Sega Cancels Biggest Budget Game in Company History
Last week, Sega announced the abrupt cancellation of its highly anticipated multiplayer shooter, Hyenas. The game, which had been in development for some time, was rumored to be the company’s biggest budgeted game ever. However, issues during development and a lack of direction ultimately led to its cancellation.
Behind-the-Scenes Development Issues
According to a recent report by Total War YouTuber Volound, the development of Hyenas was plagued by a total lack of direction and poor leadership. One anonymous developer from Creative Assembly, the studio behind the game, expressed frustration with the management, stating, “Many of the leadership were asleep at the wheel but never seem to lose their jobs.” Additionally, an engine change in the middle of development and a failure to innovate in a saturated market were cited as contributing factors to the game’s downfall.
Hyenas: Sega’s “Super Game”
Sega had high hopes for Hyenas, considering it one of their premium “Super Games” for 2021. While the exact budget for the game remains unknown, it is rumored to have exceeded the $70 million budget of Sega’s 1999 game, Shenmue. This significant investment highlights Sega’s commitment to creating blockbuster titles and competing in the highly competitive gaming industry.
Creative Assembly’s Ambitious Plans
Creative Assembly, known for their work on Alien Isolation and the Total War franchise, set out to create a console game with broader commercial potential. The team aimed to capture the success of popular titles like Destiny, Escape from Tarkov, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Hyenas was planned as a PvPvE (player vs. player vs. environment) first-person shooter, where players would engage in intense battles against AI enemies and other real players while attempting to break into vaults scattered across the game’s map.
An anonymous developer revealed that Hyenas was initially envisioned as a “lovable rogues” game set in a dystopian world controlled by the elite. Players would take on the role of survivors, channeling the spirit of Han Solo and the sci-fi series Firefly, combating the rich and stealing to survive in a gritty, NASA-inspired setting. The game’s unique concept and blend of genres promised an exciting and immersive experience for players.
Sega’s decision to cancel Hyenas has undoubtedly disappointed fans, especially considering the significant investment and high expectations surrounding the game. Whether Creative Assembly will revisit the project in the future or focus their efforts on other titles remains uncertain. However, this incident highlights the challenges and risks involved in the development of ambitious, high-budget games.