One month after Paradox Interactive’s life sim Life By You was indefinitely delayed, the final nail has entered the coffin. Life By You has been officially canceled by the publisher.

[Update 6/21/24: The internal developer, Paradox Tectonic, has also been shut down].

The full statement by Deputy CEO Mattias Lilja was posted to the official Paradox forums. We’ve included snippets below:

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.

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. 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.

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.

Games are difficult to get right, 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.

On the one hand it’s refreshing for a studio to release an honest and transparent statement. On the other, it’s a huge bummer for any game to get canceled, let alone one that was deep into development and closing in on an Early Access launch.

Life By You was an ambitious life sim competing with The Sims. The list of features included driving and vehicles, day/night cycle, full mod support, and real-world languages.

Hopefully new indie studio Midsummer Studios doesn’t fall into the same trap for their upcoming life sim. Gameloft, the developers of Disney Dreamlight Valley, are also working on a life sim inspired by Dungeons & Dragons.

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Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.