Paradox Interactive Officially Closes Life By You Studio

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Paradox Interactive has made the tough decision to shut down Paradox Tectonic, the studio responsible for the now-canceled game, Life by You. After nearly five years of development, the game, which was seen as a potential contender to The Sims, will no longer see the light of day.

Life by You was first introduced to the public in March 2019, generating significant excitement as it promised to bring a fresh perspective to the life simulation genre. Initially slated for release in September 2023, the game’s launch faced multiple delays, with the final postponement leaving fans without a new release date. On June 17, Paradox Interactive confirmed the cancellation of Life by You, marking the end of a significant investment in both time and resources.

The decision to cancel the game also led to the closure of Paradox Tectonic, a California-based studio wholly owned by Paradox Interactive. Paradox Tectonic employed 24 people and was working on its debut project with Life by You. Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive, expressed his regret over the closure, stating, “This is difficult and drastic news for our colleagues at Tectonic, who’ve worked hard on Life by You’s Early Access release. Sadly, with the 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.”

Life by You aimed to revolutionize the life simulation genre by using real-world languages and simulating every second of characters’ lives, setting itself up as a formidable competitor to EA’s The Sims. The project was ambitious, led by Rod Humble, former EA EVP and head of The Sims until 2010. Despite the high hopes and extensive development efforts, reviews indicated that the game failed to meet expectations, prompting Paradox Interactive to halt its development after nearly five years.

The closure of Paradox Tectonic follows a series of setbacks for Paradox Interactive. Recently, the company had to issue refunds for the Cities: Skylines 2 DLC after facing a highly negative response from players. The failure of Life by You represents another significant blow, especially as it had the potential to rejuvenate Paradox Interactive’s portfolio and reputation.

Despite these challenges, Paradox Interactive remains committed to its future projects, although it continues to grapple with delays and development issues for other upcoming titles, including Prison Architect 2 and Bloodlines 2. The company is at a critical juncture, balancing the need to innovate with the practical realities of game development and market expectations.