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How It Feels to Build a Videogame and Watch It Die


characters running on a rooftop in a scene from Ubisoft's Hyper Scape videogame

Ubisoft shut down Hyper Scape's servers 18 months after the product's launch.

Credit: Ubisoft

How do developers feel about working for years on videogames that fail and vanish for reasons beyond their control?

A developer who worked on Hyper Scape, which Ubisoft shut down last month, said they "try not to get too attached to anything in game development, as its nature is fleeting and things often get cut or reworked. That being said, this was the first game I was on where a lot of my work remained intact, and it does suck that none of it will survive."

Game writer Mikko Rautalahti, whose credits include Alan Wake, Quantum Break, and numerous dead or canceled titles, said that the death of an online game is unique. "Once those servers go down, what's left is just a bunch of random YouTube videos where you can catch glimpses of the work we did. It feels like a shame to just let it slip past our fingers," Rautalahti said.

That doesn't mean these games aren't worth making. "I don't consider that work to have been wasted," said Chris Morris, who worked on Lawbreakers. "It was a valuable experience and a fun project. It would have been great if things had gone differently and the game found an audience. I do wish it was still available to play today in some form."

From Wired
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