Firaxis' Sid Meier has shown his hatred for the Western work ethic by combining two of the 21st Century's most productivity-killing things, Facebook and the Civilization series, into a free-to-play public beta for upcoming social strategy title Sid Meier's CivWorld. The title, which can be accessed right now by Facebook users eager to lay waste to their schedules both social and professional, isn't yet at final-release stage – but if you're that dedicated to avoiding whatever you ought to be doing, that's probably not the sort of thing that'll stop you.
The free-to-play CivWorld has been in development under the auspices of Firaxis' parent company 2K Games for the past 18 months with the working title of Civilization Network. That title gives some hint as to how the game differs from previous Civilizations: whereas Civs I-V focused on single-player civilizations, competing with either fellow players or the AI, CivWorld is very much built for the social-gaming arena. Players play a middle-management role within larger, team-based civilization competing over the course of longer-running games, with play optimized for the 15-minute bursts preferred by Facebook multitaskers rather than the epic sessions that make Civ infamous.
Taking yet another cue from social-gaming successes like FarmVille, CivWorld is free to play but contains additional assets unlockable via Facebook Credit purchases. The beta version of the game is still in a visibly incomplete state, but still gives players a chance to ascertain just how much of their time (and microtransaction money) to put aside – as well as learning how the flow of play differs from traditional Civ titles.
“This game has to be as good as we can make it,” Meier told PCMag: “your first game in any new genre is going to require tools and infrastructure and a bunch of stuff that you probably don't already have.” So, as always: it'll be done when it's done, but you're welcome to give it a go until then. Will you be joining the CivWorld?
Jul 8, 2011