12m sales and counting: What’s behind Cities: Skylines’ building success?

Finnish developer Colossal Order was founded with the aim of making one game in particular.

When the company was set up back in 2009, the goal was to make a city builder. It was a genre that had been popular in the past but any demand for this kind of game at the time was not being addressed.

Back then, Colossal Order was only five people strong; there was no way it could make something of that scope. So the company focused on one part of a city builder game; the transit system, and released 2011’s Cities in Motion. Colossal Order pitched a whole city builder to Paradox after its debut but was told it wasn’t ready, so Cities in Motion 2 came out two years later.

Now it had proven itself, the team finally wanted to make the city builder they had always wanted to create. A combination of Colossal Order’s track record, as well as the disastrous launch of EA’s SimCity in 2013, saw the studio given the green light by Paradox. This project, Cities: Skylines, was released to critical and commercial acclaim in 2015.

In June 2022, over seven years after the game’s release, publisher Paradox recently revealed that Cities: Skylines has sold over 12 million copies since its debut.

“It’s an unreal feeling,” Mariina Hallikainen, the CEO of Colossal Order, tells GamesIndustry.biz.

“It’s been such a wild journey developing this game. 12 million copies… Who makes a game that sells that much? It’s a great feeling to hit that kind of number. We never could have dreamed of such a thing. When we started developing Cities: Skylines back in 2013, I thought that selling 300,000 copies would be a fantastic result. That was the expectation: 300,000 copies. Since then, it’s been completely unimaginable. It’s a fantastic feeling to have created something that is, in a way, timeless.”

Read the full story over on GI.biz

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