In case you missed the recent news, SEGA has cancelled Hyenas, its online multiplayer shooter that was in development at Creative Assembly. This was a surprising move, given the game had been in the works for a long time, and was very close to completion. It's also reported that layoffs will occur at the studio. Now, new details are beginning to emerge about the situation — including that the game was the publisher's most expensive it's ever produced.
A video from YouTuber Volound, who follows the Total War series, contains anonymous accounts from developers about the project. Their claims are corroborated by VGC's sources. Apparently, the game suffered from a laundry list of issues, as one source writes: "So what went wrong? Total lack of direction, many of the leadership asleep at the wheel but they never seem to lose their jobs. An engine change, part way through the process. Attempting to break into a saturated market, and not committing to do anything adventurous with the game."
Other revelations are outlined in the video and VGC's report, including that film director Neill Blomkamp helped with the game's lore and story, and that it had transitioned to a free-to-play model shortly before cancellation. It was previously intended to be a premium game.
Former developers claim Hyenas had SEGA's biggest ever budget for a game, and was one of the publisher's so-called "super games".
There are some more details to pore over on VGC, but the gist is that Hyenas was an extremely challenging project that struggled to find a direction. Its concept, a team-based shooter about stealing from the mega-rich, failed to really capture anyone's imagination, even if the game itself showed promise in our hands-on time. Unfortunately, it won't materialise now, despite the apparently large sums of money thrown at it.