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Paradox shuts down Life By You studio following Sims-like’s sudden cancellation

Following the sudden cancellation of Paradox Interactive’s ambitious Sims-like Life by You, the company has confirmed it’s closing the internal studio behind the project, Paradox Tectonic.

Paradox Tectonic – the 24-person team overseen by former Sims boss and CEO of Second Life studio Linden Labs, Rod Humble – was unveiled with some fanfare back in 2019. It wasn’t last March, however, that its first game, Life By You, was officially revealed.

At the time, it seemed like a solid proposition, promising Sims-like gameplay and ambitious features including an “open game world where everything is customisable” and “real language conversation”. Unfortunately, the project quickly ran into trouble, missing its original September 2023 early access launch

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before getting hit with a succession of further delays.

Life By You announcement trailer.Watch on YouTube

And then, after announcing an indefinite delay for Life By You back in March, Paradox finally pulled the plug earlier this week, calling the project, a “clear failure… to meet both our own and the community’s expectations.” And with the project dead, the studio behind it has, perhaps inevitably, followed suit.

News of Paradox Tectonic’s closure was shared in a statement from Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester on the company’s website. “This is difficult and drastic news for our colleagues at Tectonic, who’ve worked hard on Life by You’s Early Access release,” Wester wrote. “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.”

Paradox’s decision does, unfortunately, mean another round of job losses in what’s been already devastating year for the games industry. Since the start of 2024, more than 10,000 workers have already lost their jobs across companies including Xbox, PlayStation, and Take-Two – that’s more layoffs than the industry faced throughout the whole of an already grim 2023.

As for Paradox, Life By You’s cancellation is just the latest in a string of high-profile disasters for the publisher – including the troubled development of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, the commercial failure of 2023’s The Lamplighters’ League (resulting in its split with developer Harebrained Schemes), and the catastrophically premature launch of Cities: Skylines 2 last October. Fan confidence in Paradox’s upcoming – and repeatedly delayed – Prison Architect 2 has also taken a hit following its decision to part ways with long-running series developer Double Eleven ahead of its release, suggesting its troubles might not yet be over.

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