Concept art of the city hall.
Earlier today, Shams Jorjani from Paradox was talking about pitching games to Paradox in a live stream. He happened to reveal some never before heard things about Cities: Skylines’ past.
After Cities in Motion 2, we started to talk about “Okay, what do we do next?” And SimCity was still coming out on that time, and we were like: “Okay, we can’t take on them directly. We need to probably find our own kind of flavour to the SimCity game.” So the original pitch for Cities: Skylines was called Mayor, and it was more of a political [game]. It was a city builder but it focused a lot on that other political stuff.
“Mayor” needed to differentiate itself from SimCity, so Colossal Order was going with a political theme at first.
Sometime during the process we saw that SimCity wasn’t exactly giving people what they wanted.
Like we already know at this point, SimCity failed horribly in the eyes of many city builder fans, and that really opened the market for a modern city builder that wouldn’t suck. Colossal Order immediately went for more sandbox style gameplay and overhauled the course of the game that turned out to be Cities: Skylines as we know it.
Reference video: https://youtu.be/1Y0pdNEAGps?t=30m51s