The Civilization series has been a mainstay in the strategy genre of video games for over three decades now. Including 1991’s Civilization, Firaxis has released six mainline entries, along with a couple of spinoffs tucked between them. However, Civilization 7 seems to be the case once again, since Civilization 4’s release in 2005, where Firaxis has foregone releasing any spinoff Civilization title in between two mainline releases.
🚨 Hot off the presses. Next Civ game in development!!!!!!! 🤯
— Sid Meier's Civilization (@CivGame) February 17, 2023
Civilization 7’s official announcement came in February earlier this year, along with the announcement that former COO Heather Hazen will become the studio head of Firaxis Games.
Civilization 7 won’t most likely be a spin-off
Civilization 7 is the first time in the span of 32 years of the series’ existence that a sequel has taken more than six years to release. It’s more jarring since there were no spin-off titles in the long window either. However, it is understandable as Firaxis got its hands full with major DLC releases for Civilization 6 in the last few years. Coupled with the fact that modern Civilization titles use a lot of 3D assets, it totally makes sense why the development time has ballooned since the last decade.
Given the recent announcement lacking any mention of a release date, game mechanics, or specific details, it is safe to assume that the release of the new Civilization game is still several years in the future. However, it is evident that Firaxis Games intends to prioritize its development as a primary focus moving forward.
Currently, we know that Firaxis has some of its developer resources assigned to the post-launch content for Marvel’s Midnight Suns. But it should not deter them too much considering the history of Firaxis. They have worked on the Civilization and the XCOM series at the same time.
The Civilization series, initiated by Sid Meier under Microprose in 1991, reached its latest installment with Civilization 6’s release in the autumn of 2016. This game received significant backing through two major expansions, namely Rise and Fall and Gathering Storm, alongside various post-launch downloadable content, with the final addition being released in November last year. According to Take-Two, Civilization 6 has amassed an impressive sales figure of over 65 million copies to date.
Going forward, fans of the 4X games have a lot of expectations from Civilization 7. However, as someone who was big into Civilization: Beyond Earth, I am mildly disappointed as the spinoffs always proved to be a testing ground for new gameplay ideas. I am looking forward to Civilization 7 breaking all our expectations and bringing some groundbreaking changes.