Galactic Civilizations

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This article is about the videogame. For the type of civilization, see Type III Civilization.
Galactic Civilizations
Developer(s) Stardock
Publisher(s) Strategy First
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
  • NA: March 26, 2003
  • UK: September 12, 2003
  • GER: September 30, 2003
  • POL: February 19, 2004
Genre(s) Turn-based strategy, 4X game
Mode(s) Single player

Galactic Civilizations is a turn-based strategy video game developed by Stardock and released in March 2003. The game is a remake of a vintage OS/2 series of the same name. An expansion pack entitled Altarian Prophecy was released in July 2004. A sequel, Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords, was released February 21, 2006. On May 14, 2015 Stardock released Galactic Civilizations III.[1]


The goal of the game is to eventually dominate the galaxy. It is possible to achieve victory through war, cultural domination, diplomacy or by developing overwhelming advanced technology.[citation needed]


The game is set in the future. Humankind has made contact with the 5 other major alien races. Space travel is risky and expensive, requiring huge jump gates which only permit travel between two specific points. Because space travel is so difficult, the galaxy remains mostly uncolonized. The humans make a great discovery—hyperdrive. It permits fast travel between any two stars. The humans share their discovery with the other five major races. All communication stops. The humans consider that sharing their discovery may have been a mistake. Now that the galaxy is open for exploration, there's going to be a rush to claim all the uncolonized worlds.


Galactic Civilizations was first developed for OS/2 in April 1993 by Brad Wardell. Although revenue from the initial OS/2 release was never paid by the bankrupt publisher,[2] popular support encouraged Stardock to release Shipyards, an add-on pack that allowed users to design their own starships, and this provided enough revenue to support further development, with a simplified version being sold to IBM in 1995 as Star Emperor.

GalCiv for OS/2

Galactic Civilizations II was released later that year, adding several new concepts and tweaks. It was followed by another version of Shipyards (which added both the ship design feature and improved governors/AI), and an expansion pack in April 1997, before Stardock was forced to withdraw from significant OS/2 development with the loss of their market.[citation needed] It is possible to run OS/2 versions of the game under emulation using Virtual PC.[3]


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