Civilization IV designer Spore-s new gig

Electronic Arts confirms Soren Johnson has left his 2K Games gig and joined the dev team of Will Wright's forthcoming evolutionary simulation game.

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For the past seven years, the name Soren Johnson has been synonymous with Civilization. The well-known game designer joined Firaxis, the studio behind the award-winning historical strategy franchise, in 2000. Since then he has been one of the now Take Two Interactive-owned shop's most public faces.

Now, though, Johnson's Firaxis tenure is over. After word surfaced on the Civilization-centric forums at Apolyton.net, Electronic Arts has confirmed the former lead designer of Civilization IV has quit his gig at Firaxis. Johnson has now returned to his old digs at Electronic Arts' Maxis studio and is working on the much-anticipated evolution-to-civilization sim Spore.

As of press time, Johnson's job change had not been noted on his personal blog, which hasn't been updated since last month's Game Developers Conference.

Discussion

103 comments
Salvaticus
Salvaticus

Sweet... Now the next installment of Civ will be watered-down, popularized nonsense, but the SIMS-IN-SPACE-WITH-DNA (Spore) will... probably also be watered-down, popularized nonsense. Spore is being spawned by EA. If the game runs well at launch I will be happy. If it plays a tenth as well as Civilization, I will be astounded. Most likely excellent news for Spore... Not so much for Firaxis / 2k.

bamarolltide16
bamarolltide16

omg! this game with online play is going to be like the koolest thing ever. i cant wait to play it and see what other ideas they yall have came out with. good luck with the ideas.

slipknot69hell
slipknot69hell

i have quad core just for spore i tell u guys that game gonna blast the globe!!

vmfstorm1
vmfstorm1

I honestly think spore is gonna be the most epic game released since civ3....and even then itll surpass all expectations even just simply judging by unfinished gameplay vids. I mean i just made a new rig with dub gtx8800s and a 3.3 am2 dual core just getting ready for a game thats coming out late 07-early 08.

Valaggar
Valaggar

I presume Johnson's working at the civilization phase. If so, it'll get very well...

cehok3
cehok3

go johnson, go johnson

genaciv
genaciv

need a new Alpha Centauri !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if it were between spore and a smac sequel, i'd choose smac i don't think soren johnson is as big of a loss as brian reynolds was, btw

talshiarr
talshiarr

Spore is shaping up to be like one of those colossal family thanksgiving dinners where people slave over stoves and obsess over details for hours on end all day long but the dining is over in 20-30 minutes. Spore will have to be so unbelievably trancendentally astonishing that it redefines gaming in order to live up to the years of similar looking screenshots and interviews. Honestly, is there anything in this latest dribbling that we didn't see in 2005 or 2006? Please, Will, I need to be astonished.

SunnySimantov
SunnySimantov

This means they want to put more emphasis on the Civ part, obviously. They feel it isn't "well made" so they want to buff it up with this Civ designer. And I don't think it will change what you thought about the game until now , tbh.

Paceydre
Paceydre

@Swampthing: Creating a game like Spore takes a lot of time....and many headaches for developers. Don't think that all games can be finished within 2 years. There are certain games that just can't be done within 2 years since the development process is something totally new with the direction the game is going in. I think that it's a very good thing for a game like Spore to get an extra brain in the form of Soren Johnson on board. This will make development go a bit smoother and better. Great brains together can do amazing things.

darth-revan
darth-revan

FrankieLA Spore is the next Daikatana....there I said it! if its ganna be the next daikatana are we ganna hear adds like "Will Wrights about to make you his Bi^ch"

darth-revan
darth-revan

Firaxis hasnt announced what they are working on right now but im ganna bet Civ 5 because of how crazy popular the games are. Though a sequel to Alpha Centari would be nice as well (not holding my breath)

Swampthing
Swampthing

Okay so another developer comes onboard for SPORE... yet confirming it is STILL in the development stage after two years. Nice, but will this thing EVER get released?

SimuLord
SimuLord

Can I get an "oh ****" from all the Firaxis fans here? This is the biggest loss to that studio since Brian Reynolds left to make Rise of Nations. As for Spore itself, I'm not saying a word in favor or against until I actually see the game, in retail release, playable, with video reviews, so we can sort out fact from fiction once and for all. Plenty of great game ideas worked better in theory than in practice (though admittedly most of them were crapped out by Peter Molyneux, so take that for what it's worth.)

cresley
cresley

Its so rare that a game gets better and better news before release. This is indeed awesome.

SpazH3d
SpazH3d

Great, now hurry up and release the game!

Alcotamaysees
Alcotamaysees

Cool, too bad he won't continue making civ though.

racerx737
racerx737

man I cannot wait for this game, it's gonna be awesome!

lonewolf1661
lonewolf1661

I would love to play a demo of this game!

Hoi-Yant
Hoi-Yant

Oh my freakin' Higher Power... I'm drooling!

demondragon55
demondragon55

:-/ Could we get some new screens or a video? This was a bit small, but still useful.

zeecorner
zeecorner

I'm so stoked for spore, I've heard civ IV is an awesome game. Hopefully I can put it on my 'Now Playing' list soon, its been on my 'wanted list' for a while now...

anarchicgoth
anarchicgoth

hahah well good for him i suppose i have always loved Civ but anything form Will Write is usually really good

FrankieLA
FrankieLA

Spore is the next Daikatana....there I said it!

THEMOD3158
THEMOD3158

as long as Sid Meier sticks around at Firaxis they'll be fine. word is they are developing a new, multi-platform IP...

BigDaveyDogz
BigDaveyDogz

this is not Spore news I want to hear about. Get some ****IN' details & a release date!!!

thephoenix365
thephoenix365

erm ok am i supposed to be happy or sad?? The guy has got talent as a game designer for sure but Civ isn't what i want Spore to be! Hopefully this won't be a case of too many cooks spoil the broth and he will contribute something useful ot the higher end part of the game. Still looking forward to see what Spore is gonna be like though!

uberjannie
uberjannie

"CrapfullyCrap : Call me when Firaxis announces an Alpha Centauri sequel." We are all waiting for it!

uberjannie
uberjannie

noooooooo! Need more civilization! What about Civ V?

LinkArt
LinkArt

some of you are confused and though having more people working on it seems like a good idea, Soren was a lead designer for civilization. He may try to alter Spore into more of a civilization game. i want spore to remain as far from civilization and anything that may delay its release (redesign).

zsc4
zsc4

Is this meant to be good or bad news :? I'm confused.

Acervartan
Acervartan

Everyone is getting all metaphysical. Reality is no real difference will happen, this isnt a bad or good thing. It is just a job change.

crimped
crimped

hmmmmm... not sure how to take this news.

HK-Ghost
HK-Ghost

Everyone better watch out. JimRune is going to be pissed. *tremble tremble* lol On a random "rant", it would be interesting if I could send my Supreme Commander into your Spore-based planet and build a base there :P -Ghost

JimRune
JimRune

This better have a major impact on Spore's development, or I'll be pissed.

Krall
Krall

Spore has a Q3 release date, just how much impact is Mr Johnson going to have....? What stinks even more is he was supposedly working on a new IP for Firaxis, I guess that goes in the can now?

Proman84
Proman84

Good newes for "Spore". Terrible news for future "Civilization" games.

1337kyosanim
1337kyosanim

CrapfullyCrap: "Call me when Firaxis announces an Alpha Centauri sequel." Word, kid. Word.

deathc4
deathc4

tzv has a point. This is good news with a bitter nasty center. Maybe he will be a catalyst and speed things up?

tzv
tzv

See I am a little conflicted here, on the one hand this is amazing news and can only make the game that much better. But on the other hand, this probably means that the game is nowhere near ready to ship. Think about it, bringing a new guy now? I was hoping it would be out by October, but I don't thinks thats realistic at this point.

Axe_336
Axe_336

Civilization staff working on Spore? Sounds good to me.