Home Tech ‘Cities: Skylines II’ Found a Solution to High Rents: Get Rid of Landlords

‘Cities: Skylines II’ Found a Solution to High Rents: Get Rid of Landlords

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'Cities: Skylines II' Found a Solution to High Rents: Get Rid of Landlords

The rent is too high, even in video games. For months, players of Colossal Order’s 2023 city building simulator, Cities: Horizons II, have been struggling with exorbitant housing costs. Subreddits full of users frustrated because the cost of living was too tall in their burgeoning metropolises and complained that there was no way to solve it. This week, the developer finally announced a solution: kick the game’s owners to the curb.

“First, we eliminated the virtual landlord, so now all tenants pay equally for the upkeep of a building,” the developer posted. on a blog on the game’s Steam page. “Second, we changed the way rent is calculated.” Now, Colossal Order says, it will be based on a household’s income: “Even if they currently don’t have enough money on their balance to pay rent, they won’t complain and will instead spend less money on resource consumption.”

The rental problem in the city is almost small. also in the nose. In recent years, real-world rents have skyrocketed; in some cases, rising faster than salaries. In cities like New York, both advocates and tenants They are fighting tariffs making housing increasingly less affordable; In the UK, rent is almost 10 percent more that a year ago. Of Hawaii to Sedan The cost of living is exorbitant. Landlords aren’t always to blame, but for tenants they are often the easiest targets.

From this perspective, perhaps Cities simulator is also good. Before this week’s fix, players found themselves stuck in some of the same problems that government officials and urban planners face. “For the love of God I can’t fix a high rent,” wrote one player in April. “All I do is rezoning, dezoning, more jobs, less jobs, high or low taxes, time in the game. Greater education, less education. City services do nothing. It seems like everything I try is of no use.”

in the game subreddit, players have also criticized “how the game’s logic around ‘high rents’ contrasts with reality”, with one player admitting that centralized locations with services will inevitably have higher land values. “But this game assumes a hyper-capitalist hellhole where all land is owned by rent-seeking, speculative landlord classes who automatically do everything they can to make people homeless instead of providing housing as needed,” he continued. the player. “In the real world, socialized housing can exist centrally.”

This is true. It exists in Vienna, which last year The New York Times called “a tenant utopia.” Except that in Vienna the owner is the city itself ( It has around 220,000 apartments). In Cities: Horizons IIthe developers just got rid of the owners completely.

The gameplay change will have “a transition period as the simulation adapts to the changes,” Colossal Order says on its blog, and the developer says it “cannot offer any guarantees” about how it will affect games with mods. . Although the update aims to fix most of the current issues, that doesn’t mean players shouldn’t expect to see rental complaints again. When household income is too low to pay, tenants will be loud about it. “Only when their income is too low to be able to pay rent will they complain about ‘high rent’ and look for cheaper housing or move out of town.” Maybe it’s time for players to have some tenant groups of their own in the game.

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