Just think, if SimCity was genuinely a good city building game when it released in 2013, we wouldn’t be playing or talking about Colossal Order’s recent Cities: Skylines. That much was revealed in a recent interview between the folks at PC Gamer and CEO Marina Hallikainen.
“We were extremely afraid that people will just think of us as a cheap knock-off or something, that we have been just trying to copy what they did in SimCity…So it was a little bit of a daunting task for us.”
At first blush, yeah, I get that. If you’ve played SimCity and you fire up Cities: Skylines, you’ll obviously recognize that the two are totally separate games. However, there are a lot of little things done by Cities: Skylines that feel lifted straight out of the SimCity UI design manual. Look, SimCity was a mess, but its user experience was fantastic in terms of actual mechanic control and visual information understanding.
Cities: Skylines copies a lot of that. Heck, the game is a city game that was pitched in a world where there was really only one true city game name, SimCity. So, when SimCity 2013 dropped and landed with a flop, Paradox Interactive gave Colossal Order the green light.
“When they announced [SimCity 2013] I was pretty sure there was no way we would ever be able to convince Paradox that we should make this game…But, yeah, they gave us the green light after they saw what happened with SimCity.”
PC Gamer pushed for clarification there. They asked if SimCity‘s launch push Paradox into green lighting Cities: Skylines, and Hallikainen offered that it must have helped a lot.
We think so, and we’re happy about that fact too.