Despite making strides with Civilization Revolution, Firaxis don’t see the value in producing a streamlined Civ.
In an exclusive interview with FirstLook Magazine, Firaxis’ Dennis Shirk has revealed that there aren’t any future plans to bring Civilization to consoles again, despite the lure of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 lurking around the corner.
We asked the executive producer of the forthcoming Civilization V expansion Brave New World what he thought about the possibility of bringing Civilization back to consoles in the foreseeable future and he had this to say:
“Possibly, but the PC is part of the Civilization franchise’s DNA. It’s just the layers of complexity you have in a game like Civ, we don’t feel it’s necessarily right for consoles. You’ve got Civilization Revolution, which was definitely streamlined and a whole different experience – made for the console – but for Civ V and whatever might come after… You never know what the future will hold.”
“The PlayStation 4 has that light built into the front of the controller, so you can apparently have very fine motor control of a cursor on a screen. You never know what that kind of stuff will hold in the future, but right now until stuff like that makes sense, we don’t want to do any streamlining [with the Civ franchise] and I don’t think our fans want us to either.”
When asked whether Firaxis has had an opportunity to tinker around with any of the next-gen consoles, and Dennis explained that the studio hasn’t “had a close look at any of the new hardware” though the team are “skeptical” about whether the use of a light partnered up with a motion sensing camera, as is the case with the Lightbar-enthused Dual Shock controller and the PlayStation 4 console, could replicate the dexterity PC players enjoy with a mouse and keyboard
“Touch makes more sense to us than that, or any kind of tablet-driven stuff. XCOM was announced for the iPad and that kind of stuff is perfect, as even Civ V has that singular face point-and-click [interface]. When we converted that to Windows 8 touch that was perfect and a more natural fit [compared to consoles]. We haven’t had a close look at any of the new hardware yet, but new platforms would have to make sense for our players and we wouldn’t want to compromise our game to work on a console.”
Civilization Revolution was released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo DS in 2008 and generally received a favourable response from both fans and critics alike. Sales across all three platforms totalled 1.83 million units, according to VGChartz, and since then ‘Civ Rev’ has been ported over to Windows Phone and iOS devices.
The lack of any kind Civilization experience on consoles seems to be both a business decision and a lack of impetus from Firaxis. With the studio currently enjoying the recent success of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and with the release of the gigantic Civilization V expansion Brave New World on the horizon, it’s understandable that Sid Meier’s outfit don’t want to retread old ground needlessly.
To read more of this interview and a detailed preview of what content to expect in the forthcoming Brave New World expansion, check out the latest issue of FirstLook embedded below:
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