The live service business model is a tough cookie to crack, but every major publisher is giving it a go. We’re already very familiar with some of these titles shutting down after just a few months of support, but SEGA has pulled the plug on Creative Assembly’s HYENAS before it could even make it to launch. The cancellation has been unceremoniously confirmed in the minutes of a board of directors meeting.
“In response to the lower profitability of the European region, we have reviewed the title portfolio of each development base in Europe and the resulting action will be to cancel HYENAS and some unannounced titles under development,” the document reads. “Accordingly, we will implement a write-down of work-in-progress for titles under development.”
HYENAS was being billed as a sci-fi first-person shooter, with zero-gravity combat and references to wider SEGA lore. For example, one of the game’s hero characters, Hiroki, wears a Sonic the Hedgehog suit decorated with various pin badges of characters from the classic platforming property. But it’ll be no more, as the title’s been cancelled before even being properly put in players’ hands.
Interestingly, we actually played the title a year or so ago, where we described it as “baffling in a good way”. All of this inevitably puts increased scrutiny on Sony’s live service push, where titles like Fairgame$ are looking to scratch a similar itch. We wonder how many more failed attempts it’ll take before publishers cool on trying to infiltrate this infamously crowded sector.