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Life by You has been cancelled by Paradox, just weeks after it was described as being "ready for early access"

The hotly-anticipated Sims competitor was "unable to meet expectations" after three delays.

Life by You screenshot of multiple people stood by a road near a beach at sunset.
Image credit: Paradox Interactive

Life sim fans are feeling decidedly less full-of-life than usual after Paradox suddenly announced the cancellation of Life by You. The highly anticipated Sims rival was announced last year with much fanfare, with the newly-formed studio Paradox Tectonic working on the game under the leadership of Rod Humble, formerly of EA and producer of The Sims 2 and The Sims 3.

Games get cancelled all the time, of course, but Life by You was described by its developers as "ready for early access" back at the end of April - a confident assertion that was quickly negated by the announcement of its indefinite delay less than a month later. It had been planned for a June 4 launch, although this was the third early access release date that had been named and then retracted.

Now, a blog post on parent company and publisher Paradox Interactive's website confirms that the game has been canned altogether. "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," Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester wrote. "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 goes on to acknowledge that the company has "performed poorly in recent releases", likely alluding (among other things) to the troubled launch of Cities: Skylines 2 back in October of last year, which is still struggling to overcome its mixed player reception even after more than six months of tweaks and improvements.

In this light, perhaps Life by You's cancellation shouldn't come as such a surprise - it was always hoping to be The Sims to Cities: Skylines' SimCity, but was shaping up to be the Sims 4 to Skylines 2's SimCity 2013. Not the best precedent to follow, perhaps, although it still feels odd for a game that had been as visible as Life by You was since its announcement to be cancelled completely, particularly when it had seemingly come very close to launching at several points.

This news leaves the future of LbY's development studio Paradox Tectonic uncertain, and given Wester's implication that other troubled Paradox titles could be on the chopping block, has left fans wondering about the fate of their other upcoming games, such as the many-times-delayed Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2.

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