The Cities Skylines 2 comeback has started, as Colossal Order totally transforms the whole economy (2024)

I think this could be the start of the big Cities Skylines 2 comeback. If the city building sequel has failed to inspire its most devout fans since launch, owing to problems with difficulty, in-game production, building demands, and other finer points of the overall simulation, Colossal Order is about to transform the entire Cities Skylines 2 economy and in the process rebalance the game entirely. The ‘Economy 2.0’ update is going to be gigantic, and based on new details from CO, seemingly addresses some of our deepest concerns.

Besides performance problems and issues with service buildings, the Cities Skylines 2 economy has been one of the biggest sources of criticism since the city building game launched in October 2023. In some cases, money management in CS2 is too simple. The new government subsidies cover your costs at the start of the game, and if you’re struggling to provide the requisite city services, you can just import them from outside.

In other cases, the financials in Cities Skylines 2 seem designed to confuse and wrongfoot you – demand for housing keeps rising, but people won’t move into the new suburbs and projects that you’ve just finished building. Well, all of this is about to change, as Colossal Order reveals the intricate adjustments in Economy 2.0.

The Cities Skylines 2 comeback has started, as Colossal Order totally transforms the whole economy (1)

First of all, the government subsidies are gone, zip, no more. No rebalancing. No fine tuning. They’re out of the game. “A key point in the feedback we received was that the game didn’t challenge many of you when it comes to managing the city’s finances,” Colossal Order says. “Striking the right balance is hard. We want new players to be able to dive into the game while still providing players from Cities Skylines or long-term fans of the city-building genre a challenge.

“We introduced government subsidies in Cities Skylines 2 to act as a helping hand as your city got established, allowing them to scale with expenses. But they also removed agency and consequences from the game. We considered several approaches to government subsidies but in the end, we decided to completely remove them from the city budget.”

With government subsidies gone, the upkeep costs for city services will be increased significantly. Youcan’t just buy one of everything, plop it down, and ignorethe initial deficit. Now, you have to be much more careful when choosing what to invest in and build. “Our goal here is to give your choices more meaning as your city grows,” CO says. “Can you afford to improve the city’s mail service to make citizens happy or will that have to wait until your economy is more stable? These are the kinds of questions we hope you will be asking yourself as you play with the update.”

The Cities Skylines 2 comeback has started, as Colossal Order totally transforms the whole economy (2)

Importing services from outside your city will also work differently in Economy 2.0. At the moment, if you need additional ambulances or garbage trucks, you can rely on outside connections to provide them for you – the only ‘cost,’ so to speak, is the extra time that it takes for these vehicles to reach your citizens. With Economy 2.0, however, you will also have to pay a fee to use outside services’ help, which scales up with your city’s population. If you want to avoid this, a new policy will allow you to disable all outside services, and rely exclusively on what you have in-house.

And speaking of houses, the residential demand system is being overhauled entirely. With Economy 2.0, the more wealthy or high-earning citizens that appear in your city, the greater the demand will be for costly, low-density residential zones. On the contrary, if you have an influx of lower-earning citizens, like students, the demand for middle and high-density zoning will increase. Happiness, available education, homelessness levels, and tax rates will all impact the types of households that appear, which in-turn affect commercial demand.

“The more households consume, the more demand for commercial zones you’ll see,” Colossal Order explains. “We’ve tweaked the household need for shopping, forcing them to pay rent and consider the garbage fee before going shopping. Furthermore, we have also tied the types of companies that can inhabit commercial buildings more closely to the products citizens consume.”

The Cities Skylines 2 comeback has started, as Colossal Order totally transforms the whole economy (3)

Industrial buildings will now have a stronger connection to commercial zones, and will be more inclined to create products that nearby shops demand and sell. The Cities Skylines 2 education system is also being transformed. Children will always go to school now, as long as positions at elementary schools exist for them. Teenagers have a higher chance of going to high school, but can still choose to join the workforce if there are suitable jobs. Teenagers and adults can also find work beyond your city, and travel to jobs via the same external connections that bring in outside services.

Finally, Economy 2.0 transforms production. The amount of work required to produce a single unit of any product has been increased, lengthening production and manufacturing times and leading to a decrease in overall production, as well as a reduction in company profits.

Smaller profits also means a smaller amount of collectible tax, but the cost of goods has been altered, too. Companies pay a reduced price for raw materials now, while commercial properties buy the finished products at a standard rate. The two prices – the cost of raw materials and the cost of the finished product – are then combined into the cost paid by the consumer.

Perhaps that sounds unfair, but wages for all citizens have also been increased in Economy 2.0, so everyone has more money to spend on these commercial goods. “As we went through your feedback, it became clear that certain systems, particularly the economic simulation, weren’t transparent enough and didn’t allow you enough control over your city,” Colossal Order says.

The Cities Skylines 2 comeback has started, as Colossal Order totally transforms the whole economy (4)

“Our goal with Economy 2.0 was to make the systems more straightforward and responsive, so you can make more meaningful choices and have more control over the various gameplay aspects. This means fewer safeguards and automated systems that work invisibly under the surface and an increased level of challenge.

“We still aim for the game to be playable without paying too much attention to where and how money and resources flow in the city so new players have a chance to succeed, while still leaving room for experienced players to benefit from optimizing their city.”

The second component of Economy 2.0 will cover rent and building upgrades, and Colossal Order promises to share details on these changes in the near future. In the meantime, this huge new Cities Skylines 2 update sounds like a significant step in the right direction, and could finally bring the troubled strategy game closer to our expectations.

Get the best Cities Skylines 2 modsif you want to add more improvements to the game, or maybe check out some of the other best management games on PC.

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The Cities Skylines 2 comeback has started, as Colossal Order totally transforms the whole economy (2024)

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