A user who participated in the beta testing for Cities XL in the late '00s has opted to talk about the game's pre-release monetization methods and why it failed to keep gamers following the release of Cities: Skylines. Before its 2009 release, XL underwent many alterations and updates, the most prominent of which was the elimination of nearly all MMO components, despite the game's original intention to be an online city-building MMO. \n \nAlthough Cities: Skylines currently holds the majority of the market share for city-building games, this was only sometimes the case. Monte Cristo Studios was striving to innovate in the city-building genre. Thus they built in several social features from the ground up. Before rebranding as Cities XL, this project was known as Cities Unlimited. It was intended to be a cooperative massively multiplayer online game in which hundreds of players worked together to advance the game's virtual economy. \n \nOver-monetization, claims Reddit user COMPUTER1313, was to blame for Monte Cristo's inability to create a Sim City competitor with MMO components. In particular, COMPUTER1313 claims to have worked as an early beta tester on Cities Unlimited \/ Cities XL and reports that the developer intended for it to be a live-service product, with a year's worth of gaming costing about $160. \n \nHowever, due to its subscription-based business strategy, Monte Cristo will restrict access to essential game features for free users. A radical departure from the DLC and expansion system of Cities: Skylines. \n \nFans of the genre are clamoring for a new city-building game in 2022, and it's not out of the question that a studio would create its city-building MMO. \n \nIn its summary of Monte Cristo's aborted attempt to create a genre-defining city-building MMO video game, COMPUTER1313 provides some intriguing, albeit oversimplified, insight into the game's development. \n \nThe fact that it has become so well-liked as a substitute for Cities: Skylines may be attributable, at least in part, to the absence of similar games available.