Home Canceled Life By You Dev hits out at decision publicly, despite being threatened with legal action

Canceled Life By You Dev hits out at decision publicly, despite being threatened with legal action

Yesterday we were one of the first spots on the internet to bring you the news that Paradox Interactive had canceled the highly-anticipated life sim Life By You after pulling it from going into Early Access at the last minute.

It was a bit of a shock announcement considering it was one of the games many people were looking into in 2024 and you can read the Paradox statement and reasons for the shelving to catch up should you need to.

Losing your job is never easy and there is always there part where you want to hit out at your former employers, but in a heartfelt post on LinkedIn, one of the Life By You devs has spoken out about the goings on in the last few weeks and it raises yet more questions about the decision.

It is important to note that William Delventhal says he was warned against speaking out as it may hurt his future career or even that legal action could be taken against him – he does not say who made these suggestions but is clear he has chosen to ignore them.

Delvanthal posted, “I’ve known for some time that we might be getting shut down. We were actively working on a hyper-moddable life sim called Life By You. An indie answer to the aging IP is the Sims but instead focuses heavily on UGC.

And as far as it goes, we were doing *extremely well.*

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. We also got a thumbs-up a few weeks before launch.”

Launch delayed

“Then two weeks before launch, we were told we wouldn’t be launching. And just now that we’ve all lost our jobs. We were only informed of this via a public announcement.”

This would all seem to tie in with yesterday’s sudden announcement from Paradox Interactive who have also not been flavor of the month with many gamers of late.

He continued, “We were not told why. 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.”

To be honest, I have guesses about what happened. And while I can’t conjecture, I’m sure you have guesses too. As a business owner, some of them are understandable, but many of them are not. We were a strong team on a strong project ready to launch to a strong audience.

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.”

So that would appear to indeed be that for Life By You and we might never know how close it was to be the Sims competitor we hoped it would be. What we do know though is that the gaming industry remains a tough gig, unless you are one of those earning the big bucks at the top of the food chain.

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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