Viral Steam Game Only Up Has Been Removed, Dev Says It Was Too Stressful


The developer of one of 2023's most popular and viral Steam games has removed it because of the stressed it caused. In a post on Steam, the solo developer of Only Up! said this was their first time making a game, and now they want to say goodbye to the game.

"I'm a solo developer and this game is my first experience in gamedev, a game I did for creativity, to test myself, and where I made a lot of mistakes," the developer said. "The game has kept me under a lot of stress all these months. 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 developer added: "What I need now is peace of mind and healing. 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."

This new game is in development under the working title "Kith." This is described as a "new experience and a new concept with realism, a completely different genre and setting, and the emphasis is on cinematography."

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

Only Up! was released in May this year and has a mostly positive aggregate review score after more than 12,000 user reviews. You play as a teenager named Jackie who wants to escape poverty and learn about themself. The gameplay involves climbing anything and everything to ascend higher and higher. There are no checkpoints and no saving.

Only Up! was removed from Steam for the first time in June, following copyright violation claims, before re-launching in July. While the game has been yanked from Steam, fan-made recreations of Only Up! are available in Fortnite and Roblox.

Only Up! got a lot of attention earlier this year after several popular streamers played it. The game peaked at 11,239 concurrent players, according to SteamDB.