Civilization IV designer launches independent studio: Mohawk Games

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

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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."

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