Cities: Skylines 2 devs apologize for state of game: ‘We let you down’

Months after release, Cities: Skylines 2 developers Colossal Order and publisher Paradox Interactive have issued an apology over the poor state of the game and its recent DLC, Beach Properties, along with the lack of updates to address player concerns about performance and the lack of content.

“We see and understand the disappointment many of you have expressed after the release of Cities: Skylines II and the recent release of Beach Properties. We asked for your patience and support, and you’ve shown those. In return, we let you down. We thought we could make up for the shortcomings of the game in a timeframe that was unrealistic, and rushed out a DLC that should not have been published in its current form. For all this, we are truly sorry,” Colossal Order CEO Mariina Hallikainen and Paradox Deputy CEO Mattias Lilja said in a joint statement published it to the Paradox forum on Thursday.

In response, the developers will be issuing refunds for people who bought Beach Properties, and will change the pack to free DLC. Ultimate Edition players won’t receive refunds, but they’ll get three additional creator packs and three radio stations.

Cities: Skylines 2 launched in October 2023, and at the time of writing, it has over 2,300 “mostly negative” recent reviews on Steam, with most of the critiques noting poor PC performance. IGN reports that just after release, players noted how the game struggled to play on PCs even with powerful specs, such as those with recent Nvidia graphics cards. When recommended specs were revealed ahead of launch, it also raised a lot of questions from players. While Cities: Skylines has always been a power-hungry game, encouraging players to only play it on PCs with newer parts was asking a lot.

Despite the player feedback, Colossal Order and Paradox moved forward with the release. “We still think for the long-term of the project, releasing now is the best way forward. We are proud of the unique gameplay and features in Cities: Skylines II, and we genuinely believe that it offers a great experience that you will enjoy,” a forum post read shortly before the game’s release.

Image: Colossal Order/Paradox Interactive

While Colossal Order released weekly patches until November, it was then announced that the studio would still be working on performance improvements and bug fixes but would be moving its focus towards DLC. The Beach Properties paid DLC released in March, bringing waterfront zoning to the game, and it was met with harsh feedback from the player base. It has an “overwhelmingly negative” rating on Steam right now, with players noting the lack of meaningful additions and commenting that the developers should have focused on fixing the main game before starting on paid expansions. The new statement seems to address those concerns.

“Looking ahead, we also want to make immediate and meaningful changes in the way we approach the game’s development and our communication with you,” the statement reads. “We will focus on additional free patches and game updates in the coming months before Colossal Order spends time on new paid content,” adding that the Bridge and Ports expansion has been delayed to 2025.

Development issues also led to the console editions for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X getting pushed to spring 2024, and the new statement announced that the delay has been extended to October 2024.

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