Cities: Skylines 2 developer says multiplayer would make the 'core player experience' worse

A city skyline
(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

A month ago we learned Cities: Skylines 2 is in the works over at Colossal Order and Paradox Interactive, and that it'll be released sometime later this year. 

Since then we haven't heard much else, leaving us to search for clues about the city builder sequel's features in achievement lists (which tell us it'll have rats, hailstorms, and 150 buildable map tiles) and scour the announcement trailer for easter eggs, such as one that suggested Cities: Skylines 2 might be built in Unreal Engine 5.

Today Colossal Order gave us a few new titbits of information about Cities: Skylines 2 via Twitter—including one that firmly shoots down that Unreal rumor. Cities: Skylines 2 will be built in Unity like the original, not in Unreal 5, Colossal Order confirmed in a tweet.

The developer answered a few other questions as well, explaining that Steam Workshop mods and assets for the original Cities: Skylines, of which there are hundreds of thousands, will not be compatible with Skylines 2: "Cities: Skylines II is an entirely new game. Existing workshop content would likely need to be remade or adapted. We'll have more to share about modding Cities: Skylines II in the future."

And finally, a burning question many players have in an age where singleplayer games often include some sort of multiplayer functionality or co-op mode. In answer to the question, "Any scope to add multiplayer in Cities Skylines 2?" Colossal Order answered:

"Cities Skylines II is our most ambitious project to date, expanding on every mechanic in the franchise. Adding multiplayer support takes an incredible amount of time and resources that would take away from building the core player experience we are striving to create."

See more

So that's a no, basically. Mostly. It's as close to a no as you can get without actually saying no, which naturally makes me wonder why they didn't just say no.

I can't entirely blame Colossal Order for not being 100% concise in its answer, since the question itself wasn't entirely straightforward, either. The asker didn't say, "Will Cities: Skylines 2 have multiplayer?" They said "Any scope to add multiplayer," which leaves room for the type of answer we got.

But I'm guessing that almost-no means definitely not, and that's probably a good thing. Lest we forget how SimCity crashed and burned a decade ago after EA and Maxis did spend the time and resources on multiplayer—coincidentally leaving  plenty of room for the rise of Cities: Skylines two years later.

As for when we'll learn more about Cities: Skylines 2, Colossal Order tweeted, "We'll have much more to share about the game in the future." While that sounds nebulous, Skylines 2 is due out sometime in 2023 so there can't really be all that much longer to wait.

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.