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Paradox Interactive Cancelled its Long-Delayed Sims Competitor Life by You

Paradox Interactive has confirmed its cancellation of Life by You, the Sims-like simulation game that has been delayed multiple times.

It was originally scheduled for launch on 12 September 2023 but was delayed to 5 March 2024, and then to 4 June 2024. Shortly before that last date, the publisher announced yet another delay – this time indefinite. Now the project is cancelled altogether. It would have been available for PC on Steam and Epic Games Store.

Mattias Lilja, deputy CEO of Paradox Interactive, said in a press release:

“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.”

Lilja refrained from pinpointing the exact issues that prompted the cancellation of Life by You, merely stating it was an error to allow the game to progress so far before deciding to cancel it. “Games are difficult to get right,” Lilja mentioned, “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.”

Life by You was being developed by Paradox Tectonic, an in-house studio, under the leadership of Rod Humble, a veteran from The Sims team. In a field traditionally dominated by one major franchise, it aimed to offer a compelling alternative to The Sims, with a promise of more openness and customization.

With Life by You no longer in the picture, the life simulation genre has thinned slightly, but alternatives like Paralives, inZOI, Project Rene, and an unnamed simulator by Midsummer Studios are still in development, indicating the genre’s continued expansion and diversity.

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