I guess it turned out to be rather costly to render drag queens in space.

Alleged new details regarding Creative Assembly’s cancelled online heist shooter Hyenas have been published, including claims that it was Sega’s biggest budget game ever before they pulled the plug merely months before release.

It was announced little over a week ago that due to “low profitability in European regions” SEGA would be scrapping several unannounced titles from their early stages of development alongside HYENAS which was so far close to release it had in fact held a beta test that ended the week prior to its untimely cancelation.

Blogger Volound has recently shared insights from former game developers regarding the cancellation of HYENAS from Creative Assembly.

They discussed the circumstances surrounding the cancellation and shed light on the project’s supposed “importance” for SEGA.

An anonymous developer said that HYENAS had a “total lack of direction” with many of the games leadership being “asleep behind the wheel” during its development, which had changed from a supposed full fledged pay release to one that would eventually become free-to-play plagued to the brim with Sonic themed microtransactions.

During the development of HYENAS, it appears that the game underwent an engine change, midway through development this is a very expensive and time consuming matter. Apparently HYENAS was supposed to use the same engine as Alien: Isolation but apparently the team at Creative Assembly found it rather difficult to morph that particular engine to suit their vision, so they scrapped it and decided to use the Unreal Engine instead.

This halted development, shocker I know, with some of the team being repositioned to work on Total War while the code jockeys were clamoring away essentially porting the development to the Unreal Engine.

My heart absolutely goes out to SEGA who had to grin and bare the losses of Creative Assembly who were set to release the most ESG egregious game in 2023.

Creative Assembly allegedly were extremely ambitious regarding the so called potential for HYENAS or “Project Keaton” as it went by, with the delusional management figures apparently wishing to create a console game that had “broader commercial potential” of which the game featuring feminine men, drag queens and ugly women, it definitely would tick the box of appealing to a “broader” audience.

Would the so called “universal audience” have bought into HYENAS though? I highly doubt that, apparently games such as Destiny, PUBG and Escape from Tarkov were used as inspiration during the development process which is hysterical.

HYENAS was envisioned as a PvPvE shooter, accommodating teams of three with a total player count of up to fifteen. The objective of the game involved infiltrating various vaults scattered across the map, engaging in battles against both AI adversaries and rival player teams with the ultimate goal being to successfully loot valuable merchandise and escape the ship while staying alive.

Based on internal testing, it was determined by Creative Assembly that HYENAS will not “meet expectations” upon release. Producer, David Nicholson proposed that they follow the same “strategy” used in Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege, basically to launch an unfinished broken pile of shit and gradually add sprinkles to the turd sundae post-release.

So basically what every other game developer does in the current era.

HYENAS was initially pitched back in 2017 as a concept, with a proposed deadline of five years development, of which even that target was not met given how the game itself had at least six years effectively in development, which was bound to have costed SEGA a fuck load of money, it’s unknown how much SEGA themselves had burned in the production of this garbage, but during the interview it was mentioned that this could very well be SEGA’s largest investment in a video game to date.

In November 2021, SEGA announced its intention to potentially invest ¥100.0 billion ($882 million) over a span of five years in order to realize its ‘Super Game’ aspirations. This investment would encompass the development of various projects, projects such as HYENAS.

Which has apparently demolished SEGA’s record for losing over $70 Million with 1999’s Shenmue, and unlike Shenmue I highly doubt that HYENAS will resurface as some sort of cringe filled cult icon later down the line, we may never get a certified figure of how much SEGA have lost on this project other than the fact that it’s bound to be “a lot”.

The estimation pins HYENAS’ financial losses to be greater than $100 million and I simply don’t understand why SEGA decided to back out at the very last minute for what was bound to be an exceptional game and quite possibly a game of the year contender.

I just can’t put my fucking finger on it.

The developer interview concluded with the anonymous dev showing a lack of anger towards SEGA for canceling Hyenas, acknowledging that they would most likely have had further financial losses when woke space shooter actually launched, it was guaranteed to bomb.

However, they did express frustration with the leadership and those above them for not addressing the issues. They had hoped to continue working at Creative Assembly on future low-risk projects but understood that many of them would likely face redundancy, the developer’s true anger stemmed from the fact that the layoffs were affecting individuals who had no involvement with Hyenas, such as IT, operations, marketing, HR, and even some individuals working on Total War.

Once again, that’s just how it is in the video game development world, produce content specifically for ESG money rather than actual consumers, incur massive financial losses and surprise surprise your studio gets shut down, or at the very least your studio will be ransacked and repurposed, as many employees as possible will be fired and the remainder will be stationed elsewhere.