The Next Civ Game Is In Development, But Fans Think It May Not Be Civilization 7

The Next Civ Game Is In Development, But Fans Think It May Not Be Civilization 7

2K has announced some changes at strategy studio Firaxis, including the pointed announcement that a new title in the venerable Civilization series is on the way. The thing is: fans aren’t so sure we’re talking about Civilization 7 here.

First, Firaxis has a new president and studio head. Heather Hazen, a 22-year industry veteran, will now lead the studio. Hazen joins the company as long-time head Steve Martin (not that Steve Martin) departs after 25 years.

Hazen’s career saw her in an almost 10-year stint at PopCap Games, entering the company as a producer in 2008 and rising through the ranks to become its Games General Manager by 2015. She moved to Epic Games as an executive producer in 2017, and Honeycomb Labs in 2020, before joining Firaxis as its Chief Operating Officer.

Hazen used the occasion to announce that the studio is indeed working on the next instalment in the well-loved Civilization franchise. Hazen’s announcement, and the press release condensing it, noticeably avoid saying the phrase ‘Civilization 7,’ which has set a few tongues wagging on social media. Civ has always at its heart been about historical “What If” scenarios. Sometimes outlandish, but always grounded in the realities of human history (well, except for when Ghandi starts flinging nukes around at least). Given the sustained success of Civilization 6, it’s a bit odd that Firaxis wouldn’t just come right out and say that’s what the project was, if it were working on it.

Which is why the rumour mill is currently spinning so fast it’s falling apart.

There’s another wing of the Civ series, one that fans always love to see pop up — the science fiction wing. Alpha Centauri and the much more recent Beyond Earth are well-liked, memorable spin-off entries in the series, but they never sold as well as their historical counterpart. There’s a vocal contingent of the Civ community that would like more off-world adventures.

Ed Beach, the franchise’s Creative Director, will stay with the series as it moves forward.

Buried in the announcement is the news that Jake Solomon, creative director on XCOM, XCOM 2 and the recent Marvel’s Midnight Suns, is departing the studio. Solomon’s 20-year career at Firaxis came to an end with Marvel’s Midnight Suns, a critically lauded strategic deckbuilder that not enough people played. I hope, in years to come, that Midnight Suns will find an audience because it deserves to. It’s a fun, sparky, accessible deckbuilder that makes your brain whirr in that pleasant way that only a good strategy game can. Cheers to Jake. XCOM and XCOM 2 are among my favourite games of all time, and they wouldn’t have been half as good without his creative input. I wish him well.

Anyway, back to Civ: what do you think they’re up to? Is it Civilization 7? Is it a spin-off? Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below.

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