A source close to the situation told Spong that the unannounced sequel has been the first major casualty of Sega's restructuring of its western operations, after which the publisher will focus on existing IP and digital sales.
While the source was unable to confirm whether Bayonetta 2 was in actual development or merely in pre-production, Spong was told that the game was to feature a new character, who was to be a member of the US military.
Platinum Games producer Atsushi Inaba, however, struck a rather more positive tone, tweeting the below image with the message: "We've heard all the rumours on the net. What do you guys think? Too bad it got cancelled, huh?"
A sequel to Platinum's wonderful debut – which our Bayonetta review described as "nearly flawless… about as good as it gets" – has been rumoured for some time. Last August Inaba denied rumours (started by Kamiya) that an announcement was imminent, saying Kamiya's jokes sometimes "push the limit." Either way, Bayonetta will appear on consoles this year, as a playable character in Platinum's multiplayer brawler Anarchy Reigns, which is due in July.
Sega announced its restructing drive early last month, warning of layoffs across its US and European divisions and the cancellation of several projects. The publisher said it was to focus on established IPs, naming Sonic The Hedgehog, Total War, Football Manager and Aliens.
Those games aside, its upcoming publishing slate includes the aforementioned Anarchy Reigns, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz for Vita, and Toshihiro Nagoshi's Yakuza 5. The focus on digital sales should safeguard the likes of Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, the free-to-play Phantasy Star Online 2, and the upcoming HD remake of Dreamcast classic Jet Set Radio.