Firaxis Games confirms next Civilization game in development as studio leads depart

New studio head Heather Mazen will lead up the next Civilization game at Firaxis as previous studio head Steve Martin and XCOM creative director Jake Solomon depart.


It’s quite an interesting week at Civilization, XCOM, and Marvel’s Midnight Suns developer Firaxis Games as a new game has been announced, but right alongside a shakeup in leadership at the studio. Former studio head Steve Martin and XCOM and Midnight Suns creative director Jake Solomon are leaving the studio after several decades of work on its games. Meanwhile, Heather Mazen will take up the role of studio head and a new Civilization game has been confirmed to be in development.

Take-Two Interactive shared word on the goings on Firaxis regarding the management changes, as well as the confirmation of a new Civilization game in a recent press release. It was there that the studio confirmed Martin and Solomon’s departure, as well as Mazen’s promotion. In addition, it was specifically mentioned that Civilization 6 designer Ed Beach will remain with the company and be creative director of the next game.

Marvel's Midnight Suns combat screenshot
Marvel's Midnight Suns marks Jake Solomon's last project with Firaxis after more than two decades at the studio.
Source: 2K Games

It may be of concern that XCOM and Midnight Suns creative director Jake Solomon is suddenly exiting the company. Recently, he had just spoken to the fact that he wasn’t certain when a new XCOM was coming while he was working on Midnight Suns DLC. There was also word that Midnight Suns underperformed over the holidays. However, both Take-Two Interactive and Solomon insist that the parting is on good terms. Firaxis and Take-Two thanked Solomon for his contributions and Solomon teased some idea of what comes next for him.

“I’m embarking on a new chapter; however, I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to fulfill my dreams at Firaxis Games,” Solomon said in a statement. “I’m thankful to everyone who enjoyed XCOM and Marvel’s Midnight Suns, and to my development and publishing partners who helped bring those games to life.”

So, with Solomon out, but a new Civilization game in the works under the direction of Ed Beach and Heather Mazen, it seems Firaxis has an interesting future to keep an eye. Stay tuned for more details on Solomon, Martin, Firaxis Games, and the next Civilization game as they become available.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      February 17, 2023 8:58 AM

      Daaaaaaaaamnnnnnn. That sucks and equally excites. I hope Jake Solomon touches down heading a new studio with an ambitious vision.

      • reply
        February 17, 2023 10:24 AM

        Big agree. I'm glad Ed Beach is sticking around to direct the next Civ, but I really have to wonder if Midnight Suns really just burned Solomon out with the way they handled it. The game is great. It deserved better than to be shoved into such a bad release date smack dab in the middle of December.

        • reply
          February 17, 2023 12:10 PM

          It probably has less to do with Midnight Suns and more to do with whatever next projects they did or didn’t want to green light, imo.

          But considering what they wanted Midnight Suns to do, they might have just wanted to play it safe and do more XCOM or the like and he wanted more freedom/new IP….at least a girl can hope!

          • reply
            February 17, 2023 2:49 PM

            I know third hand that this wasn't expected and was based on midnight Suns bad performance.

            • reply
              February 17, 2023 3:10 PM

              Hmmm well it all is connected. If a project doesn’t perform financially, the publisher is of course going to clamp down and micromanage a “safe” following project. If the leads dont want to deal with that, ciao bella.

      • reply
        February 17, 2023 12:26 PM

        Me too. I am a fan of Jake Solomon's work (and also the teams who work with him).

    • reply
      February 17, 2023 10:32 AM

      small error there: Former studio head Steve Martin and XCOM and Midnight Suns creative director Jake Solomon are leading the studio after several decades of work on its games.

    • reply
      February 17, 2023 4:01 PM

      Real sad about Jake. Guess Midnight Suns burned him out :(

Hello, Meet Lola