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Cities Skylines 2 Dev Refunds DLC, Admits It Rushed It Out, and Apologizes to Disgruntled Players – IGN

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The developer of PC city builder Cities Skylines 2 has offered refunds for the game’s latest DLC amid a backlash from players over the state of the game.

Mariina Hallikainen, CEO of developer Colossal Order, and Mattias Lilja, deputy CEO of publisher Paradox, issued a joint statement that included a frank admission: that the heavily criticized Beach Properties DLC was rushed out in a bid to improve sentiment around the disastrous launch of Cities Skylines 2.

Colossal Order’s troubled city-builder sequel launched in October 2023 on PC via Steam and immediately ran into a number of issues. Player sentiment turned a ‘mixed’ Steam user review rating into ‘mostly negative’ for recent reviews, with the first Cities Skylines game currently enjoying more players than its sequel. Colossal Order CEO Mariina Hallikainen later admitted the lack of modding support was the developer’s “biggest regret.”

But the recent release of the Beach Properties DLC for $9.99 or as part of the Cities: Skylines 2 Waterfronts Expansion Pass or Ultimate Edition sparked an even greater backlash, with players criticizing the asset pack for not even including beaches. As you’d expect, the DLC has an overwhelming negative user review rating on Steam.

The Beach Properties DLC doesn’t include beaches.

Now, Hallikainen and Lilja have addressed the community in a statement that admits a number of failings at the developer. It is published in its entirety below:

Dear Cities fans,

We see and understand the disappointment many of you have expressed after the release of Cities: Skylines 2 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. When we’ve made statements like this one before, it’s included a pledge to keep making improvements, and while we are working on these updates, they haven’t happened at a speed or magnitude that is acceptable, and it pains us that we’ve now lost the trust of many of you. We want to do better.

The very first thing we’re doing is to compensate those who purchased Beach Properties. We will change the pack to be a free addition to the game, refund it to the extent possible, and provide additional content within the Ultimate Edition. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to offer refunds for Ultimate Edition buyers. This is due to the distribution of the Ultimate Edition across digital and physical storefronts, which create significant complexities for executing a partial refund. We realize that this is far from ideal, especially given the dedication those who have stayed with us since launch have shown. We are committed to repaying that loyalty, and therefore, we will compensate Ultimate Edition holders by adding 3 Creator Packs and 3 Radio Stations which, together, sum up to a value of USD 39.99. This solution hopefully ensures that you, regardless of purchase method, feel you receive fair compensation.

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. Firstly, this means a complete focus on improving the base game and modding tools, and secondly, we want to better involve you, the community, as we choose our priorities going forward. We will focus on additional free patches and game updates in the coming months before Colossal Order spends time on new paid content, resulting in a move of the Bridges and Ports Expansion to 2025. In addition, the aforementioned Creator Packs are being produced independently, and will not take any focus away from the work on improving the game. To make sure we focus on the right things, we’re putting together an advisory meeting, where a small group of player representatives, together with Colossal Order and Paradox Interactive, will discuss the development plan for this year. The people in this group are chosen for the size of their following within the community to represent as many people as possible. The teams from Colossal Order and Paradox Interactive will provide them with full transparency and answer any questions and critiques voiced. Our hope is that together with you, our community, we can make sure that we do not repeat the same mistakes we have made in the past and bring this game into a bright future.

We also want to address the pending console release. As you know, our plan was to release in spring of this year. We have been hesitant to communicate an actual release window because of the uncertainty we are facing, and to not make further promises we might not be able to keep. We have been struggling to get Cities: Skylines 2 to the necessary level of optimization for a console release, but are now hopeful that an upcoming build delivery in April will demonstrate sufficient progress for us to progress with a release candidate, and then a release build targeted for October. Before we have seen and evaluated the progress made in these builds however, we will not be able to confirm the release date, and even then, some uncertainty always remains. Our ambition is to deliver the experience that you all deserved at launch, but it will take time. It’s important to note that the team working on the console release operates separately from our PC development team, so it will be progressing without splitting our focus or time.

In closing, we want to reaffirm our dedication to making Cities: Skylines 2 the best city builder it can be. We appreciate your support and feedback, and hope we can regain your trust going forward. It’s our responsibility to earn it, and we hope these actions are a first step in the right direction.

We are deeply grateful for your continued passion for our game. Please stay tuned for further updates on the game and the refund process, and thank you for being a part of our community.

Sincerely,

Mariina Hallikainen

CEO, Colossal Order

Mattias Lilja

Deputy CEO, Paradox Interactive

In summary, those who bought the Beach Properties DLC will get a refund, but those who own the Ultimate Edition will not. Instead, Ultimate Edition owners get three Creator Packs and three Radio Stations which, Paradox believes, amount to the value of $39.99. No timeline for their release was offered. The Beach Properties DLC will be made free, although at the time of this article’s publication it remains $9.99. The Bridges and Ports DLC is delayed to 2025. Elsewhere, the console version of Cities Skylines 2 is delayed once again, now to October.

Cities: Skylines 2’s problems began before its launch even arrived. Colossal Order warned players the game would release with performance issues a week before it came out. Since then, players have been met with lower framerates and interesting dental glitches as the developer worked to create a better experience. In IGN’s Cities: Skylines 2 review, which returned a 6/10, we said: “Cities: Skylines 2 is an ambitious sequel that might have bitten off more than it can chew – be prepared to do a lot of terraforming if you don’t want your metropolis to look like a nightmare.”

Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at wesley_yinpoole@ign.com or confidentially at wyp100@proton.me.

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