Developer Robotoki decided during the course of developing its debut game, Human Element, that it should shift its business model from free-to-play to premium. But this has prompted the game’s publisher to pull out of the project.

South Korean free-to-play gaming giant Nexon revealed that it has ended its publishing agreement with Robotoki. The Human Element team is now independent, but it will push toward a release next year. It is a survival sim that takes place more than three decades after a zombie apocalypse and focuses on people fighting over the last remaining resources. Nexon will go on working with developers like Boss Key Productions, which is making a PC shooter under the leadership of Gears of War director Cliff Bleszinski.

“As development of the project progressed, the direction of the game naturally evolved, and it no longer aligns with the Nexon portfolio,” the company said in a statement provided to GamesBeat. “Nexon remains committed to bringing fun and innovative new free-to-play titles to the Western market.”

The loss of its publishing deal also forced Robotoki to make some job cuts. It still plans on debuting Human Element in action on Dec. 5 and launching it in Q4 2015.