Life by You dev says the team "spent a month in purgatory" trying to prove that The Sims competitor was "worth launching"

Life by You
(Image credit: Paradox)

One of the laid-off developers who worked on the now-canceled The Sims competitor Life by You has described the situation as a "real shit show" and claims the team "spent a month in purgatory" trying to prove that the game was worth launching. 

This comes from a LinkedIn post from game designer Willem Delventhal, who confirmed yesterday that he's been affected by the layoffs at Paradox Tectonic, which has been shut down. Delventhal says he'd "known for some time that we might be getting shut down," but "we were doing extremely well" on the game. 

"I cannot share specific numbers, but I can say that we had an internal metric we were aiming for that had been approved and that we exceeded that number by a significant portion," he explains. "We also got a thumbs up a few weeks before launch.

"Then, two weeks before launch, we were told we wouldn't be launching," he continues. "And just now that we've all lost our jobs. We were only informed of this via a public announcement."

Furthermore, he adds, the devs "we were not told why." He claims: "Instead, we spent a month in purgatory and did everything we could to prove to them we were worth launching, including things like finding potential buyers or suggesting cutting ties and going indie. We heard virtually nothing back."

Delventhal says he's "chosen to ignore" the warnings against speaking out about the experience, and is "pretty pissed, not gonna lie." Despite this, he says: "But I'm trying to stay kind and respectful. So instead I'll say: this industry has become a place in which you can deliver more than expected, have AA money behind you, and still have the rug pulled two weeks before launch."

Life by You's cancellation was announced earlier this week, a month after being hit with an indefinite delay. In the announcement, Paradox Interactive's deputy CEO, Mattias Lilja, said it'd been 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 was hit with several delays since its initial reveal last year, before it was eventually canceled. 

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.