Mega-City One: Skylines Breaks Paradox Sale Records

Cities: Skylines [official site] has sold 250,000 copies in the 24 hours since launch, including preorders as day one sales. That’s more than any other Paradox game in the same period – Europa Universalis IV surpassed 300,000 sales around six months after release – and around a quarter of SimCity 2013’s first fortnight of sales.

Paradox are understandably pleased by the reception but they’re already looking to the future of the game. When I played it before release, Colossal Order CEO Mariina Hallikainen told me that the team already had free content lined up – features that weren’t quite ready for release, including tunnels. Support should continue for years though, as with Paradox’s grand strategy mainstays, and will come in the form of paid expansions and free patch updates.

Paradox VP of Acquisition shared some piracy statistics on Twitter yesterday.

Here are a few small tidbits of info about Cities: Skylines – day 1 we had 0% piracy. pretty cool. Day 2 16%. As usual our plan for pirates is to make a great game even better through free updates – making it more convenient to use Steam instead. It’s all about offering the superior service. That’s how we bring down piracy. By making the paid experience a superior one.

Jorjani also says that Steam Workshop is “the best “DRM” ever”, recognising the ridiculous amount of community creations already available for Skylines. Alongside the new buildings, somebody has already made a first-person mod. Roll on SimSkylinesCopter.

Paradox CEO Fred Wester thanked the development team, Finland-based Colossal Order.

“Our congratulations and thanks must also go to developer Colossal Order for making what is being widely described as the new benchmark of the city building genre. We have forged a strong partnership with them over a number of years through the release of Cities in Motion and Cities in Motion 2, and I am happy to see such a talented team now being widely applauded for their unmatched passion and skill.”

The commercial (and critical) strength of Paradox’s internal titles is based around their longevity. It’ll be interesting to see if Skylines has a strong (digital) shelf life and that will depend on the quality of future content. In the last few years, Paradox have developed a satisfying approach to DLC, one that provides new content on a regular basis while ensuring that the base game isn’t neglected. If the Skylines of 2018 has as much strong additional content as the CK II of 2015, it’ll be almost unrecognisable.

Alec’s review of Skylines is here and if I find time, I’ll take some snapshots of my city over the weekend. It’s a hot mess.


  1. AbbRaza says:

    Is the day one bug free? Hoping to pick it up but not if its riddled with issues.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      There’s no such thing as bug free. That said though, Cities: Skylines has been pretty solid on release, with no major game-breaking issues, just some outliers.

      • ThatFuzzyTiger says:

        Only smaller bugs, nothing that even comes close to game mauling. The only possible issue is that the game runs with no vsync, which means it’s decided to give my system and all of the fans within a jolly good workout, the first time, this was amusing and probably needed. My rig has spent so long idling even when dealing with modern games that it was probably dying of boredom, however I’d like to limit just how much juice it’s yanking from the graphics card.

        • gunny1993 says:

          Use something like MSI afterburner to set up an under clock profile. Any time i’m not playing an intensive game I jack all my GPU setting as low as they can go to save on both energy and wear.

        • hollowroom says:

          Yup! Runs in a borderless window, so most drivers don’t see it as a 3D app. GSYNC doesn’t work either, although apparently you can force Dx9 to make it run as an app. It’s in the FAQ.

      • AbbRaza says:

        Cheers guys

      • Douglas Fir says:

        Well I lost around 10 hours progress because I saved to cloud instead of to disk. Save just disappeared. Maybe not a big deal to some people but it’s zapped my will to play. At the moment, anyway.

        • OscarWilde1854 says:

          Not sure that’s a game breaking issue as much as it is the stupidity of cloud based saving. I’ll take my local “hard” copy any (and every) day.

  2. DThor says:

    Wowie, so many desperate city simmers! I don’t understand why the preorders since the game will still be waiting for you, but I love the paradox folks so I’m glad things are going well. I truly hope the real thing lives up to the collective love – I’m waiting for release and perhaps a few patches myself. This certainly seems to indicate a crapload of frustrated sim city customers!

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      It’s been out for 2 days now. Are you in a locked region?

    • Kerbal_Rocketry says:

      The game was looking pretty solid and with the embargo lifted a week before the release and lead to me pre-ordering as it looked great and the devs where certainly passionate about what they had made.

    • Fox89 says:

      Usually I would never dream of pre-ordering, but sometimes you can get good deals. GMG had a 30% off pre-order discount. You risk the game not being good in search of a good deal – in that instance I can totally understand pre-ordering.

      When it’s just ‘for bonus exclusive content’ though before you even know if that content is gonna be any good, then I don’t get it.

    • badmothergamer says:

      I waited until the embargo was down then watched several streamers play on Twitch. It didn’t take long to realize this was going to be well worth the $30 for me so I pre-ordered to get the minor bonus goodies.

    • airmikee says:

      I don’t understand how the shopping habits of others could affect you, or be worth mentioning, at all. I guess some things are just mysteries.

  3. rustybroomhandle says:

    This is great for them! The Colossal Order team size ranged from 9 to 13 people, if I’m not mistaked. Compare this with Sim City 2013… I don’t have a head count, but this is a long list of people link to

  4. hollowroom says:

    My first city, the happy hamlet of Bawbag, is bloody awful. Had traffic issues at 1,700 people. I blame the free form road tool and alcohol.

    • MrWolf says:

      And in the game.

    • Bracknellexile says:

      I wish there were disasters in C;S. It’s the only thing I really miss. And given you can rename pretty much everything in the game, every tornado disaster would be instantly renamed Hurricane Bawbag :)

      • hollowroom says:

        You can rename everything, so if that ever got modded in…

        I think a tornado hitting my city would be considered urban renewal.

        Every time I play these games, I’m reminded how much I lack attention to detail. Or forward planning. Or any civic sense whatsoever. Still enjoying myself mind you.

      • PhoenixTank says:

        They’d be insane not to make disasters an expansion pack / DLC, assuming their map system can handle it.

  5. Dawngreeter says:

    I am always pleasantly surprised when I see the word “fortnight” used casually. I’m not sarcastic here, I genuinely smiled when I read it. And I always tell myself that I’ll look up what sort of social strangeness led to a whole nation feeling a need to have a singular name for a period of two weeks. And I never do. But I will this time, really, as soon as I get home from work.

    In case anyone is wandering (no one is, let it go… I can’t… ok then…) the only word that I like more than fortnight is the Russian word sorok (сорок), which means forty. Not that all the other names for multiples of ten (and hundred, and so on) work exactly as they do in most other languages. But not forty. Forty gets to be special. How delightfully odd.

    Not to be completely off topic, this game looks nice to me. If I had a free time slot for city builder games, this is the one I’d buy. Both Banished and the latest Anno have been on my Steam wishlist for a while, but right now I’d buy this over those two, I think. I have no idea why, I haven’t done any research, looked at the features, red reviews or anything. I’m just getting a positive vibe off of it.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      “Not that” should be “note that”. I know, still no one cares. But I can’t edit it. And this is one of those typos that actually reverses the meaning.

      I should probably get myself a blog instead of taking up space in RPS comments…

    • Shiloh says:

      There are some weird numbering oddities out there – the way the French use “60-10” for “70”, “4-20s” for “80” and “40-20s-10” for “90”… the “dozen” used to give a special name to “12 of something”…

      • Maritz says:

        It’s much more sensible in the French-speaking part of Switzerland for some reason.

      • Notelpats says:

        More like ‘4-20s-10′ for 90. But yes, ’tis silly (as a half-French person myself).
        What’s funny is that the much more logical Belgian/Swiss way of saying it (septante, octante/huitante, nonante) is ridiculed and will never be taken seriously in France.

      • TormDK says:

        We have something simiarly odd in Danish.

        We have Halvtreds (50), and Tres (60), which makes sense, I suppose – except for the fact that “halv” means Half – so we are basically calling 50 the half sum of 60.

        I guess math was never our strong suit :P

        • Pertel says:

          “Halvtreds” is a contraction of “halvtredsindestyve which is a bit of a contraction of “halvtredje” – “sindes” – “tyve”.
          The breakdown of each of these these are:
          “Halvtredje” is and old way of saying half-three or 2.5.
          “Sindes” is and old way of saying “multiply” or “multiplied by”
          “Tyve” is just twenty.
          So it actually a way of saying 2.5 X 20 = 50
          It works for “halvfjerds” or 70:
          halvfjerde = 3.5
          halvfjerdesindestyve = 3.5 X 20 = 70

    • Koozer says:

      Personally I’ve always wondered why eleven and twelve were so special as to get their own words. Not enough to actually google it mind.

      • Scurra says:

        It’s the same reason why we have 60 seconds in a minute, sixty minutes in an hour and 360 degrees in a circle – you can blame it on the Egyptians and Babylonians (amongst others, but they were clearly the most prominent) who worked in base 12 (or base 60) rather than base 10. Base 12/60 is far, far more flexible for mathematical purposes – base 10 is clearly easier for idiots but it is much less useful. Hence “eleven” and “twelve” getting their own special names (well, one reason anyway.) And now you know that, you can forget it.

        • hollowroom says:

          I was always led to believe that “eleven” comes from the old english / Germanic word meaning “one left”.

          Which would make sense in base 12.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      One of my favourite words is the Italian word, ‘Scarpetta’ which is basically mopping up the leftover sauce on your plate with a bit of bread. This appeals to me because they felt the need to encapsulate this particular act and also because it is VERY relevant to my interests: mopping up sauce with bread.

      • v21v21v21 says:

        In that case, you might be interested to learn that in greek the term is “papara” (accent on second syllable). A noun, with the action described as “making a papara”. Be careful though if you plan to use this new-found knowledge while visiting Greece, as a slight change in sound (essentially, inserting a vowel and accenting the last syllable) transforms the word into a vulgar term for bs.

        Enjoy with some tzatziki ;)

      • Mr.Bats says:

        You may find some delight, then, in knowing that in Spanish, we use “rebañar” (and sometimes “rebañar el plato”), almost only for that particular and very enjoyable action, although the word can be used in other context, albeit rarely. We also use “mojar” (direct translation: to wet; better translation: to dip).

        My Grandma used to say, while doing it: “Más vale una vuelta por aquí que ciento por los Campos Elíseos” (Better to go around here than a hundred times around the Elysian Fields)

        It is also said, that while visiting another court, the Spanish King’s (I do not remember which one) men were troubled for not being able to “rebañar” as it’s not considered polite. The King, a fan, put his arm up holding bread and said: “¡Españoles, a mojar!” (Spaniards, let’s dip!).

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      Don Reba says:

      I feel the word “sennight” does not get enough use nowadays.

    • tcmJOE says:

      My recollection from my Russian language classes was that sorok came from an old slavic word for furs. Specifically, trappers would sell their collected furs in bundles of 40.

      Why 40 and not some other amount to bundle is another question, but there you go.

      • Premium User Badge

        Don Reba says:

        It comes from the old word for a “bag” (сорокъ). Sable furs were sold in bags of 40, which happened to be about how many you needed to make a full fur coat.

    • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

      fortnight is an old english word meaning fourteen nights :)

    • waltC says:

      Saw a funny word this morning…”forwent”…;) I’m guessing it’s past tense for “forgo”….;) As in:

      “I could not forgo the sentence, as I had already read it, so I forwent it instead.”

      Eh? Arghgghghghghghg….;)

      Base 10:

      “Ten toes up & ten toes down; Judge, if that ain’t ***ckin’ you can fine me ten!”

      (Origin of the Words; ibid., Charles Darjerk, 1619.)

    • Premium User Badge

      kfix says:

      To everyone in this thread: RPS comments are the bestest comments, and you are all beautiful people.

      Thank you that is all.

    • Jerricho says:

      20 gets to be called a score as well

  6. Shiloh says:

    Sod it, I just pulled the trigger after resisting for a couple of days.

    Farewell social life…

  7. byjimini says:

    I was skeptical they could do it, given Cities XL’s launch many years ago.

    Glad to see Paradox have lived up to what they were saying beforehand; I bought it a few hours after release after watching some user-made Youtube stuff, and it really is brilliant. Makes SimCity look like a laughing stock.

    • Lunsku says:

      I was skeptical they could do it, given Cities XL’s launch many years ago.

      Cities XL is not related to Cities: Skylines, though. Understandably it’s easy to mix these series up because of the name similarity. Cities: Skylines was predated by Cities in Motion games.

    • airmikee says:

      Cities XL was developed by Monte Cristo and published by FHI, later versions of the series were developed and published by FHI, after Monte Cristo went bankrupt. Colossal developed and Paradox published the Cities in Motion series. Monte Cristo and Paradox worked together on the City Life 2008 game after the original published pulled out of the series.

  8. Hunchback says:

    Hooray! \o/

    (The game is awesome, i will be spending many an hour with it in the future)

    • caff says:

      Yes it’s great. And absolutely TONS of modding potential e.g. maps, buildings, tools, graphics mods.

      I wish it had a UI that scaled up to 4K a bit better than it does, but it’s pretty anyway. Hopefully someone will mod that too.

      • Canadave says:

        I did come across an anti-aliasing mod on the Workshop last night that’s supposed to help the interface scale better. I didn’t try it myself, but you might want to have a look for it.

  9. derbefrier says:

    I was considering buying this myself probably will sometime over the weekend. Haven’t pkayed a city builder since sim city 2000. This should be a lot of fun

  10. 2late2die says:

    The game is awesome and I’m looking forwarding to both what the community will come up with, and future content updates from Colossal Order. Tunnels are certainly going to be nice, but I’d also love to see disasters, wind direction and speed, air pollution that gets shifted around by wind, and if I’m really dreaming then seasonal and day/night cycles. :)

    • badmothergamer says:

      Seasonal effects would look great but I’ve heard a few people ask for day/night cycles which I don’t think would work. Even at the slowest speed, the days pass in about 5 seconds, so your screen would just be constantly flashing from dark to light. They’d have to have an epilepsy popup warning at 3x speed.

      Perhaps a day/night toggle instead? It would be nice to view my city at night although that would also mean adding lighting features to every building.

      • throwscats says:

        They could just handle day/night like they already handle day cycles in game. What I mean by that is that people, if you follow them, are literally inside a store shopping for groceries for DAYS. The game doesn’t actually adhere to time as you watch it. There are two times–the actual time ticking in the bottom left, and then some weird alternate dimension time where people take several days to walk to work. All they need to do is match their day/night cycle with alternate dimension mode, so that the cycle looks natural. It would be more of a flavor thing.

        That said, I don’t know how feasible that is for a free update. I’d think they’d do that in an expansion. They’d have to alter the entire look of the game. Plus, I wonder what that would do to the graphical load of the game on a computer.

        • airmikee says:

          Not a “problem” or even unique to C:S, it’s how all city builders handle time and the lives of the inhabitants inside the game. It’s because if they slowed the game down to real life, so that Sims in the game operated and lived as we do, the game would be excruciatingly slow. And if they made the game operate so that we could play it and actually build a metropolis within hours, the Sims would be zipping around town so fast it would be impossible to track them. I’ve seen how cities grow in real life, I don’t want to wait six months for one building to be constructed in a game.

    • Goat.of.Space says:

      Buying it today after reading pretty much only positives. I love sim-management games and iirc my love for them started with the old Sim City. I dont even remember which one it was (the old one, no not Sim City 4 somehow I bounced off that quite hard). In absence of an alternative I tried to play Cities XL but by steam shows only 23 hours logged in. I get tired of that game too quickly and before any of my carefully planned and linked cities reach even half their potential.

      Looking forward to sinking my teeth into this one at leisure since through a stroke of good luck I have the next few days off.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    It’s nice to see people rewarded for a job well done.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      This is the primary reason I went and got the special edition

  12. Morcane says:

    It’s just so much better than *that* SimCity, you know, *the* one (boo hiss). UI is rough around the edges, but manageable. Modding support is even better.

  13. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    I wonder how these numbers compare to those of Sim City. Is a record-breaking release for Paradox a drop in the bucket for EA?

    • Moraven says:

      SimCity sold 1.1m copies over two weeks. Which for a PC only release, hard to say if it was within expectations for EA. EA obviously had plans for selling DLC to a large playerbase.

  14. Chiron says:

    Here are a few small tidbits of info about Cities: Skylines – day 1 we had 0% piracy. pretty cool. Day 2 16%. As usual our plan for pirates is to make a great game even better through free updates – making it more convenient to use Steam instead. It’s all about offering the superior service. That’s how we bring down piracy. By making the paid experience a superior one.

    I fucking love you Paradox and think, despite the constant whining from many about your DLC, that you are one of the best examples of how to release and support games ever.

    Now give us more Arsenal of Democracy dammit.

  15. int says:

    Well Call-Me-Kenneth!

  16. OscarWilde1854 says:

    “day 1 we had 0% piracy” Well that’s BS… I pirated it on Day One. Bought it 6 hours later (I’m always skeptical of buying games without trying them fully…) but nonetheless it was definitely available and being pirated on day one. Honestly, it had a few thousand seeders too, only ended up taking like 40 minutes to download.

    Fantastic game though! And any other skeptics with the “pirate-first” mentality: you can skip straight to paying for this one! Worth the (quite cheap) price tag!

    • Cronstintein says:

      0% doesn’t mean 0 downloads… 1% of 250,000 = 2,500 downloads. So if they saw less DLs than that they’re technically right (the best kind of right ;)

    • purex. says:

      Funny, I usually test-wear my clothes for at least 6 hours before I hand the shop any money.

      • airmikee says:

        Me too. I also test drink milk before buying any, I don’t get why the store employees always look so horrified.

      • MikhailG says:

        Yeah funnily your rebuttal makes no sense because people actually do try clothes on first. It just takes a couple minutes to realise they are good for you or not, in comparison to a a game which at least needs lets say 15 to 30 min to be sure about it.

        • purex. says:

          That’s why demos exist. When you try clothes on in the store, you don’t get the full picture of how they’ll handle an entire day of activity, but it would be ridiculous to just take them and pay the store later. The same goes for games. Granted, some games don’t have demos, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the right to take the full thing without paying for it.

  17. slerbal says:

    I bloody love this game. It has already stolen 22 hours of my life. I love the tinkering with bus routes, metro routes and train routes and then locking myself to a train and watching it cruise about my city. So good! I am really pleased it has done so well as they have made something very special indeed.

    • James says:

      Its all about the traffic management for me. 34000 people and not a jam in sight. My roads do look like a cluster of snakes though.

  18. cederic says:

    “That’s how we bring down piracy. By making the paid experience a superior one.”

    That’s why I buy Paradox games.

    • caff says:

      It’s certainly a clever and compelling standpoint. I’ve never bought a Paradox game before this one, but reading statements like this fills me with respect for the company.

  19. teije says:

    This might be just enough glad tidings for me to pick up a city sim again. Sounds great, and knowing Paradox it will be well supported and expanded for years. Haven’t played one since the long-ago days of Simcity 2000 – boy I loved that.

  20. Cross says:

    So it’s a big success, wonderful, it’s well deserved. It would serve EA right to take notes, even if we all know they won’t.

    • airmikee says:

      The bad decisions that left SC5 crippled and lame were all made by Maxis, not EA. Maxis leadership was adamant about that right up until the end of the company, and no one has been able to provide any evidence to the contrary. Will Wright was SimCity and The Sims, nobody could ever expand on his vision. When he left Maxis both franchises were doomed to die a painful, slow, death, just like we’ve seen happen.

  21. pepperfez says:

    I really appreciate Paradox’s approach to piracy prevention, but I wish they would take the last step of dropping all software-based DRM and releasing on GoG at the same time as Steam.

  22. SaintAn says:

    “Here are a few small tidbits of info about Cities: Skylines – day 1 we had 0% piracy. pretty cool. Day 2 16%. As usual our plan for pirates is to make a great game even better through free updates – making it more convenient to use Steam instead. It’s all about offering the superior service. That’s how we bring down piracy. By making the paid experience a superior one.”

    And you just sold me. Once I have the extra money I’m buying this, and I don’t even like these kinds of games all that much.

  23. Jerricho says:

    If I wasn’t on shift in the middle of Africa right now I’d be playing this. Roll on next break!

  24. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Purchased. And I’m not even that good at this type of game.. but I still want to play them.. well, at times.

  25. GomezTheChimp says:

    How do they collect the piracy data?
    Is 16% on day 2 low, high or somewhere in between?
    Is it important?

  26. MikhailG says:

    I really clapped when I read that statement about fighting piracy. At least someone understands how software works these days. I just wish I actually were interested in some of their other titles to show support, oh well at least this one is something I wanted. Been playing it the whole weekend.

    Cue EA assigning a studio to copy C:S as much as they can.

    • Neutrino says:

      Or buy them out then close them down.

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        Has that kind of ‘envelop and extinguish’ been done on a dev studio that’s already got a publisher, though?

  27. Neutrino says:

    Is there a difference between the game having Steam DRM and being a standard Steam distribution? Because I’m tempted to pay for this but I’ll be buggered if I’m going to pay full price only to find that I have to install it via some bullshit DRM client like Steam which prevents me from playing it while anyone else in my household is playing any other game in my library.

    So I suppose what I’m asking is, can I pay for this in such a way that I actually own the thing I’ve bought and can use it accordingly, including letting other members of my household play this while I’m playing something else?

    • Cockie says:

      There is a difference. In Steam, games can (but don’t have to) use Steam as DRM. Some games you install through Steam and can then run without Steam, some games require steam to be launched to run (and will autostart steam if you try to run them without it), and the only way of knowing which it is seems to be to ask someone who has the game whether they can launch it without steam.
      A bit annoying, I know.

    • DrollRemark says:

      My understanding of Steam sharing is that it only stops you playing the same game at the same time?

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        That’s how a sensible person might expect it to work, but as described here and lamented by Neutrino, the minimum unit of sharing is the entire library, which only one person can use at a time.