A Sales Story | E12 | Cities: Skylines

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An inventive, original game is released into the world by a creative and highly-motivated studio. Through critical acclaim and gradual word of mouth, said game proceeds to become a hit franchise, eventually inspiring spin-offs, copycats, and heralding an entirely new genre. But some of these franchises lose their way leaving a hole in the industry. Recognizing the opportunity to fill this hole, an enterprising team of independent developers begins work on its own game, intended as a spiritual successor to capture the magic of the original.

It's a tale as old as video games themselves, and is also the story of SimCity and Cities: Skylines.

For those unaware, Cities: Skylines is by far the most popular city-building game ever to have existed. It has held this record since 2015, and no other game in the genre has ever come close to matching its sales. However, for Cities: Skylines to exist in the first place, it required the rise and fall of SimCity, one of the most unique and influential franchises in the history of video games.


The Birth and Death of SimCity

Released in 1989, SimCity was a city-building game developed by game designer Will Wright at Maxis. It began as a level editor for another game he was working on and it grew into a city-builder and created our modern understanding of the genre. Despite doubts about its potential, SimCity became a huge commercial and critical success. The first game sold extremely well on both PC and console selling a total of 1.98 million on the SNES, with 900,000 of those sales coming from Japan.

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An image of the original SimCity showing what would be iconic features such as the zoning system and traffic management.

Over the next decade, the franchise continued to receive games that built upon the success of the first, with SimCity 2000 released in 1993, selling 3.4 million copies. SimCity 3000 was released a few years later in 1999 and sold 5 million units, with SimCity 4 following in 2003. But after that the franchise took an extended leave of absence, and outside of a handful of spin-offs and smaller games for other platforms, a period of quiet ensued for SimCity.

In 2012, after nearly a decade of silence, it was leaked and then announced that Maxis Emeryville was developing a new game titled simply "SimCity". The game was presented as a return to form, and an E3 2012 gameplay trailer that showed off actual footage was generally well received. But, some noted a curious feature that was being advertised: SimCity was going to be an online game and require a persistent Internet connection to play. This led to concerns about access to the game and how the online DRM mechanism might impact the user experience. For its part, Maxis assured fans and industry watchers that the online component was necessary for the game to function, and attempted to assuage concerns.

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SimCity with its modern UI and visuals, as well as its small map, which would be a major complaint about the game.

This new SimCity launched in March 2013, despite concerns over the stability of Maxis's servers, in what would become one of the most infamous online launch disasters in the history of video games. So overloaded were the servers for the title that media publications couldn’t even access the game to review it. And once they could, SimCity's systems and design were heavily criticized, leading to a firestorm that would torpedo any chance of success. The game continued to limp along, with post-launch support fixing some of its issues, and received one last update in 2014, which finally added an option to play offline. Unfortunately, this was too little too late, and while SimCity did end up managing to sell 2 million units over the course of its life, this was far below the franchise's prior heights and Maxis Emeryville was shut down in 2015.

However, just a week after Maxis Emeryville was shut down, an entirely new city-building game was released into the world—one that would rise from the ashes of SimCity to achieve what it had failed to do and it began in the most unlikely of places.


The Road to Cities: Skylines

Colossal Order is a Finnish studio that was relatively unknown in the early 2000s. The company was founded in 2009, largely by mobile game developers, and began development on its first game, Cities in Motion. Colossal's early projects were smaller-scale games focused specifically on designing transportation systems within a city. While they contained some of the features that define city-building games, they weren't nearly as complex as a feature-complete city-builder.

While developing Cities in Motion, Colossal Order required a publisher and ended up partnering with Paradox Interactive, a company best known for grand strategy games. Paradox was still a small company, with their newest game being Victoria II, and Crusader Kings II coming out in 2012 between the two Cities in Motion games. Around this time Paradox had begun to expand its publishing business and would publish other successful games like Mount & Blade and Magicka. The Cities in Motion games fit well into Paradox's catalog as another PC game built around strategy and simulation, and while the first Cities in Motion didn’t have a particularly notable launch in 2011, peaking at only 1,170 users on Steam and a Metacritic score of 70, the small team and modest development budget meant that it was enough for a sequel to be greenlit.

Cities in Motion 2 fared slightly better with 1,783 peak concurrent users and a 72 on Metacritic, but this modest growth compelled Colossal Order to aim higher with its next project. This is where the story of SimCity intersects with Colossal Order's.

Just a month before Cities in Motion 2, the 2013 SimCity released, and its failure sunk the franchise, leaving a significant hole in the market for a new city-builder to take its place. In an interview, the CEO of Colossal Order, Mariina Hallikainen, discussed how the studio had wanted to make a city-builder previously, but that Paradox Interactive had been concerned about having to compete with the juggernaut that was SimCity. As luck would have it, after SimCity's failure, Paradox did see the potential to address a gap in the market, and Cities: Skylines was greenlit for development.

Launching Cities: Skylines

After a year of development, Cities: Skylines was revealed in August 2014 with a trailer at Gamescom that showed off a game similar to SimCity but advertised a major change in the ability to play offline—a clear swipe at the competition. The trailer amassed an impressive 629,000 views on Paradox’s YouTube channel—more than the trailer for Europa Universalis IV and far more than any trailer for Cities in Motion.

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This screenshot shows Cities: Skylines' strong similarities to SimCity as well as one of its defining new features, districts.

Cities: Skylines
also benefited from effective marketing on Paradox Interactive's part. The publisher had grown a fair bit since its early days, and the success of Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV would work to the advantage of Cities: Skylines. (As an aside, both Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV would also establish the famous—and sometimes infamous—DLC model that Paradox is now known for and which would later be applied to Cities: Skylines).

Following its release in March 2015, Cities: Skylines was an immediate smash hit. It peaked at 60,386 users on Steam and sold 250,00 units on its first day on the market; a new record for Paradox Interactive. Sales only continued to grow, doubling to 500,000 by the end of the week and doubling again to one million a month after release, making it by far the fastest-selling game that Paradox has ever published.

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Cities: Skylines far outdid Colossal Order's previous games on Steam.

Strong reviews contributed to these incredible numbers, with the game receiving an 85 on Metacritic and an excellent user reception. Cities: Skylines was praised for being a true successor to SimCity while also bringing new ideas to the table. The game also had a strong impact on Paradox’s financials with them reporting a 241% increase in revenue and 442% increase in profits in 2015, and Cities: Skylines being credited as a major contributor to that increase. Such jaw-dropping numbers seem to have contributed to Paradox’s decision to go public in 2016 as in their IPO brochure they featured a graph demonstrating just how much they had grown in the past year, in part due to Cities: Skylines, and these remarkable results were only just getting started as Colossal Order continued to work on additional content.

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Paradox’s financials show the dramatic impact of Cities: Skylines.


Long-Term Sales and Support

Since this was a game published by Paradox Interactive, the launch was just the beginning. Over the following years, Cities: Skylines would continue to receive numerous pieces of DLC that added meaningful new content to the game, including new features, mechanics, objects, and more. Mod support played a role in its success, too, with user mods featuring everything from original assets to major overhauls of the game's traffic system, keeping a passionate community engaged and happy. After an already impressive launch, both official and unofficial improvements and additions to Cities: Skylines helped the game maintain strong momentum, resulting in it selling 2 million units by the end of its first year on the market, surpassing the SimCity reboot, and eventually growing to 3.5 million units by its second anniversary in 2017. These numbers put it far above Paradox’s other successful games at the time with other games not even coming close. Despite being released a year earlier Europa Universalis IV had only sold 1 million copies by its third anniversary with Crusader Kings II taking two years to reach the 1 million milestone. Even newer games like Stellaris and Crusader Kings III needed 4 and 3 years respectively to reach 3 million copies, which was still far slower than Cities: Skylines.

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Cities: Skylines and all its major expansion packs (the dozens of smaller cosmetic DLC are not pictured).

The game also received console ports from Tantalus around this time with an Xbox One version released in April 2017 and a PlayStation 4 and Switch version following a year later. While the console versions appear to have had minimal impact on sales (the next milestone announced was 5 million units on PC alone and 6 million units on all platforms a year after), Cities: Skylines eventually grew to sales of an astonishing 12 million units sold across all platforms in 2022, which puts it far ahead of any other city-builder. An especially remarkable feat if you pause to consider the relatively small development team and the amount of DLC that has been purchased.

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Cities: Skylines sales milestones, showing its incredible consistency in sales over time.


Conclusion

Games that try to follow in the footsteps of a more popular and established franchise often fail, but Cities: Skylines is one of a handful of exceptions where an "imitator" has far surpassed the original.

Ironically, the success of Cities: Skylines is now what would make it difficult for SimCity to ever attempt a meaningful comeback, due to just how dominant it has become in the market. Even more interesting is the fact that in March 2023, Paradox Interactive announced Paralives, a life-sim game not unlike The Sims, which itself spun out of SimCity back in the day. The announcement was also accompanied by the reveal of Cities: Skylines II, a game that saw its debut in October and, despite a rough launch, enjoyed an all-time peak of 104,697 concurrent users on Steam cemented the future of the franchise for many more years to come.
 
Great read, and funny enough I’ve been thinking about these two series a lot lately. It’s just wild to me how easily one of the most important IP in gaming history just rolled over and died, and a relative outsider ate EA’s lunch.
 
Fantastic article. You already linked several press releases but I will link the remaining ones specific to Cities: Skylines below in case people wish to read more on how the game continued to be updated post-launch by Paradox Interactive. The mentions of the number of mod content helps to show the importance of modding & the developer engaging with the community for its continued success. Perhaps the initial console versions having fewer tiles, features or Steam workshop compared with the PC version explains the low sales pre-2023 PS5/XB1 editions.

You already linked a few including the 12 million sales milestone but I thought it was interesting to note the mention of new content including free radio station that ties into the launch of Surviving Mars (which Cities: Skylines owners get a 10% discount on). Even just glancing over the round up of how much post-launch support the game has received helps people like me who aren't familiar with its post-launch model to appreciate just how extensive the support is over a long period of time. Eager to see if the sequel will match its success once patched...

Paradox Interactive Partners with Tencent to Publish Cities: Skylines and Stellaris on Chinese Language Platform (December 2, 2016)
Since the game’s launch, it has gone on to sell millions of copies, and dedicated fans have built over 90,000 pieces of community-contributed content.

Cities: Skylines comes to Chinese Language Platform on December 12 (December 8, 2016)
Cities: Skylines Celebrates Two Years of Record Sales (March 10, 2017)
Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order will be releasing a new in-game building pack as a free DLC to all players of Cities: Skylines. The pack, titled “Pearls from the East,” will bring a splash of style to mayor-players’ cities with three new buildings: a Panda Zoo, a Chinese Temple, and the Shanghai Pearl Tower, and will be available soon.

Cities: Skylines to Launch for Xbox One on April 21 (March 31, 2017)
Cities: Skylines Now Available for Xbox One (April 21, 2017)
Paradox Interactive Bringing Pillars of Eternity and Cities: Skylines to PS4 and Xbox One (June 21, 2017)
Cities: Skylines Turns Three, Celebrates Five Million Copies Sold on PC (March 8, 2018)
In that time, Paradox and Colossal Order have released over 1,000 new features, such as leisure and tourism, landscaping, football, radio stations, concerts, helicopters, ferries, monorails, cable cars, blimps and so much more. And yet, players in the Cities community are the TRUE big content producers, supplying more than 144,000 mods to-date. All sorts of user-generated maps, scenarios and assets are available in the Steam Workshop, for free!

To celebrate its third birthday and five million milestone, Cities: Skylines_players are getting a new unique Rocket City building called Xchirp Launcher, an astronaut Chirper, and a new free radio station - Official Mars Radio! Tune into Mars beginning this Friday, March 9 and jam out to space musical electro songs like Perfect Wave, Mission Stardust, The Return of Sputnik, Moon Zero Two and Aiming for Jupiter.

Cities: Skylines Launches on Nintendo Switch Today (September 13, 2018)
Cities: Skylines - Industries Inbound on October 23, Along with Synthetic Dawn Radio and New Free Update (October 11, 2018)
The free update coming alongside Industries will introduce toll booths (and road tolls, naturally), which will slow traffic’s roll a bit, but generate extra income for the city. Players will also get the option to mark zoned buildings as historical, preserving their style, and the ability to create custom name lists for citizens, districts and spawned buildings.

Cities: Skylines - Industries Expansion Now Available (October 23, 2018)
Green Cities Now Available for Cities: Skylines on Consoles (January 31, 2019)
Bundle Up, Builders! Cities Introduces Second Console Season Pass, 2019 Premium Edition and Mayor’s Edition

Paradox Interactive Joins Forces with Microsoft to Launch Paradox Mods, a new Independent Modding Platform, on Xbox One and PC (February 20, 2019)
Cities: Skylines Paradox Mods (123 mods compared with 8244 for Stellaris to give a sense of how the vibrant modding community did not migrate over to Paradox Mods for this game. Alongside expansions packs we also find mods being sold as paid Content Creator DLC packs.

Cities: Skylines Celebrates Fourth Anniversary and Six Million Copies Sold (March 8, 2019)
Since its last birthday, the best-selling city-building game has sold over a million MORE copies - more than six million to-date, but who’s counting? (We are.) Prepare for a deluge of delightful numbers.
  • Total playtime: 16,938,045 days
  • Total population: 2,185,317,000,000 (Holy reproduction, mayors - that's over two trillion people! Earth, on the other hand, has a measly eight billion at best.)
  • Cities built: 39,733,045
  • Megalopolis Milestone Reached : 2,185,317
  • Paradox Plazas built: 7,007,128
  • Most popular building: Wind turbine
  • Mods created by the community: 175,970
“When we first launched Cities: Skylines, we knew it was special, but we never dreamed how far players would take it,” said Sandra Neudinger, Cities: Skylines Product Manager at Paradox Interactive. “The community is the heart and soul of the game - we’re just here to give them the tools they want and need to make it their own,” added Mariina Hallikainen, CEO of Colossal Order.

To celebrate turning four and fabulous, the Cities: Skylines community team has special events planned all weekend. If you ever wanted to have your own Chirper in the game, now is your chance. Share your best Chirper design on the Cities: Skylines social channels for a chance to see it in-game. After entry submissions end on Monday, Colossal Order will add the best Chirpy design into Cities: Skylines for everyone to enjoy. Also, keep an eye out for free radio DLC giveaways from some top Cities creators!

University is Coming to Cities: Skylines with the Campus Expansion on the Way in May (May 19, 2019)
Cities: Skylines - Campus Expansion Now Available (May 21, 2019)
Cities: Skylines - Industries Expansion Now Available for Console (June 18, 2019)
Cities: Skylines - Campus Expansion Now Available for Consoles (September 24, 2019)
Cities: Skylines - Sunset Harbor DLC is on the Horizon for PC and Console (March 19, 2020)
Cities: Skylines - Sunset Harbor DLC and More Now Available for PC and Consoles (March 26, 2020)
City builders on these platforms can rejoice as this is the first time a Cities: Skylines expansion is available simultaneously on PC and console!

Cities: Skylines Receives New Content Creator Packs and Radio Stations During PDXCON Remixed (May 21, 2021)
Prepare for Landing - Cities: Skylines Airports DLC Launching on PC and Console January 25 (December 10, 2021)
Fasten Your Seatbelts: Cities: Skylines - Airports Touches Down on PC and Console (January 25, 2022)
Cities: Skylines hits 12 million sales mark (June 22, 2022)
After launching in 2015, the Cities: Skylines team worked on perfecting the gaming experience releasing 13 expansions, more than 10 radio stations, and bundles, offering the complete Cities: Skylines experience to new and old fans. Modding is another vital part of Cities: Skylines; constructing a city from the ground up is easy to learn, but when a community starts to put their flourishes atop that foundation, that's when a city becomes a place you can call home. Thanks to one of the most active modding communities in the world, Cities: Skylines continues to grow and expand in fantastic new ways.

Cities: Skylines - Plazas and Promenades is Now Available on PC and Consoles (September 14, 2022)
Paradox Reveals 10 Cities: Skylines Content Expansions Inspired by Regions Around the World (November 8, 2022)
Cities: Skylines will be free to try on Steam from November 10 to November 14.

Cash in Now with Cities: Skylines - Financial Districts, Available on PC and Consoles (December 13, 2022)
Cities: Skylines Coming on February 15 to PlayStation®5 and Xbox Series X|S with Remastered Edition (February 8, 2023)
Cities: Skylines - Remastered Now Available on PlayStation®5 and Xbox Series X|S (February 15, 2023)
Cities: Skylines - Remastered takes the robust city-simulation game to a higher level and leverages the power of current generation consoles. With the addition of buildable tiles, a map editor, and more, plus improved graphical performances, this remastered version for PlayStation®5 and Xbox Series X|S is the biggest and best Cities: Skylines console experience to date.

Cities: Skylines - Remastered upgrades include:
  • 25 buildable tiles – that’s 16 additional tiles from Cities: Skylines on Xbox One and PlayStation®4!
  • Quick selection tool
  • UX Improvements, such as precision placements, distance indicator and updated snapping options
  • New environmental controls panel allowing players to adjust time of day, rain, fog, and environment coloring
  • Map editor
  • An overall graphic performance increase
Paradox Interactive Announces Cities: Skylines II, the Next-Generation City Builder (March 6, 2023)
“The Cities brand has been an important part of Paradox’s catalog of games for over a decade. Cities: Skylines is a profound success, selling millions of copies, welcoming more than 5.5 million new players just last year, and setting the foundation for Cities: Skylines II,”

Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order Celebrate the Eighth Anniversary of Cities: Skylines with Three Content Creator Packs, Launching March 22 (March 15, 2023)
Paradox Interactive Reveals Final Cities: Skylines Expansion and Content Creator Packs, Launching May 23 (April 27, 2023)
Paradox Interactive Launches Cities: Skylines - Hotels & Retreats, Celebrating Game's Legacy with Luxury Accommodations (May 23, 2023)
“Looking back on the incredible journey of Cities: Skylines, it’s clear to see that it has become more than just a game. It's a community of passionate and creative individuals who have built intricate and magnificent cities with their own unique visions,” said Mariina Hallikainen, CEO of Colossal Order. “Hotels & Retreats is the last expansion for Cities: Skylines and celebrates its legacy by introducing ways for players to express their creativity.”
 
Now the big question is indeed whether EA will screw up The Sims 5 and pave the way for another Paradox sweep.
That would be very funny, but also a lot more difficult since The Sims is so much bigger and has a more casual userbase than SimCity. While a lot of the players online complain about the game's DLC practices (although Paradox's might not be much better), that hasn't translated into any changes so it seems Maxis is happy with how things are currently going. However, there are reports that the Sims 5 will be more online focused so they could do a repeat of the SimCity disaster. Paradox was also fortunate that Colossal Order was capable of creating a great city-builder, but it remains to be seen if the developer of their Sims game, Paradox Tectonic, will be able to make a game good enough to challenge The Sims. The studio is being led by Rod Humble, who was head of the Sims franchise for Sims 2 and 3, but that doesn't guarantee a successful project.



The trailer they released got some criticism, mainly for its visuals, and it seems that resulted in the early access launch being delayed from September of this year to March of next year. So hopefully they will have more time to polish it up so it can launch in a better state.
 
Excellent write up. Cities Skylines came out at the perfect time. Between EA/Maxis shooting themselves in the foot and Cities going viral (seriously, watch some Youtube videos), everything worked out for Paradox.
Now the big question is indeed whether EA will screw up The Sims 5 and pave the way for another Paradox sweep.

IMO, EA would really have to drop the ball with Sims 5 in order for that franchise to die. That brand has much more appeal than Sim City ever had.
 
Exceptionally well written and put together.
I wasn't even aware of the 2013 SimCity, so this was a lot of new info for me.
 
Any summary on the struggles of the sequel for those out of the loop?
A typical 2023 PC story, it launched with terrible optimization, barely running for most. It's harder to run than Alan Wake 2. It also had a lot of bugs and felt very rushed. It probably needs a year of updates to become what it should be.
 
A typical 2023 PC story, it launched with terrible optimization, barely running for most. It's harder to run than Alan Wake 2. It also had a lot of bugs and felt very rushed. It probably needs a year of updates to become what it should be.

Harder? runs fairly good on my rig capped at 30fps with max visuals at 3200x1800. Although I’ve only managed to get to 10k on my city.

Remember that the game is doing way more stuff than what AW2 does.

OP you missed Simcity Societies which is a horrible Simcity game from 2007 🤢
 
Harder? runs fairly good on my rig capped at 30fps with max visuals at 3200x1800. Although I’ve only managed to get to 10k on my city.

Remember that the game is doing way more stuff than what AW2 does.

OP you missed Simcity Societies which is a horrible Simcity game from 2007 🤢
It's gonna depend of course on each person's system, but a lot of systems ran the game horribly. There was a lot of uproar about it in the first few days.
 
EA massively ignored Sim City and Paradox came in and took their spot. It also helps that it is a great game overall. I hugely enjoyed it even on Switch.
 
OP you missed Simcity Societies which is a horrible Simcity game from 2007 🤢
I didn't miss it, I just chose to lump it in with the other ports and spinoffs in the period between SimCity 4 and the 2013 game that I brushed past to avoid bloating that section too much since the article is primarily about Cities: Skylines. There were a bunch of ports and spinoffs during that period, but since they weren't new mainline entries developed by Maxis I decided it wasn't worth going into them, but there is some interesting stuff there with how hard they went trying to find success for the game on consoles and mobile. Maxis seemed to be busy with The Sims and Spore at the time so a lot of their resources seemed to be elsewhere since those were seen as more profitable ventures. Part of why there was so much excitement for 2013 as it had been so long since a new traditional PC game had been released.
 
Looks like Cities Skylines 2 is falling behind the first game in terms of steam player count.


As of the time of writing, according to SteamDB, Cities Skylines 1 has 10,011 players, versus 9,263 for Cities Skylines 2. Over on Steam Charts, the figures are slightly different, but the story is the same – 9,893 people are playing CS1, as opposed to 8,887 on Cities Skylines 2.

In the past 24 hours, according to SteamDB, Cities 1 has also seen a marginally bigger peak player count than Cities 2: 14,762 people have concurrently played Cities 1 on Steam during the past day, while Cities 2 is slightly beneath that at 14,738. Steam Charts tells it differently – here, Cities 2’s 24-hour peak is slightly higher at 14,738, versus 14,718 for Cities 1.

Obviously this isn’t on the scale of Sim City 2013, but it does seem the rollout has been pretty rough.
 
Looks like Cities Skylines 2 is falling behind the first game in terms of steam player count.




Obviously this isn’t on the scale of Sim City 2013, but it does seem the rollout has been pretty rough.
This will probably continue to be a problem for Paradox, as even under the best of circumstances it's difficult to create a sequel that can match games that get years of DLC and updates as well as lots of mod support, and Cities Skylines 2 already wasn't launching in the best state. Crusader Kings III and Victoria 3 were also criticized for lacking features from their predecessors. While the DLC model does give you a lot of long-term revenue it also creates issues when you have to transition to a new game.
 
Very nice post.

As a big fan of both Simcity, and Cities Skylines, i am very happy that someone stepped in to take the place of Simcity, even if id be even happier if Simcity tried again, so both franchises could push eachother to do better.
As it stands Cities Skylines is so dominant that i fear they will fall into being complacent.

The whole thing with Cities Skylines 2 is a general Paradox sequel thing for basically all their franchises.
It is very hard to launch a competitive product to something that had years of support and refinement both from the studio, and a dedicated fanbase of modders.

Skylines 2 does stand out compared to Victoria and CK, in that it didnt only have the content issues that a new Paradox release will always have, but also massive performance issues, which werent an issue with the other 2 games.

On its own the base foundation of Skylines 2 is solid though(much more so than what the first game launched with), so once the launch bugs and performance troubles are fixed and the Paradox DLC machine gets its first few releases, it will definitively become a worthy successor.
 
This will probably continue to be a problem for Paradox, as even under the best of circumstances it's difficult to create a sequel that can match games that get years of DLC and updates as well as lots of mod support, and Cities Skylines 2 already wasn't launching in the best state. Crusader Kings III and Victoria 3 were also criticized for lacking features from their predecessors. While the DLC model does give you a lot of long-term revenue it also creates issues when you have to transition to a new game.

In the end, this is going to keep becoming the problem for many games that launching a sequel after years of release in the future. But its competitor is its first game which has such long support and content that makes it very hard for vanilla release of new game that still follow same formula to be unable to compete with out of the gate content there. I

Civilization V experienced this same problem which lead to Civ 6 early complain of lack of content till all the season pass and DLC come.
 
Post-script on A Sales Story article that people ought to read if they haven't already done so. Namely the post-launch support (or lack thereof) for Cities: Skylines II as the developer grapples with a Colossal Tall Order all because Paradox Interactive, fresh out of studios to throw under the bus, came up with a Harebrained Scheme to release arguably its most important game before it was ready. Really ought to have remained in development until it was fully prepared for a simultaneous multi-platform launch or better still led on PC with multiple public betas.
Manor Lords, the city builder made by a single dev, just crossed 2 million wishlists.


It enters Early Access on April 26th.
On that subject, thought I'd bring this over from the Official Palworld Steam CCU thread as while its not a direct competitor it shows the danger of hubris that befell EA repeating itself were someone to emerge with a rival in the near future. Established strategy publishers like Paradox Interactive & SEGA (Creative Assembly) will need to keep an eye out for Hooded Horse as its combined with the 2 million wishlist for the promising looking Manor Lords, it has plenty of strategy games on the way, plus its most recent launch of Against the Storm has been very well received. Worth comparing & contrasting its comprehensive Steam page updates with the month long delays for promised features & shifting blame onto customers for being toxic. Here's my Word of the Week. Lame. Don't even get me started on having subscriptions for DLC which go up in price to retain access while no longer offering Complete Editions as with early titles.
In the end, this is going to keep becoming the problem for many games that launching a sequel after years of release in the future. But its competitor is its first game which has such long support and content that makes it very hard for vanilla release of new game that still follow same formula to be unable to compete with out of the gate content there. I

Civilization V experienced this same problem which lead to Civ 6 early complain of lack of content till all the season pass and DLC come.
GAAS strikes out again! It's almost like it doesn't work for the majority of game business models, much like MMOs, people stick with one entry & want it updated for years if not decades. The idea of having iterative sequels coming out on a semi-regular basis doesn't work if the previous game had years of post-launch content updates unless they all carry over on Day 1. That is not to say these companies are doomed but that GAAS is not conducive to constant series growth, it can lead to people finding the existing title 'good enough' or put them off altogether. (edit: clarity)
 
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Post-script on A Sales Story article that people ought to read if they haven't already done so. Namely the post-launch support (or lack thereof) for Cities: Skylines II as the developer grapples with a Colossal Tall Order all because Paradox Interactive, fresh out of studios to throw under the bus, came up with a Harebrained Scheme to release arguably its most important game before it was ready. Really ought to have remained in development until it was fully prepared for a simultaneous multi-platform launch or better still led on PC with multiple public betas.

On that subject, thought I'd bring this over from the Official Palworld Steam CCU thread as while its not a direct competitor it shows the danger of hubris that befell EA repeating itself were someone to emerge with a rival in the near future. Established strategy publishers like Paradox Interactive & SEGA (Creative Assembly) will need to keep an eye out for Hooded Horse as its combined with the 2 million wishlist for the promising looking Manor Lords, it has plenty of strategy games on the way, plus its most recent launch of Against the Storm has been very well received. Worth comparing & contrasting its comprehensive Steam page updates with the month long delays for promised features & shifting blame onto customers for being toxic. Here's my Word of the Week. Lame. Don't even get me started on having subscriptions for DLC which go up in price to retain access while no longer offering Complete Editions as with early titles.

GAAS strikes out again! It's almost like it doesn't work for the majority of game business models, much like MMOs, people stick with one entry & want it updated for years if not decades. The idea of having iterative sequels coming out on a semi-regular basis doesn't work if the previous game had years of post-launch content updates unless they all carry over on Day 1. That is not to say these companies are doomed but that GAAS is not conducive to constant series growth, it can lead to people finding the existing title 'good enough' or put them off altogether. (edit: clarity)

This is the main reason why i keep saying that GaaS is a sound model when u want to put all eggs on 1 basket and never do other things.

THe thing is, every thing has expired date. So when it has gone for soo long, people will lost interest. Thats why nintendo avoid doing GaaS. Because they are focusing on doing sequel style release.
 
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