Sega has canceled the yet-to-be-released Hyenas, an extraction shooter set in space that was in development at Total War and Alien Isolation studio Creative Assembly. The publisher also canceled several other, unannounced games as part of “structural reforms” across its European operations.
Announced in June 2022, Hyenas was described as a “sci-fi space piracy multiplayer FPS” pitting teams of players against each other and NPCs as they fought to steal valuable items and pieces of pop culture, like Sonic statues and Rubik’s cubes. On September 11, the game wrapped up its most recent beta. 17 days later, Sega and the developers behind Hyenas confirmed it was canceled.
The news broke Thursday via a post on Twitter from the official Hyena’s account confirming that it had ended development on the shooter, and saying that the decision to cancel the game wasn’t “made lightly.”
“We knew our plans were ambitious,” said Creative Assembly, “And we knew we were diving headfirst into competition with some of the greats. But we believed in the journey and we’re proud to have taken every step along the way. We hope you’ll join us in remembering the action-packed, zero-G chaos and the diehard community of players who helped us make it special.”
Following reports from IGN that Creative Assembly may face layoffs, the studio tweeted its own separate statement after confirming the cancellation of Hyenas. In it, the dev team explained that it had begun the “difficult” process of “redundancy consultation.”
“This may, unfortunately, result in job losses,” said Creative Assembly. “While we must go through this incredibly difficult process, we will prioritize supporting our people at every step. For those whose jobs are at risk, we will work to re-allocate them into other available roles within [Creative Assembly] wherever possible, and ultimately minimize any job losses.”
Creative Assembly sent over this statement to Kotaku:
Creative Assembly, part of SEGA Europe, has announced the beginning of a redundancy consultation process, alongside ending development of HYENAS. This decision affects areas of its UK operations, which may result in job losses.
We understand that this has a significant impact on our people, whether they are directly at-risk of redundancy or not. Our people-first approach remains foundational to how we operate; the priority is to work with those whose jobs are at-risk and re-allocate them to other available opportunities at CA wherever possible.
We are absolutely committed to delivering more exciting game experiences long into the future, which will delight both current and potential players all over the world.
Why Hyenas was canceled
These possible layoffs and the canceled game are part of a larger situation at Sega, which owns Creative Assembly.
In a press release posted Thursday on SegaSammy’s official website, the company blamed its lower profits in the UK on less demand for games due to fewer people being stuck at home after the lifting of covid-19 lockdowns and an “economic downturn due to inflation” in Europe. To “adapt to these changes” and “improve” profits in the region, Sega is implementing “structural reforms” after reviewing in-development games.
“In response to the lower profitability of the European region,” said Sega, “We have reviewed the title portfolio of each development base in Europe and the resulting action will be to cancel ‘HYENAS’ and some unannounced titles under development. Accordingly, we will implement a write-down of work-in-progress for titles under development.”
For those worried, Sega confirmed its “Pachinko Machines Business” continues to “perform well.”
Layoffs and cancellations have been an unfortunate industry trend in 2023, as every week seems to bring another wave of firings across countless video game studios and publishers like EA, Unity, and Riot.