Civilization V Brave New World

Sid Meier has a new game. I’m sorry, but I’m just not good at building suspense.

The mastermind responsible for beloved franchises like Sid Meier’s Civilization and Sid Meier’s Sim Golf is working on a new game designed specifically for mobile devices, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The game is Ace Patrol, a World War 1-era strategy game (duh) that focuses on tactical air combat. Players will build up a squadron of aerial fighters that they must then work on positioning in combat against enemies.

Meier told the Wall Street Journal that the mobile market is starting to mature. He also said that his design philosophy isn’t any different because he is working with iOS and Android in mind, but his team is smaller thanks to the simplified visuals compared to a full PC release.

“The tenants (sic) remain the same,” Meier told the WSJ. “Do the best we can with what we have, delight consumers and make sure we have a straight shot up to economic upside.”

This is further evidence that major publishers, like Take-Two, are ready to fully leverage the mobile platforms. Sid Meier is one of that company’s biggest draws. By committing a big name like Meier to mobile, Take-Two is betting at least part of its future on tablets and smartphones.

Take-Two didn’t specify Ace Patrol’s business model, but its chief executive, Strauss Zelnick, did speak briefly on the possibility that the game could be free-to-play.

“We are very flexible about the business model,” Zelnick told the WSJ. “We encourage [developers] to push the envelope.”

Zelnick went on to say that the risk on something like Ace Patrol is minimal, and that if Take-Two made it free, they would make money back on selling missions or in-game items.

A Sid Meier game with microtransactions sounds dangerous, but I’ll accept it as long as the company also agrees to bring Sid Meier’s Sim Golf to mobile.