Paradox Interactive cancels the release of Life by You which impacts the second quarter with MSEK 208 in a write-down

On June 17, 2024, Paradox Interactive announced the cancellation of the release of the game Life by You and the cessation of further operations at its wholly-owned studio, Paradox Tectonic, in Berkeley, California. The studio had been leading the development of the game since 2019. This decision will have a negative impact of MSEK 208 on the second quarter of 2024 due to the write-down of the game’s capitalized development costs.

Paradox Life by You

Difficult News

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 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,” said Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive.

Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive, also stated: “For a long time, we’ve held hopes for Life by You and the potential we saw in it, but it is now clear that the game will not be able to meet our expectations. A version that we’d be satisfied with is too far away, and therefore we are taking the difficult decision to cancel the release. Moving forward, we should perform at a much higher level, and it’s obvious that we have work ahead of us.

Wester continued, highlighting recent difficulties: “We’ve performed poorly in recent releases. Even though we now start new projects in a different manner, it is clear that we must make further changes so that quality is more consistent and the promises we make to our players are met. We have to evaluate how we manage projects and how we organize, for we will and must get better. We have a very solid financial position and a strong core game portfolio, which keeps us confident about our future.”

Paradox Fredrik Wester

About Paradox Interactive

Paradox Interactive is one of the premier developers and publishers of strategy and management games for PC and consoles. The players are located all over the world, but some of the biggest markets are North America, Western Europe, and Asia. The game portfolio consists of popular franchises such as Stellaris, Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, Crusader Kings, Cities: Skylines, Prison Architect, the Surviving games, Age of Wonders, and Victoria. Paradox Interactive also owns the World of Darkness brand catalog. In total, Paradox games have over six million players each month.

Paradox Interactive

Details on Life by You

Life by You was announced on March 20th 2023 as a new Life Simulator and the first real competitor to The Sims. The news generated great excitement among life simulation fans. Life by You promised a series of innovations that would distinguish it from the famous The Sims 4, released eight years ago.

The game would have allowed for highly detailed character creation, including the ability to choose the character’s numerical age, assign multiple traits and backgrounds to better control the character’s personality, and define them as “nonbinary” for both gender and attraction. It would have offered the possibility to choose the character’s home, style of furniture, job, and even assign a car.

Life by You would have been completely open world, eliminating long loading screens and allowing players to travel around the city with various means of transportation, including cars, bicycles, and skateboards. Lots could have been placed anywhere, without the limitations present in The Sims 4.

Characters would have communicated with each other in the player’s selected language, with the possibility to create custom conversations. Additionally, players would have had control over all the game’s family units, switching from one to another at any time.

Paradox had promised that Life by You would be completely moddable, thanks to various Creator Tools made available to players, encouraging the use of mods to promote freedom and imagination.

Paradox Life by You

The Impact of the Cancellation

The cancellation of Life by You represents a significant disappointment for fans eagerly awaiting this new life simulator. Despite the promises and innovative features, Paradox determined that the project would not meet expectations, deciding to focus future efforts on projects that can ensure consistent quality and keep the promises made to players. Paradox Interactive’s solid financial position and strong core game portfolio still provide a basis for confidence in the company’s future.

I'm an Italian artist who came late to the gaming world but fell in love with it right away. I'm not the best gamer, and I choose titles that appeal to my personal preferences, but I can appreciate the graphics content and artistic solutions above all, even as I learn about all the fascinating game development features.