Life By You devs spent “a month in purgatory” prior to closure, says laid-off designer, despite their sim-like exceeding Paradox’s expectations

Yesterday, we learned that Sims-like Life By You had been canceled, and its developers Paradox Tectonic had been shut down by parent company Paradox Interactive. Later the same day, game designer Willem Delventhal shared more a detailed account of his experience working on the game through to its cancellation, via LinkedIn.

Paradox delayed Life By You indefinitely on 21st May, having previously announced that it would launch on 4th June. According to Delventhal, however, it wasn’t till some weeks after that the developers were told that they were being laid off.

“Two weeks before launch we were told we wouldn’t be launching, and just now that we’ve all lost our jobs” Delventhal writes in the LinkedIn post, which has attracted messages of support from other former Paradox Tectonic staff. “We were only informed of this via a public announcement.”

The “public announcement” in question was yesterday’s post from Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester. “This is difficult and drastic news for our colleagues at Tectonic, who’ve worked hard on Life by You’s Early Access release,” said Wester. “Sadly, with cancellation of their sole project, we have to take the tough decision to close down the studio.”

Paradox, says Delventhal, never really communicated the reasons for suspending Life By You’s release. “Instead we spent a month in purgatory, and did everything we could to prove to them we were worth launching, including things like finding potential buyers or suggesting cutting ties and going indie. We heard virtually nothing back.”

Life By You has long had a reputation for being a difficult project, thanks to repeated delays, but Delventhal – who’s part of educational workshop The Indie Game Academy – says the team had been doing “extremely well” in recent months.

“I cannot share specific numbers, but I can say that we had an internal metric we were aiming for that had been approved, and that we exceeded that number by a significant portion,” he writes in the post. “We also got a thumbs up a few weeks before launch.”

Delventhal has his own speculations about why Life By You was cancelled, commenting that “as a business owner, some of them are understandable, but many of them are not”, but he doesn’t want to indulge in conjecture.

“We were a strong team on a strong project ready to launch to a strong audience,” he concludes. “Really I’d like to be much more fire and brimstone about it. I’m pretty pissed, not gonna lie. But I’m trying to stay kind and respectful. So instead I’ll say: this industry has become a place in which you can deliver more than expected, have AA money behind you, and still have the rug pulled two weeks before launch.”

Paradox Interactive reported record revenue last year, but a decrease in profits.

By admin

Related Post