Sid Meier says he won’t play ‘Civilization’ if it came out today


Sid Meier, the legendary creator of the Civilization franchise, says he won’t make the game if it came out today. The legend also says it’s unlikely he’ll play it either.

In an interview, Sid Meier noted that he doubts he would make Civilization if it came out today. He said he wouldn’t play it either if it came out today for the first time.

The video game creator notes how different things are when compared to the past. He notes that, despite the game’s impact, the game will not be successful in today’s market. Meier even doubts that he’ll have the opportunity to work on such a game.

Civilization doesn’t fit current “zeitgeist”

In his interview, Meier noted how Civilization doesn’t fit the “zeitgeist.” He implies that Civ goes against the grain of every major gameplay loop of modern games.


“I don’t think I could make Civilization today,” Meier notes. “I’m not sure even I would play it. It wouldn’t fit in the zeitgeist. It asks a lot of the player, and takes a while to work it out.
You have to play it once in order to understand what’s going on.

You have to be willing to spend time with it, and that’s not where most gamers are these days. Civ came out at the perfect time. The PC had got beefy enough for us to make it, but weren’t inundated with so many possibilities. If it had been created two years earlier we’d only have had four colours and it would have been much shallower.”

Meier’s statement sounds tired, but it doesn’t go as ill-will against modern games. Rather, it’s a smart self-reflection of a person who innovated PC gaming.

Meier is likely right

Sid Meier’s games are fun, exciting, and fabulous. He’s the father of the 4X genre and, by extension, inspired many classic RTS games. The crowning jewel of his career, Civilization, is still famous across players.

Even then, it’s easy to understand what Meier is talking about. In a world of Fall Guys and Call of Duty, 4X games are a doozy. They go against the grain of all major bestselling titles of the past decade or so.

Many modern games are easy to pick up, easy to understand, and gives active gameplay. 4X games like Civilization 6 encourage strategy, slow play, and a huge amount of downtime. Even then, his hesitation is a sad reality of today’s titles.

In contrast, Crusader Kings 3 is a wildly successful recent title, following Meier’s gameplay philosophy. Many titles like Europa Universalis and Stellaris also enjoyed a lot of success over the past years.

If 4X games didn’t come from Sid Meier, they would’ve come out from others at some point. Even then, a Civ game coming out today won’t have the same impact from 20 years ago.

Images courtesy of Ars Technica/YouTube Screenshot

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