Cities: Skylines II developer Colossal Order has a uniquely close relationship with its community. Original Cities: Skylines It came out in 2015 and absorbed the audience that EA had left behind SimCityIt came out in 2013 and was a mess. Cities: Skylines scratched that urban planning itch, plus it only cost $30. The game first came to PC, Mac, and Linux with modest hardware requirements, and came to consoles within two years. Critically, Cities: Skylines as well as mods supported through the Steam Workshop, allowing players to add their own tools to the game and share those features with others.
“With Cities: Skylinesthe size of the audience grew and modding played an even bigger role, which allowed for a huge amount of creativity and inspiration for us developers,” he said. “From improving the quality of life to ideas for DLC content, we collected a lot of information to help create the game. Cities: Skylines today is the day.”
Colossal Order and its publisher Paradox Interactive continued to support Cities: Skylines with consistent game updates and DLC drops, and its mod community has continued to grow. The game gained a ton of new players during the pandemic in 2020, and by then a number of popular content creators had taken to it. Cities: Skylines for streams and videos.
A few months before its launch Cities: Skylines II In October 2023, Colossal Order partnered with several content creators and gave them early access to parts of the game so they could create weekly YouTube videos showcasing special features. This includes partners Biffa, two twenty dollars, YUMBLE, Infrastructuralist and Play City Planner. City Planner Plays has a smart edge in this area — Philip, the man behind the builds, has worked as an urban planner for over a decade, and his videos often feature insights into how real-life cities are designed. He started his channel in mid-2020 and today he is loyal Cities: Skylines Broadcaster and video editor with approximately 650,000 subscribers on YouTube. Like many other community members, he has a history with the Grand Order over the years.
“First Cities: Skylines II I think everyone in the community was incredibly positive about them, seeing them as ‘one of us’ and the type of developer you want to make a game you love,” said Philip. “They seemed sensitive and generous. …I don’t remember them saying anything bad about them.”
“We’ve seen an increasing trend of toxicity in our community, something we haven’t experienced before to this extent,” Hallikainen said, explaining that the negativity is directed at both developers and players. He continued, “We’ve always valued having developers on various social platforms and communicating directly with the community, but our biggest responsibility will always be to protect the team.”
Tensions have been high in the Cities: Skylines community since the sequel launched in October. Although the game was originally announced as a simultaneous PC and console release, it is only available on PC and when will the other versions come out. In addition, Colossal Order increased the game’s minimum and recommended features just a month before release, and the new requirements made it inaccessible to a large group of players.
Even with a capable rig, the game is riddled with visual and mechanical bugs. Philip said Cities: Skylines II Stressing the RTX 4090 graphics card made it run at 100 percent in the main menu, and the game couldn’t play in 4K at launch because it was so GPU dependent.
It just feels like the game needs more time to develop.
“From the day it was put into use Cities: Skylines II, things have definitely gotten worse,” said Philip. “While many people appreciate Colossal Order’s transparency with weekly updates and frequent bug fixes, many find Colossal Order too eager to release a game that isn’t ready for release.”
Hallikainen admitted that the game lacks some promised and highly-touted features, such as mod support.
“Of course we’re disappointed that we didn’t achieve everything we aimed for, but it’s fantastic to finally have the game done and to continue working on it more openly,” he said.
As Colossal Order sees it, it’s all about community reaction Cities: Skylines II. According to Hallikainen, players have been speaking out on social media, the Steam and Paradox forums, and the feedback has reached a toxic level. He cites an increase in personal attacks on developers and other players.
“Cities: Skylines II attracted a lot of attention and high expectations were set.” “When the game did not fulfill all the promises, it was only natural that the audience was disappointed. However, shortcomings should lead to a conversation about ideas for improvement, constructive feedback and respectful discussion in the community.”
For City Planner Plays and other community members, the issue is the game itself. When the Giant Order sees toxicity, Philip sees justified frustration.
“I must admit that I was surprised by this description of what happened in the film Cities: Skylines community about Cities: Skylines II,” he said. “I’ve noticed an increase in negativity. I wouldn’t say I’ve noticed an increase in toxicity, though. To be honest, I think the negativity is completely understandable and predictable.
Philip identified four factors that contributed to the negative sentiment: The game is only on PC, it is buggy and unplayable on many common hardware configurations, there is no official support for mods, and Colossal Order is not responsible for the game’s blunders.
“Colossal Order was transparent, talked to the public, but did not take responsibility for the release of the game,” said Philip. “I hear it over and over again. Many players want them to admit that the game’s release state is bad, apologize and make some gesture to make amends. So far, they’ve delayed the DLC release – which was actually a big negative for people who bought the Ultimate Edition of the game – but haven’t fixed it. [They haven’t] It gave people the information they were looking for.”
The biggest flaw in Philip’s list is the lack of mods. Colossal Order plans to add an official pipeline for mods directly through Paradox, rather than Steam Workshop, the home for mods. Cities: Skylines. The move to an internal modding platform will ensure parity across all platforms, bringing mods to consoles and gamers outside of Steam. However, the Cities: Skylines mod community is built on the Steam Workshop, a popular and easy-to-use platform, and with the console’s launch being delayed, the current player base is simply a concern.
“The maps that come with the game aren’t great – incredibly high difficulty levels, unforgiving weather – and a lot of key features need to be fine-tuned,” said Philip. “The mods offered this opportunity and they are not available yet. What’s worse is that early messaging made it seem like a mod was just around the corner just weeks after launch. [but it’s been delayed] until an unspecified time in the second quarter of 2024.
Collaboration with the community is what made the original game so successful, and the sequel could certainly benefit from crowdsourced improvements. Currently, some players use a third-party tool to run mods Cities: Skylines II.
“The technology is new, the simulation has been completely rewritten, and the game has all the potential to be the city builder of this decade,” Hallikainen said. “What we failed at was getting mod support for the release and we are doing our best to achieve that. We’re excited to see that the modding community isn’t waiting for us, but is already creating amazing mods for the game.”
This is just the beginning Cities: Skylines II. Colossal Order has plans to support and expand the game for the next 10 years. Original Cities: Skylines It didn’t have all the bells, whistles and mods when it first came out in 2015, and the sequel starts in a similar position. Colossal Order sees Cities: Skylines II as a new foundation, but its core community expected a more complete experience.
“The feedback we’ve received from content creators and moderators has really helped us move in the right direction, and we love collaborating with different parties,” Hallikainen said. “There is much work to be done and we plan to continue for the next decade.”
Cities: Skylines II Thanks to a series of updates from Colossal Order, it has improved significantly in the months since launch. It is on the right track. Big Order updates on gameplay every week, but it will take time to rewrite the story – and maybe an apology, blueprint and free in-game perks – Cities: Skylines II.
“I think the most ‘toxic’ people right now are the biggest fans of the game,” Philip said. “And obviously, they’re frustrated that the game doesn’t go well for them or that they don’t get to play at all. They get frustrated and jealous, which is not right. But to me, it means that if the game is fully patched and held accountable, there’s a way to fix the issues.”