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Hyenas devs imply cancellation was inevitable

Staff who worked on the cancelled shooter think Hyenas got a necessary, but nonetheless frustrating, end.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

October 11, 2023

2 Min Read
Screenshot of a character overlooking Earth in Creative Assembly's Hyenas.

Staff who worked on the recently scrapped Hyenas are opening up about the project's end and where they believe things went wrong during production. In a new video from YouTuber Volound, those team members described the failed multiplayer shooter as an avoidable mistake. 

Last week, Volound released a video digging into Creative Assembly's issues while making Hyenas, such as engine problems and a larger lack of direction. The comments provided for the new video further highlight the issues that left the staff feeling vulnerable at the hands of management, including incoming staff redundancies.

"I feel that because [Creative Assembly] had that corporate backing," said one developer, "it was very much a case of ignore the bad feedback and push towards polishing this metaphorical turd into what the publisher has invested in producing."

Creative Assembly's plans for the game were so big that one source revealed it purchased two buildings specifically meant to house current and future staff for its development. The project is believed to be Sega's most expensive title to date, one Sega hoped would deliver over $600 million in lifetime sales.

A second developer told Volound that Hyenas had "much money thrown at this project." To them, Sega figured it'd be better to cancel it mid-development rather than risk it bombing on or shortly after release. But by doing so, the developer noted Creative Assembly "is now fronting the bill" for Sega's decision. 

"I'm paralyzed with a mixture of upset and anger over what's happening to my friends there," said another developer. "I was...with these people for the best part of seven years, and now thanks to poor mismanagement from command level, they're now the ones to be summarily executed.

Volund's video also includes a look at the previously reported tone piece created by filmmaker Neil Blomkamp, which can be seen below. The Gran Turismo director was said to have visited Creative Assembly in 2019 and used a video that helped the Hyenas team settle on the game's general direction and core premise. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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