Friday, July 12, 2024

Life By You cancelled by Paradox Interactive

Paradox Tectonic’s Life By You – billed as a life simulator to rival The Sims – is cancelled.

Following various delays and push backs, the games was due to go into Early Access this month, only for that to be postponed as the game required more work. It now seems that the game required more work than expected and was not hitting the standards expected so Paradox Interactive has taken the nuclear option of cancelling the long awaited project all together.

Life By You was first announced back in March 2023, and even back then, the team working on the game was open about how ambitious they were when it came to the life sim. Not only would you be able to pick who you wanted to be, but you’d be able to swap between whole households at the click of a button and really make your world thrive. The possibilities of personal expression seemed endless.

Since the announcement, Paradox Tectonic set an original release date for Early Access being September 12, 2023. That date was then moved to March 5, 2024 and then June 2024, only for another postponement to be announced.

Bringing the rollercoaster to a sad close, the Deputy CEO, Mattias Lilja, posted this statement on the Paradox Forum:

Hi all,
Sadly, we’ve decided to cancel the release of our long-awaited life sim Life by You. This was an incredibly difficult call to make and is a clear failure on Paradox’s part to meet both our own and the community’s expectations. We realize this raises some large questions; here we hope to shed at least some light on why we opted to cancel, rather than delay as we communicated earlier.

Life by You has been in the works for a long time and we’ve been very excited about the promise and the potential of this game. Our hope was always that it would be able to leave a mark in this exciting and new genre for us. That’s why we’ve opted to delay it twice, to give the studio and the game a fair shot at realizing the potential we saw. For each delay we made, we’ve seen incremental improvements, which in hindsight may well have led us to focus on details rather than the whole picture.

A few weeks back, we decided to hold off on an Early Access release in order to re-evaluate Life by You, as we still felt that the game was lacking in some key areas. Though a time extension was an option, once we took that pause to get a wider view of the game, it became clear to us that the road leading to a release that we felt confident about was far too long and uncertain. This is not to say the game has not shown any promising qualities; Life by You had a number of strengths and the hard work of a dedicated team that went into realizing them. However, when we come to a point where we believe that more time will not get us close enough to a version we would be satisfied with, then we believe it is better to stop. This is obviously tough and disappointing for everyone who poured their time and enthusiasm into this project, especially when our decision comes so late in the process.

At the end of the day, our job is to release games that are fun, interesting, and challenging for our players, and our every decision should be taken with that purpose in mind. When we get that right, we earn our pay. So, how do we ensure we don’t find ourselves here again? Honestly, there are no real guarantees. Games are difficult to get right, and we’ll definitely make mistakes, which, as these things go, always become painfully apparent in hindsight, but still shouldn’t reach this kind of magnitude regardless. We have to take a long and hard look at what led us here and see what changes we have to make to become better. In the end, our mission remains the same, and we’ll continue to take whatever steps we need to do just that.

Mattias Lilja, Deputy CEO of Paradox Interactive 

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