Infogrames Entertainment, SA
|Latest release||Civilization V: Brave New World
Civilization is a series of turn-based strategy, 4X video games, many of them produced by Sid Meier (Sid Meier's Civilization). As of 12 March 2008[update], the Civilization franchise has sold more than 8 million copies, according to Take-Two Interactive. There are also several Civilization non-video games.
All titles in the series share similar gameplay, centered on building a civilization on a macro-scale from prehistory up to the near future. Each turn allows the player to move his or her units on the map, build or improve new cities and units, and initiate negotiations with the computer-controlled players. In between turns, computer players can do the same. The player will also choose technologies to research. These reflect the cultural, intellectual, and technical sophistication of the civilization, and usually allow the player to build new units or to improve their cities with new structures. In most games in the series, one may win by military conquest, achieving a certain level of culture, building an interstellar space ship, or achieving the highest score, among other means.
MicroProse, founded by Sid Meier and Bill Stealey, published Civilization in 1991. Sid Meier was the game's designer. MicroProse licensed the right to use the name "Civilization" from Avalon Hill to avoid conflicts over similarities to the board game of the same name. In 1993, MicroProse was bought by Spectrum Holobyte, but the two companies remained separate. In 1996, MicroProse released the lauded Civilization II, designed by Brian Reynolds; also in 1996 Spectrum Holobyte consolidated the company under the name MicroProse, but, in a reaction to Spectrum Holobyte's decision to fire the majority of MicroProse's staff, Brian Reynolds, Jeff Briggs and Sid Meier left MicroProse and founded Firaxis.
Although Firaxis did not own the rights to the brand name "Civilization", the company still went on to design the acclaimed Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, a "space-based Civilization-style game" released in 1998. This game uses a game engine similar to the one used in Civilization II and its storyline continues from where the Civilization franchise ends, namely the colonization of a planet in Alpha Centauri.
Litigation over brand name
In 1980, Francis Tresham designed the Civilization board game and published it through his company Hartland Trefoil, and in 1981, Avalon Hill obtained from Hartland Trefoil a license to sell the Civilization board game in the United States. In April 1997, Activision acquired from Avalon Hill the rights to the name "Civilization" on its PC games, and seven months later Avalon Hill and Activision sued MicroProse over trademark infringement because of the name "Civilization".
In response to the lawsuit, in December 1997, MicroProse bought Hartland Trefoil, which was the original designer and manufacturer of the Civilization board game. This move sought to establish "MicroProse as the preeminent holder of worldwide computer game and board game rights under the Civilization brand". Then MicroProse in January the following year sued both Avalon Hill and Activision for false advertising, unfair competition, trademark infringement, and unfair business practices as a result of Activision's decision to develop and publish Civilization computer games.
In July 1998, Avalon Hill and Activision decided to settle the case against MicroProse out of court. Under the terms of the settlement, MicroProse kept all the rights to the Civilization brand, Avalon Hill had to pay MicroProse $411,000, and Activision acquired a license from MicroProse to publish Civilization: Call to Power, released in March 1999.
Avalon Hill accepted the unfavorable settlement because Hasbro was already negotiating the acquisition of both Avalon Hill and MicroProse; less than one month after the settlement on August 1998, Avalon Hill was bought by Hasbro. In the same month, Hasbro bought MicroProse for $70 million. This meant that at the end of 1998, the Civilization franchise belonged to Hasbro.
Infogrames and Firaxis
In January 2001, the French company Infogrames bought the Hasbro subsidiary Hasbro Interactive for $100 million, which included the rights to the Civilization franchise, the rights to the Atari brand and Hasbro's Game.com handheld game console. Hasbro Interactive was renamed to Infogrames Interactive, Inc. Civilization III was released in October 2001 by Infogrames Interactive. In May 2003, Infogrames officially renamed Infogrames Interactive to Atari Interactive. Civilization III was developed by Firaxis and had Jeff Briggs as game designer.
Take-Two bought the rights to the Civilization franchise from Infogrames in 2004 for $22.3 million. In October 2005, 2K Games, a Take-Two subsidiary, published Civilization IV, which was developed by Firaxis and had Soren Johnson as game designer.
Take Two bought Firaxis for $26.7 million including possible performance bonuses in November 2005. Take Two now owns both the developer and the publisher of the Civilization franchise. On September 21, 2010, the Microsoft Windows version of Civilization V was released, followed by the version to Mac OS X on November 23, 2010.
Civilizations and leaders represented
Throughout the various different Civilization games, nearly 50 different civilizations and almost 110 different leaders have been represented. The following tables below delineate the appearances of various civilizations and leaders.
|Civilization||1991||The game was ported to the Super Nintendo in 1995 making it the first console release of the series.|
|— CivNet||1995||A remake with improved graphics and sound, and support for Windows 3.1 and Windows 95.|
|Civilization II||1996||The game was ported to the PlayStation in 1999.|
|— Civilization II: Conflicts in Civilization||1996||The first expansion pack for Civilization II.|
|— Civilization II: Fantastic Worlds||1997||The second expansion pack for Civilization II.|
|— Civilization II: Test of Time||1999||Includes the original Civilization II plus new scenarios and improved features, including an alien landscape.|
|— Civilization III: Play the World||2002||The first expansion pack for Civilization III.|
|— Civilization III: Conquests||2003||The second and final expansion for Civilization III.|
|— Civilization IV: Warlords||2006||The first expansion pack for Civilization IV.|
|— Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword||2007||The second expansion pack for Civilization IV.|
|— Civilization IV: Colonization||2008||A spin-off based on Sid Meier's 1994 game, Colonization.|
|Civilization Revolution||2008||The second console release, but the first game in the series designed specifically for consoles and iOS; not released for the PC or Mac.|
|Civilization World||2011||A full Civilization game for Facebook. The game was discontinued in 2013.|
|Civilization V||2010||The current flagship version of the PC-based Civilization series.|
|— Civilization V: Gods & Kings||2012||The first expansion for Civilization V.|
|— Civilization V: Brave New World||2013||The second expansion for Civilization V.|
- The Explorer (1997), includes Civilization and the Colonization spin off.
- Civilization II: Multiplayer Gold Edition (1998), includes Civilization II and its two expansions: Conflicts in Civilization and Fantastic Worlds.
- Civilization III: Gold Edition (2003), includes Civilization III and the first expansion, Play the World.
- Civilization III: Complete (2005), includes Civilization III and its two expansions: Play the World and Conquests.
- Civilization Chronicles (2006), includes all the games from the main series from the first Civilization to Civilization IV.
- Civilization IV: Gold Edition (2007), includes Civilization IV and its first expansion Warlords, as well as a bonus poster illustrated by artist Greg Hildebrandt.
- Civilization IV: Complete (2007), includes Civilization IV and its two expansions: Warlords and Beyond the Sword.
- Civilization IV: The Complete Edition (2009), includes Civilization IV, its two expansions, Warlords and Beyond the Sword, and Civilization IV: Colonization. It does not feature any DRM (copy protection).
- Civilization V: Game of the Year Edition (2011) includes Civilization V and all DLC prior to the Korea and Wonders of the Ancient World packs released through Steam.
- Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gold Edition (2013) included the original plus the Gods & Kings expansion with all the DLC released between them both.
Other video games
- Avalon Hill's Advanced Civilization (1995), the computer version of the original board game Advanced Civilization (1991), which, in turn, is an expansion to the original Civilization board game (1980–1981).
- Sid Meier's Colonization (1994), created by Brian Reynolds and Sid Meier while still at MicroProse.
- Master of Magic (1994), a fantasy game published by MicroProse.
- CivCity: Rome (2006), a city-building strategy game inspired by the series.
When Sid Meier left MicroProse in 1996, the Civilization series was still part of MicroProse's portfolio, leading to a period of legal limbo that included the following games:
- Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (1999), created by Sid Meier's team at Firaxis Games.
- Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire (1999), an expansion pack to Alpha Centauri.
- Civilization: Call to Power (1999), created by Activision.
- Call to Power II (2000), sequel to Civilization: Call to Power. Due to licensing issues, Civilization could not be in the title.
Board and card games
- Civilization: The Boardgame (2002), an officially licensed board game published by Eagle Games and based on Civilization III.
- Civilization: The Card Game (2006), a card game designed by Civilization IV lead designer Soren Johnson and based on Civilization IV.
- Civilization: The Board Game (2010), an officially licensed board game published by Fantasy Flight Games and based on Civilization IV.
|This section requires expansion. (August 2013)|
Scottish science fiction and mainstream author Iain Banks has noted that he spent much time playing the game (appearing to refer to the first version) and that it was one of the inspirations for the concept of the 'Outside Context Problem' central to his Excession novel - the appearance of invaders or travelers who are so advanced that they are totally outside the society's frame of reference. In an interview, Banks specifically compares this to having a Civilization battleship arrive while the player is still using wooden sailing ships. One of the two viewpoint characters in his novel Complicity plays Civilization compulsively.
- Matt Martin (2008-03-12). "Grand Theft Auto series has sold 66 million units to date". GamesIndustry.biz]. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
- "Recommendation of the Board of Directors to Reject Electronic Arts Inc.'s Tender Offer" (PDF). Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. 2008-03-26. p. 16. Archived from the original on 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
- Gamasutra - Features - The History of Civilization
- "Company News; Microprose Plans Merger With Spectrum Holobyte". The New York Times. 1993-06-18. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- Civilization II for PC Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic
- History for MicroProse Software, Inc
- Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri for PC Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic
- "Sid starts up. Again - Forbes.com". Forbes. 1997-07-25.
- IGN: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
- Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
- The Fall of Avalon Hill
- MicroProse Buys out Hartland Trefoil
- Hasbro Takes Over The Hill and Others
- SEC Info - Monarch Services Inc - 10KSB40 - For 4/30/98
- Evangelista, Benny (1998-08-13). "Hasbro Buying Alameda's MicroProse / Computer games-maker sells out for $70 million". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- "Company News; Hasbro Completes Sale Of Interactive Business". The New York Times. 2001-01-30. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- Press Release
- SEC Info - Hasbro Inc - 10-K405 - For 12/31/00 - EX-13
- Civilization III: Home
- SEC Info - Atari Inc - 10-KT - For 3/31/03
- Civilization sold off to mystery buyer - PC News at GameSpot
- Take-Two takes over Civilization - PC News at GameSpot
- Firaxis Games: Games: Sid Meier's Civilization Chronicles
- Take-Two reveals acquisition prices, hints at future lawsuits - PlayStation 2 News at GameSpot
- "2K Games Conquers PCs with the Release of Sid Meier's Civilization V on September 21, 2010 in North America". 2K Games. 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- Sid Meier's Civilization V Mac Arrives November 23
- Lincoln appears as leader of the Union in the American Civil War scenario added with the Brave New World expansion pack for Civilization V.
- Geryk, Bruce (November 20, 2000). "Call to Power II for PC Review". GameSpot PC Games p. 1. CNET Networks Entertainment. Retrieved March 1, 2007.
- Old Versions
- Next Generation 21 (September 1996), p.74.
- Excession: A Conversation with Iain Banks (interview originally published in SFX magazine, via 'sandm.co.uk' website. Accessed 2009-01-04.)
- Official website
- Civilization series at MobyGames
- Playing the Game: Civilization , a list of academic texts about the series
- GamaSutra history of Civilization