Bayonetta 3 could’ve been semi-open world, and other causes for the long development cycle revealed

A tumultuous development process to an even rockier release.

Image via Nintendo

Although the newly released third installment of the widely popular Bayonetta franchise has largely been praised, the lead up to its launch has not been without its fair share of issues.

From original voice actress Hellena Taylor’s initial claims regarding pay disputes, to the in-game controversy regarding this entry’s ending, this particular title has been a rollercoaster of drama and divisiveness.

Related: Bayonetta 3 conjures quality action, but its eponymous character gets cursed in the process – Review

However, the narrative regarding Nintendo’s long-running series doesn’t stop there because according to a recent blog post by Imran Khan, the near 5-year development cycle for Bayonetta 3 was not only caused by the pandemic or the departure of the game’s initial director, but also because of the scrapped, semi-open world concept which this entry was initially supposed to be.

Based on the aforementioned post, Bayonetta 3 was “scoped as a semi-open world game” at one point during its development process. Khan further notes that, “the idea was that a large hub world would send the titular character (or whoever else) to different worlds which would also be fairly open.”

Originally, the in-game world’s design would have been based on titles such as Astral Chain but, unfortunately, the story kept falling apart due to pacing issues which eventually forced Nintendo to scale back its production. Not only that, but the game also apparently had problems running on its native console, the Nintendo Switch. 

Even though PlatinumGames and Nintendo have set aside this idea for the time being, they may eventually use it again for a different project in the future. A particular action-adventure title that seems likely to receive the open world treatment is the cancelled Scalebound. Director Hideki Kamiya has said that he is eager to bring back this multiplayer game during his interview wherein he thanked Nintendo for the opportunity to make Bayonetta 3.