Viral indie game Only Up! has been removed from Steam

The developer behind Only Up!, a wildly popular indie climbing game that gained immense popularity on Twitch streams, has decided to delist the game from the Steam platform. This decision follows allegations of using infringing assets and promoting NFTs, which led to significant stress for the game’s creator. In a message to the community, developer SCKR Games expressed the need for peace and healing.

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SCKR Games shared an update on Only Up!’s Steam page to explain the rationale behind this move. “I’m a solo developer, and this game is my first experience in game development, a project I undertook for creative exploration, self-testing, and, where I made numerous mistakes,” stated SCKR Games on Steam. “The game has caused me significant stress over these months. At this point, I want to move on from the game. Yes, the game won’t be available on the Steam store soon; that’s my decision.” As of now, the game has been delisted, with its name changed to “not available.”

Only Up! became renowned for its punishing difficulty, making it a sought-after title on Twitch. Players assumed the role of Jackie, a teenager aiming to escape poverty by ascending challenging mazes of pipes and structures inspired by “Jack and the Beanstalk.” The game’s lack of a save feature meant that failure would reset players to the beginning. However, a time-slowing feature was included to assist with precision jumps in the more challenging sections.

This isn’t the first time Only Up! has faced removal. SCKR Games initially removed the game in late June due to alleged copyright violations. A 3D artist accused the developer of using an unlicensed Sketchfab asset—a giant statue of a girl. Upon its return in early July, the game replaced the infringing asset with a statue of Atlas.

The sole developer at SCKR Games has plans to return with a new project. “I intend to take a break and continue my education in game design to gain new experiences and knowledge, channelling my energies into my next game project with the working title ‘Kith.’ This will be an entirely different experience and concept, focusing on realism, a different genre, and setting, with an emphasis on cinematography,” the developer shared. “This time, I hope to create the project with a small team. It’s an ambitious endeavour through which I aim to significantly enhance my game design skills. Thank you for your understanding.”