Sid Meier on Civilization Revolution and his next plans
He is maybe the most important game designer veteran. For 25 years now, Sid Meier has created jewels like Silent Service, Pirates! or Civilization. But in the last couple of years, the grandmaster didn’t create original IPs anymore – all the games in the last seven years were remakes of his own oldies. But now, Sid promises to make new IPs, once more.
This Spring, Meier’s company Firaxis plans to publish Civilization Revolution – which is the first Civilization for consoles and which could be the first original Firaxis title in a long time. Jörg Langer spoke with the 53-year-old American, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award of this years’ Games Developers Conference.
GamersGlobal: Sid, after 25 years as a game designer, you must be feeling very tired, sometimes.
Sid Meier: I don’t agree. The industry is still very exciting, we’re seing new hardware, new technology, new genres like Massively Multiplayer Online Games, the nextgen consoles. The success of the Wii and the DS. So I am looking forward to the next years, and I am looking forward to make some more games! I think if I had made the same game over and over again, I would be tired after 20 years. But I’ve been ale to make Civilization, and also games like Railroad Tycoon and [/b]Pirates![/b] and Civil War and all kinds of different things. So that’s what keeps me really fresh. And even now with Civilization Revolution, we’re taking a different approach on the old Civilization. As long as we can find new ways of doing things, I am not slowing down!
GamersGlobal: You’ve created an enormous amount of different games, but your latest original game was Sid Meier’s SimGolf, seven years ago. And the last hardcore “gamer’s game” was Alpha Centauri, back in 1999. So when can the gamer expect the next original IP from Sid Meier?
We're always thinking about new things. It's not that we don't want to create new IPs!
Sid Meier: We’re always thinking about new things. With the way things worked out with our studio and our publisher, we just had the opportunity in the last few years to do a new Pirates!, which our fans had been asking for the last 10 or 12 years. There was a modern version of Railroad Tycoon, and of course a new part of Civilization, and now Civilization for the consoles. So we refreshed some of our favorite game ideas and brought them into the 21st century. It’s not that we do not want to create new IPs!
GamersGlobal: There are many other franchises you’ve created, like Silent Service. So you probably would never again have to do an original game. Is that what you’re telling me?
Sid Meier: No, I still hope to do some new IPs. But I also enjoy what we’ve been doing in the last few years. There’s so much more we can do today! The original Civilization was done with 16 colors. In many ways a new is a redesign and rethinking. But yes, it’s great to have that body of titles that, if you don’t have a new idea, would give you three or four games that could be redone. But we certainly have to do some new IPs as well.
GamersGlobal: Is there a time frame to which your fans could look forward to see a really new Sid Meier game?
Sid Meier: It’s a little early to be specific about that. We plan to bring out Civilization Revolution in Summer 2008, and then we need a little time to think about things, and then maybe...
16 years passed between the original Railroad Tycoon (insert) and the Sid's modern railroad game, Sid Meier's Railroads (2006).