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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.

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finaldest Jun 18
Its sad to see another PDX game get cancelled.

I guess PDX are in financial trouble because there is no way they would just throw away what is potentially an extremely profitable game for no reason. Unless they have had a dispute with EA behind the scenes.

I worry for the future of CS2 after its disastrous launch as well as the upcoming PA2 release. I fear dark times are ahead for PDX.
Nezchan Jun 18
"Even we can't match the ridiculous amount of DLC that The Sims has"
pilk Jun 18
I think I heard about this at some point or another, but that's a shame. There's a lot of simulation games over the years where one franchise took over the theme. If you want to build rollercoasters, Rollercoaster Tycoon. Build a city? SimCity. Zoo? Zoo Tycoon. And then, when the new games became scarce or awful, a smaller company takes a shot at it, and does it way better. Such as Planet Coaster, Cities Skylines and Planet Zoo.

I don't think The Sims has gotten to the point where the new games are so awful quite yet, in my opinion, the Sims 4 is a fun game, now, it's no Sims 2, but I still enjoy it from time to time. It at least still supports mods from what I understand, which is important for screwing around. However, it'd be cool to see a Sims-type game that wasn't constrained by the grip of Electronic Arts and their nonsense.
Scytale Jun 18
Really sad as I hoped for a similar success and well done loveletter to the Sims similar City Skylines did to Sim City.

But on the other hand, the developer of Tiny Life will be kind of happy to be the only sims style game and not being a gap filler until Life by you would come out.
Well, the first step is admitting you have a problem. I find it kind of refreshing that they're coming out and saying they screwed up and they need to figure out what's wrong because it's serious.
Liam Dawe Jun 18
Article updated, Paradox Tectonic is being shut down.
ssj17vegeta Jun 18
Another sad example about how going public never bodes well for companies and their products.
Quoting: Liam DaweArticle updated, Paradox Tectonic is being shut down.
Kimyrielle Jun 18
Apparently, letting them work on another game wasn't an option... Shame about all that talent lost, just because someone in the upper echelons took on a project they weren't ready for.
Liam Dawe Jun 18
Seems like another reminder that just because someone previously worked for a big name (EA), on a big game (The Sims) doesn't mean they can deal with a new team very well. People put far too much faith in names over actual true ability to run something.

Last edited by Liam Dawe on 18 June 2024 at 4:25 pm UTC
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