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Firaxis Announces “New Era” with Civilization 7

Civilization has a lot to prove. New titles in the Grand Strategy or “4X,” genre has room for more than just the house that Sid Meier built.

Wren Romero

Feb 22, 2023

Photo of Civilization 6 by Firaxis

On Friday, February 17, Firaxis games took to twitter to announce that the next game in the Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise is in development, their eloquent tweet reading: “Next Civ game is in development!!!!!!!”

Seven understated exclamation marks hammer home the point that the game in question is almost certainly Civilization 7, the long awaited successor to one of the best-selling franchises of all time – but of course, in the midst of financial disappointments and leadership changes, the company would probably rather hear fans speculate about “Civ 6: Way Beyond Earth” than hear shareholders speculate about the studio’s future.


In a more ceremonial press release, Firaxis parent company Take Two Interactive announced “A New Era,” beginning with a new studio head, and the “next mainline game in the world famous Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise.” So much for Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri 2: Beta Centauri.


In that press release, Heather Hazen, the new studio head of Firaxis Games, detailed plans for the company’s future: more Civilization, with Civilization 6 designer Ed Beach once again at the helm; post-launch content for Marvel’s Midnight Suns; and the departure of former studio head Jake Solomon.


The dual announcement of new leadership and new Civ comes on the heels of “disappointing” sales for Marvel’s Midnight Suns, with the turn-based tactics games failing to crack the top 100 games for UK sales last year. So, with that let-down in the rearview mirror and its architect, Jake Solomon, on his way out the door, Firaxis has a bold promise: a return to familiarity. And what a return it is: the seven-year gap since 2016’s Civilization marks the longest hiatus in franchise history—that is, if we include 2008’s Civilization: Revolution, which would make the upcoming release the eighth Civilization game. 


If investors had any doubts about the studio’s recent work, or about the leadership of Heather Hazen, their fears are probably relieved considerably by the franchise’s eye-popping sales numbers of that previous title, with Civilization 6 selling 5.5 million copies in 3 years, with over a million of those copies being sold in the game’s first month alone. 


Based on the success of Civilization 6, The future looks bright for Firaxis and for Civilization fans, but for the first time since the series’ inception, Civilization has a lot to prove. The likes of Paradox Interactive’s viral sensation Crusader Kings 3, or Amplitude Studios’ Humankind have proven that the Grand Strategy or “4X,” genre has room for more than just the house that Sid Meier built. Those competitors range from intricate simulations of industrial development in the modern world to elaborate playgrounds of warring interstellar empires, leading fans to wonder what the franchise could do next to maintain its dominance.


Some commenters are asking for more nuanced diplomacy, while others hope for improved AI, one person going as far as to suggest that in-game AI should use advanced machine learning techniques. Others, perhaps quite realistically, expect Civilization 7 to be more of the same, making small quality of life adjustments, tweaking the endgame, and integrating the changes made in the expansion of Civilization 6.


While we might not have a release date at this time, we’re looking forward to seeing how the studio expands and refines the Civilization franchise in its third decade. In the meantime, we certainly have lots and lots of memes to tide us over.

Wren Romero

Wren Romero is an art school dropout, fighting game scrub, incorrigible drifter, and the most corrupt jester in games journalism. You can find them on social media @CUIDAD

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