The Cities Skylines 2 Steam player count has dropped 70% since the new building sim’s launch just three weeks ago on Tuesday October 24. On the surface, that may be cause for alarm. Especially given the complaints and concerns regarding CS2’s performance and technical troubles, and some further issues with roads, traffic, and pedestrian behavior, it might look like Cities Skylines 2 is doomed to be abandoned. An examination of the data however, when compared to the original Cities Skylines, suggests Colossal Order and Paradox’s latest might be doing just fine.
Cities Skylines 2 mods and all the upcoming Cities Skylines 2 DLC are bound to bring new life to the city building game, if for whatever reason players currently find it lacking. It’s true that Cities Skylines 2 has suffered from technical and performance problems so far, with weekly patches from Colossal Order and Paradox aiming to remedy some of the worst troubles. Nevertheless, on Steam, CS2 seems to be losing its players at a rapid pace – while Cities Skylines 2 is also available on Game Pass, the numbers from Valve’s platform initially paint a worrying picture.
From a peak Steam player count of 104,697 on launch day, in the last 24 hours, Cities Skylines 2 has seen a maximum user base of 23,429. Calculating an average from the past four days, the CS2 Steam player count is 31,291, just 29.8% of the peak player base from back in October.
Over the last four days, then, 70.2% fewer people have been playing Cities Skylines 2 than when it first launched, just three weeks ago. That sounds pretty bad. But compared against figures for the first Cities Skylines, actually, this appears quite normal. Arriving March 10, 2015, Cities 1 hit a peak player count of 57,421. The next available figure comes from April 1, when Cities 1 saw 26,873 players.
After that, the data jumps to April 19. If we add the figures from April 1, April 19, April 20, and April 21, we get 17,785, a rough, rolling average for Cities Skylines 1 three to four weeks after release. That means only 30.9% of the initial peak player base for Cities 1 was still playing, around a month later. If Cities Skylines 2 has lost 70.2% of its players in three weeks, by similar calculations, Cities Skylines 1 lost 69.1% in about the same period.
So, what might appear to be a precipitous drop off, heralding the slow abandonment of Cities Skylines 2, may actually be business as usual. Colossal Order and Paradox are ditching weekly patches to work on bigger fixes for more significant problems – there is still time for CS2 to recover.
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