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Paradox shutters Tectonic studio and cancels Life by You

The 24-person studio has been closed down in what Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester described as a 'difficult and drastic' move.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

June 18, 2024

2 Min Read
A screenshot from Life by You
Image via Paradox

Paradox Interactive has closed Paradox Tectonic following the cancellation of Life by You.

Life By You was scrapped after Paradox claimed the project would not be able to meet expectations. The Swedish publisher said writing down the life sim, which was slated to launch in early access on June 4 but was subsequently delayed, will cost SEK 208 million ($19.8 million).

"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," said Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive, in a press release.

"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 admitted Paradox is currently in something in a rut. "We've performed poorly in recent releases," seemingly referring to the troubled launch of Cities Skylines II. He claimed Paradox must make further changes to ensure it can consistently deliver quality titles that meet player expectations.

"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," he continued.

Some changes have been made instantly. Less than 24 hours after announcing the cancellation of Life by You, Paradox has confirmed it's shutting down developer Tectonic.

Paradox Tectonic was led by Rod Humble, an industry veteran known for shaping The Sims 2 and The Sims 3. Last year, we spoke to Humble about his vision for Life by You and how he hoped to blur the lines between the digital world and our own.

Now, Paradox has deemed both Life by You and the 24-person team at Tectonic surplus to requirements. "Paradox Interactive has decided to cease further operations in the wholly owned studio Paradox Tectonic (Tectonic) in Berkeley, California," reads a short press release. "The studio has since 2019 led the development of the game Life by You, whose release is canceled, and employs 24 people."

Wester said Tectonic's closure would represent "difficult and drastic news" for developers at the studio, but claimed Paradox had to shutter the studio following the cancellation of its sole project. "We are deeply grateful for their hard work in trying to take Paradox into a new genre," he added.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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