoft made the formal announcement that Fable Legends had been canceled and its development studio at Lionhead closed. Not much is known as to why the change of heart occurred, but its end result certainly resembles Scalebound.
5) Quantum Break: The case of Quantum Break most closely mirrors the failures of Sunset Overdrive. Marketed during the Xbox One reveal period, this Remedy Entertainment epic was very much entwined with the console’s early TV-focused vision. Alongside gameplay, the experience features scripted TV episodes with top-tier Hollywood talent. The plot changes based on how you play.
Gamers were either put off by this strange presentation or bored with the game’s somewhat ordinary mechanics. Quantum Break sold fewer than 200,000 copies in the U.S. two months after its release.
With Scalebound out of the picture, the exclusive catalog for Xbox One in 2017 now includes Crackdown 3, Sea Of Thieves and Halo Wars 2. Will this trio of games fail as much as their predecessors? Tell us in the comments section!