Just two months on from its launch on early access, developer Joy Way has canceled work on VR roguelite, Outlier.
The studio shared the news on its Discord channel last week, stating that it had “overestimated the demand for this game” and “underestimated the complexity of the roguelike genre.” The game will soon be removed from Steam.
The studio reasoned that continuing to work on the project would take another eight to 12 months with “a low probability that the project will ever achieve at least financial self-sufficiency.” Outlier was Joy Way’s fifth announced game in two years and the second project to be fully abandoned, the other being a puzzle game called Brains vs Zombies. Its other three projects, Stride, Against and Time Hacker, are all also in early access, though the latter title seemingly hasn’t received an update in over a year.
Joy Way said customers should “feel free” to refund the game and reach out to Steam support if they need help.
Outlier offered roguelite action similar to flatscreen games like Hades and Returnal as well as VR games like Sweet Surrender and Until You Fall. You fought through areas of an alien planet using firearms and superpowers to defend yourself. We quite liked the game at early access launch, but noted the developer’s tendency to release new prototype projects rather than finish old ones was becoming a problem.
“More cautious optimism, then, but with this marking the fourth major early access release for Joy Way with a full game yet to launch, it’s high past time the developer started consolidating on some of this potential,” we said.
Joy Way does continue to work on Stride and Against, however. The latter just got an update improving the flow of the game. Stride, meanwhile, recently disappeared off of the Quest store for over a month as Meta delisted apps from developers with “financial entities” based in Russia. Joy Way told UploadVR that it has “very few employees” left in Russia and Stride has since returned to the store, with its long-promised multiplayer mode still in the works.
What do you make of Outlier’s cancellation? Let us know in the comments below!