Paradox Interactive Brings A Launcher To Cities: Skylines, Fans Are Annoyed

Paradox Interactive Brings A Launcher To Cities: Skylines, Fans Are Annoyed
Credit: Cities: Skylines via YouTube

PC Gamers are in for a bit of a surprise the next time they launch Cities: Skylines, and they currently aren’t taking the surprise too well, all things considered.  A new launcher has been packaged in with Cities: Skylines on Steam, and it automatically installs itself the next time you launch the title from the Steam platform.  The overall point of the launcher is a bit confusing as well, as it doesn’t add anything other than additional advertising space that is currently only being used to sell more DLC for the title, and to get users to subscribe to the Cities: Skylines YouTube channel.

While the launcher hasn’t added anything of value, many are frustrated with the sudden arrival of the launcher; it’s currently doing more harm than good for the title on Steam.

Many users have taken to social media, along with the Steam page for Cities: Skylines itself to voice their displeasure over yet another launcher being added by Paradox, complete with new User Agreements that everyone will need to accept in order to continue playing the title that is now five years old.  Worth noting that there is no function to opt-out of the launcher, nor the agreements contained within, although the agreements arguably only have one interesting statement that brings memories of Take-Two Interactive threatening mod creators weith legal action in Red Dead Redemption 2.

In Section 3, Article IV, the new End-User License Agreement seems to outlaw modding the game; a bizarre facet of what is likely mere boilerplate legal huffing and puffing, considering that the Cities: Skylines development studio Colossal Order has worked closely with mod developers in the past.  In the launcher itself, there’s even a window for supporting content creators.

Yet the line is verbatim the one that Take-Two has referenced multiple times when chasing mod creators such as Hot Coffee, and The Red Dead Redemption Damned Enhancement Project.

(Users will not) Modifiy, adapt, translate, reverse engineer, derive source code from, disasseemble, decompile or create derivitive works of the Game, other than may be permitted according to applicable law; – Paradox Interactive New End-User License Agreement, Section 3 Article IV

Along with this is an agreement to what has apparently become the standard spying agreement; Paradox collects information about your PC, ranging from your preferred browser to how you play titles to use in marketing other Paradox Games.

There are also reports of the new launcher forcing the game to run worse, along with rendering a couple of mods unusable.  In tests, I’ve personally found both of those claims as false; the title continues to run smoothly with no performance hiccups, and I have yet to find a mod that has been broken by the inclusion of the launcher, testing the top thirty mods on the Steam Workshop.  This is not an accusation of users spreading misinformation, merely that I have personally found those statements to be unfounded as of yet.  Arguments that it is Malware are similarly unfounded and hyperbole at best.

It’s difficult to argue that this is doing anything of value for Paradox, however, and it is absolutely a minor annoyance as its yet another screen reminding users of DLCs that they’re opted not to purchase.  It’s also not the end of the modern world.