Four months. That’s how long ‘Only Up‘ lasted on Steam, and it wasn’t because of a lack of success. Well-known streamers, from Rubius to Ibai, have all played this game of climbing to the top in a world full of bugs, frustration, and it became one of those unexpected sensations that Twitch occasionally gifts us (as happened with ‘Fall Guys’ or ‘Among Us’ in the past). So, why has its creator already decided that they don’t want to profit from it anymore?
Indiesolodev, the developer, has discovered that fame has a double edge. It’s great to be on everyone’s lips, but only up to a certain point: “The game has stressed me out a lot all these months. Now I just want to forget it. And yes, it won’t be available on Steam, that’s what I’ve decided,” he comments.
It’s not a bad time to uncover the mental health issues behind success, because they do exist, and quite prominently: “Now I need peace to heal. I plan to take a break, continue learning game design, and later, with new experience and knowledge, focus my energy on the next game.” It would be unusual if after the hit, several game development companies hadn’t contacted him, but it’s not the first time something similar has happened, and it ends up coming to nothing.
Do you remember ‘Flappy Bird’? It was an absolute hit in 2013 and 2014, but its developer, .Gears, who was making around $50,000 per day, felt guilty about the addiction it caused in part of the population and decided to withdraw it without further explanation. Since then, they have never been able to replicate their success. Do ‘Swing Copters,’ ‘Fabitalk,’ and ‘BOOP’ sound familiar to you? Well, there’s a reason for that.
Who knows if in the future Indiesolodev, with a team, will be able to replicate the success of ‘Only Up,’ but for now, it’s possible that they have sacrificed their five minutes of glory in exchange for mental health. No one can blame them.