Strategy games 'not contemporary' - 2K Games exec

Civilization publisher president Christoph Hartmann says decision to make XCOM a shooter was to bring series in line with what modern gamers want.


Last year, 2K Games announced that it was bringing back the classic turn-based strategy series X-Com, but in the "reimagined" guise of a shooter called XCOM. In a recent interview with MCV, 2K Games president Christoph Hartmann explained that the move was done to bring the series in line with current tastes.

2K is making the near-future strategy X-Com more contemporary by making it a shooter set in the 1950s.
2K is making the near-future strategy X-Com more contemporary by making it a shooter set in the 1950s.

"The '90s generation of gamers all love X-Com and we own the IP, so we thought OK, what do we do with it," Hartmann told the site. "Every studio we had wanted to do it, and each one had its own spin on it. But the problem was that turn-based strategy games were no longer the hottest thing on planet Earth. But this is not just a commercial thing--strategy games are just not contemporary."

The executive went on to say that 2K's goal with XCOM is to bring the franchise "in line with what this generation of gamers want," while still managing to be true to the series. "It's not a case of cashing in on the name," Hartmann said. "We just need to renew it because times are changing."

Hartmann's suggestion that strategy games aren't contemporary is surprising, considering that 2K Games owns Firaxis, the turn-based strategy development house responsible for last year's critically acclaimed Civilization V. The studio has been taking its famed strategy series into more contemporary waters with a Facebook iteration called Civ World. Additionally, in April, a Firaxis developer's online resume indicated that a sequel to the turn-based Civilization Revolution had been canceled. However, another resume spotted at the same time indicated that the studio was actively working on a new strategy game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC using the Unreal engine.

For more on XCOM, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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