Have you heard about Hyenas? It’s OK if you didn’t, as this PvPvE shooter from developer Creative Assembly and publisher Sega had a pretty small shelf life, entering a closed PC beta test at the end of August and ultimately falling silent until Sega cancelled the project in September, which not only saw the game die but also saw layoffs at Creative Assembly.
That would be the end of the story itself if it weren’t for claims of troubled and mismanaged development of the shooter, which have been presented in a video from YouTuber Volound with corroboration from insider sources reporting to Video Games Chronicle.
According to these anonymous reports, the project suffered from uninspired characters, a change of tone and direction spurred by ideas from Hollywood director Neill Blomkamp in his visit to the studio, game engine issues, and a poorly designed business model shift from premium to free-to-play.
Devs also claim the project had a “total lack of direction” and accused studio leadership of being “asleep at the wheel,” while another dev recounts how higher-ups from Sega Japan went from being generally hands-off to being “more or less permanently at the UK office.” Hyenas ended up being a huge investment from Sega, with over $70M reportedly poured into the project.
Assuming these unidentified sources are correct, this whole thing looks to be another case of management fumbling and regular devs suffering as a result.