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Cities: Skylines II Sales Top 1 Million Units

Cities: Skylines II Sales Top 1 Million Units - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 07 February 2024 / 2,522 Views

Publisher Paradox Interactive in its latest earnings report live stream announced developer Colossal Order's Cities: Skylines II has sold over one million units worldwide as of the end of 2023.

The city building simulator game has faced backlash from fans due to its poor performance, lack of features found in the original game, and more. The developer has been working on updating the game to meet fans expectations.

Cities: Skylines II released for PC via Steam and PC Game Pass on October 24. It will also launch for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S in Spring 2024.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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12 Comments
Zkuq (on 07 February 2024)

What a conflicting release. At its core, the base game feels a lot better than the previous game, but there are certainly issues. Lackluster performance and the delay of official mod support have been a terrible combination for the game's public image, and the bugs don't help either. Pressure has increased this week as prominent C:S2 YouTubers have criticized the game's current state.

Personally I hope they're able to fix the game enough and do so fast enough, because like I said, at its core it feels better than the first one. I don't think there are any fundamental issues that would make the game bad, so pouring some more effort into the game should do the trick (unlike e.g. with Paradox's Imperator: Rome a few years ago, which sounded like it had some deeper design flaws).

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Pemalite Zkuq (on 07 February 2024)

There is no way in hell I should have my Ryzen 16 Core/32 threads/128GB Ram PC struggling to run the game... Unity Engine is not an optimal engine at the best of times for CPU driven games.

Visually it's not a massive leap over a supersampled Cities Skylines 1 either.... And that game doesn't make my PC sound like it's transforming into a hovercraft with ramped fan speeds.

I am hoping Paradox turn the game around and make it a solid experience, because Cities Skylines was an amazing title.

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Zkuq Pemalite (on 07 February 2024)

So there's two distinct performance issues with the game: rendering performance and simulation performance. I'll skip past rendering performance since I believe it's not considered the main issue with the game anymore (albeit arguably not great either), and you didn't mention your GPU anyway, so you probably weren't talking about rendering.

As for simulation, well, depends on your play style probably, but there's a good chance simulation speed might be good enough for a large number of play styles already. My first city got up to about 160k population and I had zero issues with simulation speed on my Ryzen 7 7700 (8C/16T), although CPU utilization was getting up there. Admittedly it was a bit of a tight map, and on a more open map, my population would've gotten higher, causing simulation to slow down. Still, I believe you can get to fairly high population counts at the moment without hitting too much of a simulation performance bottleneck - but yes, there are limits, and arguably they should probably be higher. I think CO is still working on optimizing the simulation (the latest update brought some optimization to it already!), but we'll see how it turns out.

I think Unity was the right call for the game. I'm not getting an impression that CO is a particularly talented team technically, so e.g. Unreal might have been more trouble than it's worth. The game also utilizes Unity's DOTS system, which is what allows the game to utilize so many CPU cores - I think it has been claimed that no comparable solution exists for Unreal. Then there's also mod support, which is supposedly easier in Unity (probably mainly because of C#). Given CO's personnel resources and expertise in technical areas, I'm not sure the game would actually be better off using Unreal - for some other studio, it might and maybe even probably would be.

Personally I'm happy with the game looks. It might not look a ton better than modded C:S1, but compared to unmodded C:S1, I think it's great (although it needs more detailing options). I do wish it looked better without so much detailing effort though. I can also see numerous people are unhappy with the visual, so undoubtedly the game could be better in that regard though.

I think everyone hopes the game gets better... I'm sure it can, it's just a battle against time and Paradox pulling the plug. I don't think that's going to happen before the game gets to a more widely accepted state, but we'll see.

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JEMC (on 07 February 2024)

Three months to sell as many units as the first game did in one month. It's not a failure (I think?), but I'm sure it's not the success they were expecting it to be.

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Zkuq JEMC (on 07 February 2024)

I can see why they thought it was ready for a proper release, but really should've been an Early Access release. The game is good but certainly not without its flaws, and the way I see it is that the main issue is that expectations were not met. Had the game released in its current state, performance probably wouldn't cause an outcry, and at least the initial version of mod support would actually be a relatively short time away - still not great but probably a lot better. Someone clearly misjudged what is considered an acceptable launch for the game.

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JEMC Zkuq (on 07 February 2024)

The game was clearly not ready for release and I'm sure the performance issues made some people hold their purchase.

Mods will help in the long term, but since Paradox decided to not use the Steam Workshop, this could mean that less people will use them.

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Zkuq JEMC (on 07 February 2024)

Performance at non-4K resolutions was... playable though (although definitely great), so performance-wise, they probably thought it was good enough. It should've been obvious there's going to be an outcry, but equally obvious is they didn't see such a massive outcry. The bugs they probably didn't know about in such a scale that would be unacceptable (QA issue maybe?), and mod support was thought to be coming very soon then. I think releasing the game was a reasonable call from a developer/publisher point of view but also included serious misjudgement about how gamers would react to it. Obviously from a gamer perspective, it was not a successful launch, no doubt about it, and ultimately that's what matters - but I want to point out nonetheless why they might have released it the way they did.

Oh yeah, Paradox Mods is definitely one sore point. I'm expecting people to get over it (although not necessarily happily), but it's a recurring complaint that Steam Workshop isn't going to be the way to distribute mods anymore. I'm torn about it myself (I love Steam Workshop but hate how it essentially kills mods everywhere else).

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JEMC Zkuq (on 08 February 2024)

The big problems seem to be CPU related, and that only worsens when you lower the resolution, but I admit that I haven't payed it a lot of attention.

Still, I'm sure they knew the game wasn't ready, but Paradox wanted to launch it to improve its end of the year numbers.

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Zkuq JEMC (on 08 February 2024)

I don't think the CPU part is terrible, but it could certainly do with some optimization. The first game was critized for having its limits, well, the second one doesn't, and now you can build really big cities that, surprise surprise, don't run too well, because simulation is computationally intensive. I agree that it should be better, but if you've only watched Linus or something, that's giving the wrong impression too.

I think I've seen Colossal Order say it was their decision, but of course we don't know how much pressure came from Paradox to make that decision. Terrible judgement anyway from a business perspective.

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Pemalite JEMC (on 07 February 2024)

I feel these kinds of games have long legs on PC, they will keep selling for years to come.

Hoping they turn the game around because as a developer they did an amazing job with the first release.

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JEMC Pemalite (on 08 February 2024)

The game will have legs, no doubt about it, but so did the first one, and that one was well recieved by everyone since launch. So yeah, this one will sell, but I don't think it will be able to come close to the numbers of the first game.

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hellobion2 (on 07 February 2024)

game looks fun but nothing compared to the original simcity

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