The developer of Only Up!, a viral indie climbing game that blew up in popularity on Twitch streams, has delisted the title from Steam. After receiving accusations of using infringing assets and promoting NFTs, the game’s creator said they plan to “put the game behind” them due to stress. “What I need now is peace of mind and healing,” wrote developer SCKR Games.
The developer posted an update on the title’s Steam page explaining the decision, as first spotted by PCGamesN. “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,” SCKR Games wrote on Steam. “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 title was delisted at the time of this article’s publication, with its name changed to “not available.” You can view a cached version of the game’s listing on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
The title’s absurd difficulty became its calling card — likely a big reason it was a hot destination on Twitch. Players stepped into the shoes of Jackie, a teenager from the projects with dreams of rising out of poverty. Inspired by “Jack and the Beanstalk,” the developer tasked gamers with climbing and parkouring through elaborate mazes of pipes and other objects stretching into the sky. Lacking a save feature, it put you back at square one after falling. “The point is that each successive level raised the stakes in the game, the higher you climb the more painful to fall,” the developer wrote on the Only Up! Steam store page. However, the title did include a time-slowing feature to help fine-tune the more difficult leaps.
According to data viewed by PCGamesN, Only Up! attracted up to 280,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch at its peak. A YouTube walkthrough from ‘iShowSpeed’ (Darren Jason Watkins ) has garnered 5.6 million views in two months.
This isn’t the first time Only Up! has been removed. SCKR Games delisted it in late June following the games’ alleged copyright violations. A 3D artist accused SCKR Games of using a Sketchfab asset, a giant statue of a girl that wasn’t licensed for commercial use. (The game cost $10.) Only Up! returned in early July with a statue of Atlas replacing the infringing one.
The one-person SCKR Games says it will return with a new project. “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 with the working title Kith — it will be a new experience and a new concept with realism, a completely different genre and setting, and the emphasis is on cinematography,” the developer wrote. “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. Thank you for your understanding.”