Refunds and other compensation offered to disgruntled fans.
An image from the city building game, Cities: Skylines 2, showing several houses and a body of water with the sun setting in the background.

Cities: Skylines 2 did not have the most spectacular of launches. The game's biggest issue is that it ran like absolute trash, even on the highest of high-end systems. While there has been some progress in addressing the performance woes, there are still several issues that fans would love to see addressed.

What fans didn't want was a paid piece of downloadable content that was light on content and contained nothing to address the existing list of issues. Of course, that's what fans got when Colossal Order and Paradox Interactive released the Beach Properties DLC in late March 2024. The DLC was more of an asset pack rather than a "proper" expansion for the game. It added in just a few new buildings and foliage types. Perhaps worse still is the fact that there was next to nothing "beach" related in the Beach Properties DLC.

It may have taken almost a month, but after sitting at only 4% "Overwhelmingly Negative" rating on Steam, the message seems to have been received loud and clear. Both Colossal Order and Paradox Interactive issued a joint statement apologizing for Cities: Skylines 2 and for the Beach Properties DLC.

The letter was signed by Paradox CEO Mattias Lilja and Colossal Order CEO Mariina Hallikainen. The two offer their apologies to the fans while also promising refunds to everyone that bought the Beach Properties DLC. Those that own Beach Properties through the Ultimate Edition of Cities: Skylines 2 will be compensated in the form of three Creator Packs and three radio stations. In addition, the Beach Properties DLC will be made a free addition to the game.

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.
The letter continues on with a promise that the teams behind Cities: Skylines 2 will "make immediate and meaningful changes" in how development of the game is going.

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.
Finally, the letter talks briefly about the status of the console release of Cities: Skylines 2. Due to the "uncertainty" the teams are facing right now, they are not making any further promises that they might not be able to keep. They flatly admit that they have not hit "the necessary level of optimization for a console release." The teams are "hopeful that an upcoming build delivery in April will demonstrate sufficient progress." If that build is in a good state, they say they may be able to target October for a release. Again, they are making no promises on this at present.

The good news is that the team working on the console release is separate from the team working on the PC build of Cities: Skylines 2. This means that progress on fixing the PC version will not be impacted by the console development.