WTF?! In what could either be considered refreshing honesty or a true illustration of just how bad things have become, the developer of Cities: Skylines 2 has warned ahead of next week's release that the game's performance could disappoint.

The sequel to the excellent Cities: Skylines looks quite spectacular in its pre-launch trailers. That level of graphical fidelity means you'll require some beefy hardware. In June, the recommended specs were an Intel Core i7-9700K / AMD Ryzen 5 5600X paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (11 GB) / AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT (16 GB). But those specs were increased recently.

The game now recommends an Intel Core i5 12600K or AMD Ryzen 5 5800X paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 or an AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT with 16GB of RAM. Minimum specs were also raised to an Intel Core i7 6700K or AMD Ryzen 5 2600X with a GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon RX 470 alongside 8GB of RAM.

It seems that even those with hardware that meet the recommended specs could struggle. Developer Colossal Order and publisher Paradox Interactive have just announced that "while our team has worked tirelessly to deliver the best experience possible, we have not achieved the benchmark we targeted."

The post goes on to state that despite this issue, it's believed that releasing Cities: Skylines 2 is still the best way forward. The developer will continue to improve the game over the coming months, which seems to be a standard necessity for most developers these days. It added that "we also want to manage expectations on performance for the coming release."

"Our ambition is for Cities: Skylines II to be enjoyed by as many players as possible, and we're committed to ensuring it reaches its full potential."

A separate modding and performance FAQ notes that not everyone is expected to experience performance issues; it will depend on PC configs and what graphics settings are used. The developer will also release details of the best settings options for increasing performance without sacrificing too much graphical quality.

The announcement will no doubt anger a lot of people who have been looking forward to playing Cities: Skylines 2 – some have compared the decision to release the game in this state to an early access title. We'll have to wait and see just how much the performance issues impact critics' scores.

Cities: Skylines 2 releases on PC on October 24. The game has been delayed on consoles, so it won't arrive on Xbox Series X/S and PS5 until June 30, 2024.