Only Up! Pulled From Steam After Becoming A Twitch Sensation

Only Up!, a not-so-endless runner that recently took off on Twitch, has been inexplicably removed from Steam with no warning, but there’s reason to believe it might’ve been removed due to a copyright dispute with an artist claiming the game uses one of their assets.

Developer SC-KR Games posted to its Twitter (thanks PC Gamer) that the game would be available for purchase again on Steam “soon” after it was taken down earlier today. For those not in the know, Only Up! basically has you running through an obstacle course and parkouring through it gradually escalates. The goal seems to be to reach space, which means you’re making a constant ascent from the ground to the endless void. So in short, you’re going…only up.

SC-KR Games

As of this writing, Only Up! has very quickly amassed a strong Twitch following, with over 90,000 viewers and 55,000 users following the game on the streaming platform. While it’s having a successful run on Twitch, a 3D artist is claiming the game uses one of their 3D models, which was listed for free use as long as it wasn’t for commercial purposes.

The model in question is listed on Sketchfab, which explicitly states its for non-commercial use. Only Up! is a $10 game, andit’s being used to make money, which goes directly against the guidelines set out. It’s unclear at this point if this is the reason Only Up! was delisted, but we’ve reached out to Valve and SC-KR Games for clarification.

As PC Gamer points out, Only Up! has dealt with some controversy prior to this because it has NFT promotion, but Steam only has rules against NFTs if you’re buying and selling them in-game, rather than simply promoting them.

Update, 07/03/23, 4:47 p.m.: Only Up! has returned to Steam, and is discounted for $6.99. SC-KR Games has deleted its initial tweet saying the game would be back on the platform “soon,” and has not posted about its relisting at all. We’ve reached out to the studio for clarification on the situation, and will update the story if we hear back.

Steam Hit Only Up! Pulled For Good So Dev Can Finding ‘Healing’

Only Up! Is a brutal janky platformer that blew up on Steam earlier this summer after becoming a hit with Twitch viewers. A number of controversies later, its creator has removed the game from Valve’s digital storefront seemingly forever, saying they made a lot of mistakes and need time to heal before making their next game.

“The game has kept me under a lot of stress all these months,” the game’s developer, Indiesolodev, wrote in what appears to be the final update for Only Up! (via PCGamesN). “Now I want to put the game behind me. And yes. the game won’t be available in the Steam store soon, that’s what I decided myself.” The game now shows as “not available” on its store page, though players who already purchased it still have access.

A parkour game about constantly ascending to new heights, Only Up! released back in May and rose to popularity in June with over 10,000 concurrent players and 90,000 viewers on Twitch. Reviews of the game’s actual quality were mixed, however, with some players praising the surreal and capricious 3D platforming while others critiqued its glitchy physics and hasty design full of what appeared to be cheap asset flips.

Signs show in-game prompts for Only Up!'s elevator.

Image: Indiesolodev

A hit among Twitch streamers who found viewers were attracted to it as a sort of voyeuristic failure porn, Only Up! was nevertheless briefly pulled from Steam for a day in July after it was accused of stealing another developer’s copyrighted 3D anime model. As PC Gamer pointed out at the time, the game also appeared to be loosely affiliated with NFTs, from images of Goblintown tokens appearing in levels to the title itself which is a common rallying cry among crypto scammers.

“What I need now is peace of mind and healing,” Indiesolodev wrote in today’s update. “I plan to take a pause, and continue my education in game design and further with new experience and knowledge to direct my energies to my next game.” They’re sophomore project is currently titled “Kith,” which means friends or acquaintances, though it’s also the name of a popular streetwear brand. Indiesolodev describes it as completely different from Only Up! with an emphasis on “cinematography.”

“This time I hope the project will be created by a small team,” they wrote. “This is a challenging project on which I want to significantly improve my skills in game design.”

Some players are already mourning Only Up!’s unexpected disappearance, asking why Indiesolodev didn’t just decide to give it away for free. But most of the comments on their update are just congratulating them for creating a viral game out of nowhere. “You did a fantastic job with this game and should be nothing but proud of yourself,” wrote the_drummernator. “I’ve had a great experience with it so far, and finally getting to the top after many setbacks was very fulfilling.”


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