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Paradox Interactive announced today that Life by You from their studio Paradox Tectonic is now fully cancelled, after previously being delayed. Tectonic is led by former Executive Vice President of EA Play and Head of The Sims label Rod Humble.

A once promising sounding take on The Sims, it seems it just wasn't going to be good enough and so rather than push out another failure, they're canning it completely.

From the press release:

"For a long time, we’ve held hopes for Life by You and the potential we saw in it, but it is now clear that the game will not be able to meet our expectations. A version that we’d be satisfied with is too far away, and therefore we are taking the difficult decision to cancel the release. Moving forward, we should perform at a much higher level, and it’s obvious that we have work ahead of us," said Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive.

"We’ve performed poorly in recent releases," continued Wester. "Even though we now start new projects in a different manner, it is clear that we must make further changes so that quality is more consistent and the promises we make to our players are met. We have to evaluate how we manage projects and how we organize, for we will and must get better. We have a very solid financial position and a strong core game portfolio, which keeps us confident about our future."


Pictured: Life By You, shots taken from the Steam page

An expanded announcement was posted on the official Paradox Forum from Mattias Lilja, Deputy CEO of Paradox Interactive, which for the most part was a slightly wordier version of the above, but ended on this note:

"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."

The press release notes that this will "negatively" impact their second quarter by "MSEK 208" (nearly 20 million USD).

Paradox aren't exactly doing too great lately, as Wester noted above. Looking at games they've published there's Millennia that released in March, which has a Mixed review score on Steam and the player counts dropped like a rock since release. Then there's Star Trek: Infinite, a fancy re-skin of Stellaris, which they abruptly stopped all updates for last year and now has a Very Negative recent review score. At least FOUNDRY that just released in May seems to be doing okay so far though.


Update 18/06/24 9:00 AM UTC - Paradox Interactive sent out a PR this morning to note that Paradox Tectonic are being shut down: "This is difficult and drastic news for our colleagues at Tectonic, who’ve worked hard on Life by You’s Early Access release. Sadly, with cancellation of their sole project we have to take the tough decision to close down the studio. We are deeply grateful for their hard work in trying to take Paradox into a new genre," says Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive.

Tectonic employed 24 people.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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maaaan i was looking forward to it.....
Botonoski Jun 17
My conspiratorial side has a slight inclination to believe that EA threw their weight around behind the scenes to prevent this release.
Linux_Rocks Jun 17
eldaking Jun 17
Wow, fuck. I personally wasn't super interested in it, but it was a cool ambitious idea that I wanted to succeed. It is the kind of simulation game with a huge scope that benefits a lot from a big studio, and yet we have so few examples (and The Sims suffers a lot from the EA bullshit). It was quite advanced already and I am surprised they decided it was just un-salvageable. Quite sad.

I understand the sunk cost fallacy, keeping working on a project that is not going well just because you put so much work into it is a bad idea. But on the other hand, when companies cancel games like this it isn't just "we won't finish", it usually means the entire thing is trashed. I'm sure there are cool things in it, maybe not enough for hundreds of thousands of people to pay $60 but it probably could bring enjoyment to some people, inspire some people, but nope it gets buried. Everyone that worked on this, and not only no one will ever play their game but they don't get to keep it, use it for their future projects, revisit it... A project of this size, involving this many people, should have something to show even if it isn't finished. I mean, good for not "releasing" a mediocre/bad game, but I wish this kind of cancellation came with something like (but not exactly) open-sourcing the game instead of throwing it in a black hole.

I'd guess they went too big in scope, with the whole "take control over anyone, everything is modable, everything is simulated" thing plus the AAA-grade 3d graphics that make it super expensive to do any new thing (no matter how minor) in a game where you want lots of variety. Trying to match AAA graphics these days is a huge proposition, and while I understand the "need" for it (because for a game of this size you need that kind of audience so you need to compete in that space) it still feels wasteful.
Kimyrielle Jun 17
That's the saddest gaming news I have seen in a while. I was SO looking forward to delete the last EA game from my SSD (Sims 4). I guess I will be stuck with them a bit longer.

Not sure what's going on with Paradox lately.
Lamdarer Jun 17
Unfortunately kinda expected, all material so far about the game was only mediocre at best, but I had hopes to be honest. The concept is known to work, ppl want such a game, even more so with tons of (actually good ) DLC and even more important (Good)Mod support. Paradox could have offered it. Kinda sad to see they canceled it, it cant be so difficult to make a okey-ish game like that, mod support and future development over 1-2 years could have made it a Sims killer(potentially). I would have bought it.

Really irritating that they killed it, but a delay at best was inevitable at this point.

Now I have even more fear that Europa Universalis V might fail miserably, EU4s legacy is just too great to easily beat within the next 5years.


Last edited by Lamdarer on 17 June 2024 at 9:21 pm UTC
eldaking Jun 17
Quoting: KimyrielleThat's the saddest gaming news I have seen in a while. I was SO looking forward to delete the last EA game from my SSD (Sims 4). I guess I will be stuck with them a bit longer.

Not sure what's going on with Paradox lately.

They had an IPO, bought a bunch of studios (and opened a few from scratch) with the investor money, and now are trapped in the cycle of "need to make more money every quarter to appease the stock market" regardless of whether is best in the long term or results in better games. Already went through one CEO (back to the old, pre-IPO one though).

Basically they tried to become a AAA, and succeeded in the worst way possible. They are going through all the problems of AAA publishers


Last edited by eldaking on 17 June 2024 at 9:29 pm UTC
Redje Jun 17
Quoting: LamdarerUnfortunately kinda expected, all material so far about the game was only mediocre at best, but I had hopes to be honest. The concept is known to work, ppl want such a game, even more so with tons of (actually good ) DLC and even more important (Good)Mod support. Paradox could have offered it. Kinda sad to see they canceled it, it cant be so difficult to make a okey-ish game like that, mod support and future development over 1-2 years could have made it a Sims killer(potentially). I would have bought it.

Really irritating that they killed it, but a delay at best was inevitable at this point.

Now I have even more fear that Europa Universalis V might fail miserably, EU4s legacy is just too great to easily beat within the next 5years.
Have you seen the tinto talks for project Caesar (eu5)? The community is very exited with what they have shown so far. I have 3k hours in eu4. And I like very much what i see for eu5.
fagnerln Jun 18
I believe that's a really hard game to make, there's no other relevant "the sims-like" game. It's sad that they cancelled, looks like it's a lot of hard work going to trash... I think that they should just trim the concepts of the game and release it cheaper, then with the feedback they improve in the sequel.
Pengling Jun 18
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This wasn't on my radar, but is unfortunate news nonetheless. This part was interesting and deserves to be highlighted, though;

Quote"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."
There are vanishingly few entertainment companies out there who understand that it's a privilege to have a job making stuff that people don't actually need. I must offer praise for this attitude, and I hope that they're able to continue making good on it.


Last edited by Pengling on 18 June 2024 at 2:12 am UTC
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