Civilization IV designer launches independent studio: Mohawk Games

Soren Johnson returns to strategy game development, this time as the head of his own studio.

Update: In a press release posted to the Mohawk Games website, funding for the studio's projects will come from the Stardock Strategic Investment Fund.

Work has already begun on Mohawk's first game, which currently has the working title Mars and runs on the Oxide Games' Nitrous engine.

The press release also states Dorian Newcomb, art director of Civilization V, is a co-founder of the company and Brad Wardell, designer of the Galactic Civilizations series, will come on as company president.

[The original story follows below.]

Soren Johnson, lead designer on Civilization IV, is living out a life-long dream: launching his own studio. The newly minted Mohawk Games will be an independent studio focusing on strategy games.

In a blog post on his studio's website, Johnson writes: "We are living in the age of the independent game studio – never before have our tools been so powerful, the distribution channels so accessible, and open development so valuable. A robust market exists for original strategy games, my team has the experience to make them, and I am passionate about creating them."

Instead of focusing on games with "seven-figure budgets," Johnson says Mohawk will build the games that "big publishers can't or won't do."

"We can sell a game once, for a fair price, instead of alienating our audience with vertiginous business models. We can work directly with our audience, learning from their experiences and trying to match their dreams," writes Johnson.

No specifics on the studio's in-development projects are currently available, but Johnson wants to create games that "will be played for years." As far as capital, the team is looking to finance through "alternative funding methods, such as crowdfunding and early access programs."

Written By

Senior Editor, Earthbound fan, and snazzy dresser.

Want the latest news about Sid Meier's Civilization IV?

Sid Meier's Civilization IV

Sid Meier's Civilization IV

Discussion

13 comments
pyro1245
pyro1245

ooooo i wonder what he's gonna work on

Saidrex
Saidrex

 "********* developer launches independent studio"

Then turns out it was some 1 guy who participated in development of game, no matter what he did, made coffee for the team or something else but he alway will be considered developer of that game. Seriously, headlines on GS are terrible.

JLCrogue
JLCrogue

First!

Anyway, I think this is good news. The lead designer behind a great strategy game starting his own independent company and creating a new IP is always a good thing. I hope his game(s) will be just as good as the Civilization games, if not better. I've been seeing a lot of pretty decent indie TBS games in the fantasy realm lately, but nothing that got me addicted like Civ. We'll just have to wait and see what he has in mind...

shenhua1337
shenhua1337

@Saidrex Welcome to Gameloid! The new era of game journalism! Where celebrity gossip is in the air and everything is newsworthy! No wonder that under articles we got such bs ads as "It's showtime for 'Beetlejuice' sequel?" or "Christian Bale Offered $50 million for Batman"!... seriously, at times it makes me wonder, is it just ads or a source of inspiration for the new "quality" at Gameloid.

kloffolk
kloffolk

@Saidrex Just FYI - Soren Johnson was the first person other than Sid Meier to be the lead designer on a Civilization game. He's got chops.

justinhaywald
justinhaywald staff

@Saidrex He's not Sid Meier, but I think the lead designer was more important than "dude who gets coffee."

Suaron_x
Suaron_x

@JLCrogue Loved Civ I  and Civ II was the pinnacle of the series for me.  I never got to enthused about Civ's 3 or 4.  Have yet to play 5.  Civilization Revolution was incredible...it brought the fun I thought was missing in 3/4 back into the series. 

Saidrex
Saidrex

@justinhaywald @Saidrex so why not write "Civilization IV lead designer launches independent studio: Mohawk Games".

why these confusing headlines? GS is not what it used to be. It's turning into sh*t, first reviews, now news, then terrible website design. Soon there will be nothing worthwile left here.

Pandajuicy
Pandajuicy

@Suaron_x @JLCrogue Play Civ IV, it's a masterpiece. Civ Revolution was a simplified, dumbed down version of IV so if you liked that, you'll love IV. You can safely avoid Civ V though, not missing anything there.

stonewall001
stonewall001

@hystavito @stonewall001 @Saidrex @justinhaywald "Civilization IV lead designer launches independent studio: Mohawk Games" and "Civilization IV designer launches independent studio: Mohawk Games" the second quote (the title of this article) is different from Saidrex's, it does not have the word lead in it. Are you sure the title actually used the word developer instead of designer? I doubt they changed the title since they just wrote designer instead of lead designer.

stonewall001
stonewall001

@Saidrex @justinhaywald Confusing headlines? lol really, what is so confusing about "Civilization IV designer launches independent studio: Mohawk Games"?

 It says right at the start of the article that he is the lead designer, OMG THE HEADLINE HAS ONE LESS WORD SOOO CONFUSING. Maybe you should try to read more than just the headline.