In another case study of why developers might be better off not announcing a game’s release date (even an Early Access release date) until they have something more solid in place, Paradox Tectonic has this morning confirmed that their upcoming life simulation game, Life By You, is having its early access postponed once more. With refunds now being processed by the Epic Games Store, the new EA release date has been set as 4 June 2024. This is the third early access release date set by the development team, originally planned for 12 September 2023, and later 5 March 2024.
So? Why the delay? In an extensive statement shared by the game’s development team, the decision is rooted in their “commitment to creating a fun game and an enjoyable player experience, right from the start”, with the extra three months to work on the following main things :
Official Q&A – Why are you taking the extra development time?
- Bugs! – First and foremost, we want to make your Early Access experience as bug-free as possible. Like Rod mentioned in a recent video, it’s hard to have fun if an issue is affecting your enjoyment of the game. We will be taking time to fix the bugs that will most impact your fun!
- Performance & Stability – We will continue to work on improving the game’s performance and stability so that the game runs smoothly on our recommended specs.
- Character Art – While we are happy with many of the improvements we’ve made, we know that the slow and steady progress hasn’t reached the quality bar we’ve set for ourselves quite yet. There are several areas we will continue to work on during this time:
- Character Idles and Facial animations
- Reduce clothing clipping
- Smoother animation transitions
- Building Assets – We’re making improvements to Build Mode constantly and, in addition to those improvements and UI changes, we will be adding more assets to improve building options.
- Gameplay Refinements – Your feedback has been instrumental in knowing what aspects of gameplay need refinement. If you’ve watched Rod’s recent videos, you’ll know that there are several elements that we would like to add to the game during Early Access and we want to get started on those in these months.
- Mod Tool Usability – After working with a group of modders, we understand that our mod tools could use some usability improvements. We’ll be hard at work to adjust the flow and feeling here during this time.
If you were an Early Access backer via the Epic, you should have already received an automated message about receiving a refund. After having two refunds for early access processed already, it seems like Paradox Tectonic are no longer going down the early access route. For those who pre-ordered for the pre-order content, including the Life Begins Pack and the Nightlife Vibes Pack, they intend on now making these available to everyone at the launch of Early Access. However, they state that those who pre-ordered through Epic should be on the lookout for an email, as they have worked with their partners to “make sure that your support does not go unnoticed”.
As for a third delay, the development team issued the below statement:
This second shift is a direct result of feedback from not only you all, who watch our videos, but also some creators who have had a chance to play through Life by You recently. Now that we direct hands-on feedback from a group of passionate life sim players, we know we have a few things to address before we can enter Early Access.
While we feel confident that another change will not happen, we also know that no one can guarantee that promise. Quality and your satisfaction is our top concern, and we hope to continue to make decisions that prioritize that. We currently have a very specific scoped list of improvements and we feel good about the timeframe we have to complete these improvements.