Firaxis confirm next Civilization game in development after studio leadership shakeup

Firaxis has confirmed that the next mainline entry in the Sid Meier’s Civilization series is in development, alongside a change of leadership at the top of the renowned studio. It certainly feels as though this is a reaction in some ways to the disappointing sales of Marvel’s Midnight Suns.

Steve Martin – no, not that one – has stepped down as Studio Head, while XCOM and Marvel’s Midnight Suns Creative Director Jake Solomon has also departed the studio, both with more than 20 years spent at the company. COO Heather Hazen has been promoted to Studio Head, having joined the company in 2020 after a time as Executive Producer on Fortnite at Epic Games, and Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled while at PopCap Games.

As her first act, Hazen announced the next Civilization game – Civ 7? – is in development:

“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to carry on the studio’s storied legacy, beginning with the announcement that Firaxis is in development on the next iteration of the legendary Civilization franchise. I’m lucky to be working with some of the best developers in our industry, and we have plans to take the Civilization franchise to exciting new heights for our millions of players around the world.  In addition, we will continue to support Marvel’s Midnight Suns with post-launch content, and explore new creative projects for our teams.”

Solomon and Martin both shared their departing messages on Twitter, with Solomon saying “I’m a big dreamer, and I fulfilled two lifelong dreams in making XCOM […] and Marvel’s Midnight Suns. I’m the luckiest kid who ever lived. Martin said “I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity to have championed and led the work of such a talented group of people for the past couple decades at the greatest studio in the world.

This change of leadership comes shortly after Take-Two revealed poor sales of 2K Games’ slate of late 2022 game releases to investors. At the time Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said, “I take personal responsibility for them. Our teams are delivering and over-delivering. They’re delivering hits; that’s what they’re supposed to do. I couldn’t be more proud of them. Personally, I have work to do to make sure we run this business efficiently and that we deliver results over time, and that’s what I aim to do.”

More than $50 million in yearly operating costs are planned, though Zelnick suggested they would try to avoid making sweeping layoffs within their studios.

Of course, they also need to keep delivering hits, and Civilization is Firaxis’ most bankable franchise. Work on supporting Civilization VI has continued with the Leader Pass – the Rulers of the Sahara Pack was released today– and it has proven to be the best-selling game in the series to date. Creative Director Ed Beach is remaining in his role for this next game, presumably Civilization VII, but potentially a slight spin-off like Civilization: Beyond Earth.

Source: press release, Twitter

Written by
I'm probably wearing toe shoes, and there's nothing you can do to stop me!