Firaxis Hesitant to Bring Civilization Back to Consoles

Published on April 19th, 2013

Despite making strides with , 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.

Firaxis Hesitant to Bring Civilization Back to Consoles

Civilization has grown more complex with every sequel and expansion, so it's no wonder Firaxis are hesitant to try and make a console-friendly experience again.

We asked the executive producer of the forthcoming 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.”

Firaxis Hesitant to Bring Civilization Back to Consoles

Civilization Revolution was very much a streamlined take on Civ, but it's still highly regarded amongst a certain sector of the console playing audience.

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.”

Firaxis Hesitant to Bring Civilization Back to Consoles

Boasting cuter visuals and a much simplified interface, Civ Rev still embued the heart of the series is based on.

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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    1. Posted by This Dude on October 30th, 2013, 18:48

      But…. but…. I want civilization revolution 2….

    2. Posted by Steve leach on November 15th, 2013, 06:38

      I would pre order another Civilizations game for my PS4 in an instant.

      The BEST game on PS 3……..please give us more.

      They sold almost 2 million before. Don’t turn fans away with money burning a hole in their pockets.

      I wish I had 2 million people standing ready to give me $30-$60.

    3. Posted by Terrance Warren on November 18th, 2013, 22:30

      Civ Rev is an amazing game. I’m pretty sure a lot will agree. I will definitely buy another civ for the console if I could!

    4. Posted by Joe on January 1st, 2014, 18:19

      Ridiculous point of view from Firaxis.

      I started playing Civilization on the PC in 1992. Have been addicted to and highly ranked in every iteration since — until Civ Revolution came out. Civ Revolution changed my perspective on what a Civ game could be. Fast, streamlined, fun.

      I have no desire to ever get into a multiple-day match again. I have thrown away PC gaming (since 1984) for consoles and would really REALLY like to see a new Civ Revolution that was a little more detailed and a LOT more stable and without the exploits.

      It’s a shame the state that Firaxis left Civ Revolution in. People get mad and leave and the game freezes 50% of the time when they do. Other people get mad and start pulling the network cable and rapidly reinserting it and it boots people from the game (or freezes it). Egypt with a free Colossus is overpowered (and so many Egyptian players leave on turn 1 if they dont get it) as is the Spanish who are given everything by ridiculous early whale growth, all the free wonder goodies including Atlantis, galleons, double explore gold, the ability to get all the best 1-square islands for their cities early. People don’t need to respond to diplomacy requests if they have Democracy or if you have the Great Wall… which is an exploit.

    5. Posted by Joe on January 1st, 2014, 18:21

      I meant that I have played via PC gaming since 1984, not thrown it away for consoles since 1984… consoling is relatively new for me and I can’t see myself going back to PC.

    6. Posted by The Globalizer on May 3rd, 2014, 21:33

      Why not just hire a team or contract out a por/redesign? Lots of companies seem to do a very good job making detailed, menu-driven games work on consoles. Hell, they did a good job with XCOM, the C&C series was natural, to say nothing of the joy that is the Tropico series on consoles.

      This sounds like narrow-minded laziness to me. A shame, since I grew up playing Civilization games only a few miles from Firaxis/Microprose. (I also found CivRev to be a weak iteration of the series. The other mentioned series were much deeper and didn’t suffer from meaningful “dexterity” issues.)

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