Spilt Milk Studios has canceled its upcoming sci-fi MMO Lazarus after deeming the project too much of a financial risk.
The game had been in open alpha for close to three years, but during that time never showed enough promise to make Spilt Milk believe the project would launch successfully.
Despite that, the small studio admitted the decision to cancel Lazarus was "one of the toughest decisions of our careers," but was ultimately made to protect the company's long-term future.
"Running a game has many elements -- things like server costs and software licenses, the cost of maintaining, running and updating the game as it grows with new features and content, and the licensing of all of the services we use to run things like player accounts and whatnot," explained Spilt Milk in a blog post.
"Put simply, if we were to launch Lazarus, the cost of maintaining and expanding the game as we marketed it to more players and worked on our monetization would put a dangerous financial strain on an independent games studio like ours. We love both Lazarus and the community that has grown around it, but we can’t take that risk."
Lazarus now becomes one of a growing number of SpatialOS titles to have been scrapped in recent months, following in the footsteps of multiplayer sandbox Worlds Adrift and battle royale shooter Mavericks: Proving Grounds.
The game will officially be shut down on Thursday, September 12. Spilt Milk plans to host a farewell stream with the Lazarus community to ensure the title gets the send-off it deserves.