There comes a time when you just run out of hair to transform into a giant angel-devouring demon wolf. It is a time when terrible puns, groan-inducing innuendo, and wanton pandering can’t sustain themselves with raucous action and insane brawling. This is that dark time: Bayonetta 2 has been cancelled.
At least, that’s the rumor. Rumor-mongers extraordinaire SPOnG ran a story on Monday that said sources familiar with the matter said that while Platinum Games was at work on a follow up to its Sega-published action fantasia Bayonetta, the game has since been cancelled. Details on what the new entry would have been like are nil beyond the fact that a new character, a member of the United States military, would have figured prominently in the game.
Why is it worth noting that this rumor has appeared now? While Platinum Games created Bayonetta that game was part of a 2008 deal struck with Sega that would see the publisher distribute four games made by the company, but retain ownership of new intellectual property. Those games turned out to be Infinite Space for the Nintendo DS, Mad World for Wii, Vanquish for PS3 and Xbox 360, and Bayonetta. That deal was actually extended in 2010 to include a fifth game, Anarchy Reigns, a multiplayer brawler that will actually include Bayonetta as a playable character. Anarchy Reigns is expected out this summer.
Given the duration and renewal of the partnership between the two companies, not to mention the fact that Bayonetta was both critically and commercially successful with more than 1.3 million copies sold, it would seem that a sequel was a likely project for both Platinum and Sega. That was before Sega reported catastrophic earnings in March though. After reporting that it experienced an “extraordinary loss” for the year, Sega announced that it was completely restructuring its European and American businesses to make the company into a smaller, more manageable operation.
Sega also said that as a result a number of projects would be cancelled. Some franchises were specifically mentioned as protected, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Aliens, Total War, and Football Manager. Platinum’s games and those Sega-owned properties were conspicuously left out.
If Bayonetta 2 has indeed been cancelled, it’s hard to blame Sega for not wanting to take the risk. Games of Bayonetta’s scale and complexity are expensive and time consuming to make. What is tragic though is that Sega owns the character and series leaving Platinum trapped, unable to seek out another publisher to pick up the title. Frustrating to say the least.
Digital Trends has reached out to Platinum Games for comment. As of this writing, the studio has not responded.