Promising-Looking Sims Competitor Canceled

Screenshot: Paradox Interactive
Screenshot: Paradox Interactive

Paradox Interactive, the company behind Cities: Skylines and Crusader Kings, announced that after numerous delays it has decided to cancel development of Life By You, its highly anticipated Sims-like game.

Originally announced in March 2023, Life By You looked like a promising new take on the life-management genre that is mostly dominated by EA’s long-running Sims franchise. While the first trailer for Life By You looked a lot like The Sims, Paradox Interactive promised that its spin on the genre would feature even more customization. Players would be able to not only change their clothing, appearance, and homes, but also to customize and control conversations and even career paths. Paradox Interactive also promised that Life By You would be highly moddable, too. However, players won’t get a chance to mod or play the life sim.

On June 17, Paradox Interactive announced that Life By You had officially been canceled. In a statement posted on Paradox’s official forums, the company’s deputy CEO Mattias Lilja confirmed the news.

“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,” said Lilja. The deputy CEO further explained:

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.

As mentioned in the post, on May 20, Life By You was delayed just two weeks before its planned early access launch. No new release date was given at the time. Now we know that, according to the deputy CEO, after delaying the release again and taking a “wider view of the game,” it became clear that the studio still had a long way to go.

“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,” said Lilja. “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.”

As for what Paradox will do differently in the future to avoid such last-minute delays and cancelations, Lilja was honest and transparent, saying there is no guarantee that this won’t happen again, but the studio will still try to avoid this outcome moving forward.

“Games are difficult to get right,” said Lilja. “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.”


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