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Civilization development team Firaxis is preparing a new update for its most recent game, and this will enable the sci-fi strategy release to communicate and interact with the studio’s next big project.

Firaxis announced a number of things it has planned for the winter update to Civilization: Beyond Earth, and the biggest change is the addition of the base features required to get the two sci-fi games talking to one another. This is the first time that the developer is enabling players to feel the repercussions of their actions in one game in another release. And this ambitious plan comes as Firaxis games — and Civilization in particular — continue to grow in popularity. Civilization V is almost always one of the 10 most played PC games on Valve’s Steam digital-distribution platform, according to its stats page. By combining Beyond Earth and Starships into a single universe, Firaxis and publisher 2K Games could boost the popularity of each.

“Both the Starships and Beyond Earth teams have been interested in the idea of having two separate games able to pass information between them, and what that might mean for players,” 2K community specialist David Hinkle wrote in a blog. “This is our first experiment with this cross-game connectivity.”

Firaxis says that it will use the My2K service to create the connection between the games. If you do not have an account on that network, you’ll need one to take advantage of the cross-game communication.

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“For now, this system works for Beyond Earth and Starships, but may extend to future titles as well,” wrote Hinkle. “The first time you log into your my2K account from Beyond Earth, you will get an exclusive map: the Glacier planet.”

The idea of having two games communicate with one another isn’t new. Developers have used this concept to let fans carry over their decisions in the Mass Effect series as well as The Walking Dead Season One and Season Two.

Civilization: Beyond Earth is a planet-based strategy game of the 4X variety, which has players exploring, expanding, exploiting, and exterminating. Starships will introduce space-based gameplay. It will focus on tactical combat.

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