Tantalus—the studio responsible for porting the surprise release of Cities: Skylines on Nintendo Switch—has pretty much just dashed the hopes of anyone that was looking forward to the current version of the game being built upon. In a recent interview with GamingRespawn, the CEO of Tantalus Media, Tom Crago, gave a very blunt response when asked if the team would be doing anything more for the Switch edition of Cities as it relates to performance updates and DLC expansions.
Crago explained that the team attempted to “recreate the full PC experience on Switch without making too many adjustments.” In his eyes, Tantalus did an “excellent job” at achieving this goal. Though, he does admit that critics (like myself), pointed out the serious framerate issues this version of the game suffers from. Even so, he then went onto say that this is due to the Switch being far less powerful than other platforms, which is what Cities was originally designed for. He does seem to show a little remorse by then saying: “the alternative, which maybe we should have taken, was to radically change the design of the game”. The reason why he didn’t let the team didn’t take that route at that time is because he didn’t think the Cities fanbase and newcomers would want an alternate version from the original. Tom ended his discussion about Cities on Switch by dismissing the possibility of performance updates and DLC “at this stage”, though he did mention that “we don’t know what the future holds”.
This is Fine? (Not)
As I alluded to earlier, I reviewed Cities: Skylines for Switch here on Nintendo Enthusiast. While I got absorbed into the experience far more than I thought I would, one of the few things I found annoying is how the framerate tanks into the low teens after your city begin to really grow. The only way to preserve it is by zooming out (which of course doesn’t help from a gameplay perspective). So, while I do understand Crago’s explanation of the Switch being far less powerful, it is a bit unfortunate that Tantalus has no plans to try and optimize it. Though, the game already does appear to be running at 720p in both handheld and docked mode, and the graphical fidelity has definitely been toned down significantly.
What really is a bummer is his dismissal of the possibility of bringing DLC to the Switch version. While two packs come bundled in, there are far more in the other versions of the game, and Crago even rather snidely mentioned that Tantalus is currently working on porting more packs to the PS4 and Xbox One versions.
So, it looks like Cities: Skylines fans on Switch will ultimately just have to try and be happy with what’s been made available, as it doesn’t look likely that anything will change beyond this. It’s disappointing to see a developer dismiss a project so nonchalantly, though. I wonder if perhaps this version didn’t sell all that well? (No sales reports have been released thus far, so that’s just a theory).