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Cities: Skylines turned 6 years old earlier this year, and that has Colossal Order chief executive Mariina Hallikainen assessing the game’s legacy. Colossal Order is the studio responsible for the game, and it has continued to work on Cities: Skylines since it debuted in 2015.

I spoke with Hallikainen for GamesBeat’s “How Games Make Money” podcast about what it was like to rethink the scope after the game’s huge success and what she has planned for the future. You can listen to that below:

During our conversation, Hallikainen noted that it is still surprising just how well Cities: Skylines has done with fan.

“We had very modest expectations for City: Skylines,” she explained. “The games we worked on before were mass transit simulators … and they were very moderate successes. And when we think about City: Skylines, we understood that it is for a broader audience than the mass transit simulators, but in the end, we were pretty much unknown as the developer, and Paradox also wasn’t as big of a publisher as they are now.


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“So back in the day, we actually had a target of 300,000 copies sold.”

But the game ended up surpassing that with 500,000 copies sold — and that was in the first week alone.

“And we said, ‘OK, we need to adjust the target seriously again,'” said Hallikaninen.

One of the things that the success of the game enabled the studio to do was to begin listening to a large audience of dedicated players.

“Immediately for City: Skylines, there was this community forming around the game, and I think that was really wonderful because it really guided the development in a sense that we could actually discuss with our fans and figure out what we should be working on next.”

Hallikainen goes on to explain what that looked like for the team during the podcast as well as her hopes to make a horse-racing sim. Check it out, and thank you for listening.

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