Civilization 5: Gods and Kings

Publisher Take-Two and developer Firaxis are partnering with XLGames to make Civilization Online.

South Korean-based XLGames is the studio behind massively multiplayer online role-playing game Lineage, which has over 43 million players. That developer and its lead designer, Jake Song, are working directly with the Civilization team at Firaxis to build an online-only Civilization game for the Asian market.

Civilization is a turn-based strategy game series in which players take a small settler and a single warrior and build that into an expansive empire over hundreds of turns.

“Making our intellectual property available to delight consumers wherever they are is an important component of our long-term growth strategy,” Take-Two chief executive officer Strauss Zelnick said. “Our¬†online and mobile social projects in Asia are enabling Take-Two to further broaden its global footprint and captivate audiences across a myriad of screens, platforms, and business models. If successful, these¬†projects will enhance our core business with revenue and profit streams that are higher margin and more stable over time.”

Neither Take-Two nor XLGames revealed any specifics about Civilization Online. Song is leading a team of over 100 employees in the development this new Civ, which reportedly makes it one of the biggest game productions in South Korea.

Civilization Online joins NBA 2K Online, NBA 2K All-Stars, and Pro Baseball in 2K Games’ Asian-continent strategy. Free-to-play is a staple of this lineup, and that trend will likely continue with this version of Civ.

Competitive strategy gaming is huge in South Korea. Starcraft II and League of Legends are nation pastimes of the Asian country. Civilization Online is possibly an attempt to capture a part of that market with a turn-based strategy game.

Firaxis’s founder Sid Meier previously designed Civilization World for Facebook, but that game did not turn out so well. It debuted in May 2011, but the crowds didn’t come.