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Is Only Up Coming Back to Steam? Why Was It Removed?

Only Up!'s developers removed the game from Steam - so when is it coming back?
Is Only Up Coming Back to Steam? Why Was It Removed?
(Picture: SCKR Games)

The viral game Only Up! has been removed from the Steam store permanently by its one developer, citing stressors related to the project. Only Up! puts players into the shoes of a teenager named Jackie, who quite literally climbs her way out of poverty. Every step (literally) raises the stakes; with no save feature, this game puts an intriguing spin on what most gamers are used to.

While the game was popular, it was not without controversy; the game was removed from the Steam store back in June after developers were accused of stealing a Sketchfab asset in the form of a state, which they later replaced with a different asset in response to the complaint.

only up steam
Only Up! won't be coming back to Steam, its developer says. (Picture: SCKR Games)

Why Was Only Up! Removed From Steam In September 2023?

It was controversies like the Sketchfab asset that ultimately led to the game's permanent removal from the Steam store, the game's developer said - and, given it was his first foray into game development, he did not expect the game to become as successful as it did.

"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," they explained. "The game has kept me under a lot of stress all these months. Now I want to put the game behind me."

The developer went on to state that he would remove the game from the Steam store. It is no longer available for purchase, and it's highly unlikely it will return in the future. At the time of writing the Steam page is still up but the game says it is "not available".

Meanwhile, those who already bought the game can still continue to play it.

"What I need now is peace of mind and healing," the developer explained. "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."

While Only Up! won't return to the game store, developer SCKR Games says they're continuing to work on a new title called "Kith," hopefully with the help of a small team. They describe the upcoming game as a "new experience and a new concept" featuring elements of realism and a focus on cinematography. The game will feature a different genre and setting than Only Up!.