UK developer Creative Assembly, after a brief dalliance with first-person projects on PlayStation like 2014's Alien: Isolation and the recently cancelled Hyenas, will shift focus back to strategy games and PC. It's likely the last console players will see of the Horsham-based company, at least for the foreseeable future.
That's according to SEGA, CA's owner. In a presentation to investors (thanks, Eurogamer), SEGA boss Haruki Satomi admitted that the "favourable winds of the early Covid-19 period...led us to adopt a strategy of accelerating more, even in areas where those studios have not tried yet for further growth. However, some studios did well, and some did not, so we have decided to focus again on the strength of each studio."
For Creative Assembly, that means Total War, its long-running (and excellent) series of grand strategy games on PC, the steady success of which reputedly makes it one of SEGA's most consistent money-makers. Hyenas was reportedly SEGA's biggest budget game ever, and Creative Assembly was potentially its largest studio, employing north of 850 people. That didn't stop the house of Sonic from striking the studio with layoffs after Hyenas' cancellation, and we can't imagine CA will soon roll the dice on another console punt.
So what happened? Satomi doesn't mince words: "To put it simply, Creative Assembly was good at offline games in the RTS genre, but they took on the challenge of developing Hyenas, an online game in the FPS genre. However, although the game itself was good, we decided to cancel the development of Hyenas because we did not think it would reach a quality that would satisfy our users when we considered whether we could really operate this as a competitive online game for a long period of time."