Cities: Skylines 2 developer Colossal Order has asked players to help create a more positive environment after noticing “a growing tendency of toxicity” in its community.
Studio CEO Mariina Hallikainen took the time to discuss the state of the fanbase in Colossal Order’s latest message to fans over on the Paradox Interactive Forums. It’s a message that welcomes players back from the holidays while promising modding support, bug fixes, and more. Most of the letter, however, focuses on the negativity that the team seeks to address.
“Last but not least, we have seen a growing tendency of toxicity in our community, something we have not experienced to this extent before,” Hallikainen said. “Not only directed towards our devs but also our fellow community members – resulting in people hesitating to engage with the community. In the long run, this will really hurt not only the mood and the happiness of community members but also discourage creativity and modding, something we would be very sad to see.”
Colossal Order says it has always appreciated when the team interacts with the community. However, it’s even more crucial that the developers are safe, and it seems the toxicity is causing problems. As the studio seeks to prioritize staff wellbeing and motivation, it asks fans if they would prefer “more moderation” or “is the only option to pull back our engagement on our end?”
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where this toxicity is coming from, and while most comments on the CEO’s post are positive, some shared other thoughts. Paradox Forum user Licenturion feels that the responses are related to player reactions to the game’s widely criticized launch state, adding that feedback will be more positive if improvements continue.
“Toxicity and criticism are different things, I’m sure you understand that,” Hallikainen clarified in a reply. “Toxicity is threats, attacking people and being outright mean. It has nothing to do with explaining what the issues with the game you might be facing and what you wish for the devs to fix or improve on first. We don’t want praise, we want a community where we can discuss with the players about the game, what is working and what is not without facing abuse.”
The CEO has called out toxicity before. In November, following the removal of an in-game radio advertisement, Hallikainen was “surprised” to see some fans attacking other players and singling out members of the team.
“The best part of the Cities: Skylines community has been how helpful and kind its members are to each other, and we hope to see that continue with Cities: Skylines 2,” the Colossal Order head said at the time. It seems that trend toward negativity has continued despite the studio’s efforts.
Cities: Skylines 2’s problems began before its launch even arrived. Colossal Order warned players that it would release with performance issues a week before it made its way to the public. Since then, players have been met with lower framerates and interesting dental glitches as the developers work to create a better experience. In our 6/10 review, we said, “Cities: Skylines 2 is an ambitious sequel that might have bitten off more than it can chew – be prepared to do a lot of terraforming if you don’t want your metropolis to look like a nightmare.”
Michael Cripe is a freelance contributor with IGN. He started writing in the industry in 2017 and is best known for his work at outlets such as The Pitch, The Escapist, OnlySP, and Gameranx.
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