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Firaxis Games, Inc. is an American video game developer founded in 1996 by Sid Meier, Jeff Briggs, and Brian Reynolds upon leaving MicroProse.[1] Now a wholly owned subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive, the company is best known for its Civilization series of games, though it has had notable success with other titles as well. Firaxis is based in Sparks, Maryland; Sid Meier continues to lead creative efforts there. The focus of the company has been on strategy and simulation games.

Firaxis Games, Inc.
Formerly called
Firaxis Software, Inc. (1996–97)
Industry Video game industry
Founded January 5, 1996; 22 years ago (1996-01-05) in Hunt Valley, Maryland, U.S.
Founders Sid Meier
Jeff Briggs
Brian Reynolds
Headquarters Sparks Glencoe, Maryland, U.S.
Products Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
Civilization series (2001-present)
Sid Meier's Pirates!
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
(See complete products listing)
Number of employees
Parent 2K Games



Firaxis Games' former headquarters in Hunt Valley, Maryland in 2008

Firaxis was founded by Sid Meier, Brian Reynolds, and Jeff Briggs in 1996, all former employees of MicroProse, which Meier had co-founded with Bill Stealey in 1982. MicroProse was initially founded to develop flight simulators and combat simulation games, but Meier, wanting to explore other types of games, produced several non-destructive management simulation games, most notably Sid Meier's Civilization (1991) which he co-developed with Bruce Shelley, and its sequel Civilization II (1996), co-developed with Reynolds. These games were very successful, and while MicroProse would make more, these were against the vision that Stealey had for the company, who wanted to keep towards the combat simulation games.[2]

Stealey attempted to launch a line of MicroProse arcade games, but this did not succeed. Failing to complete an initial public offering to make up for the debt incurred by the arcade games, Stealey sold MicroProse to Spectrum Holobyte in 1993 and eventually left the company. MicroProse operated separately within Spectrum Holobyte, but by 1996, as a cost-cutting measure, Spectrum Holobyte decided to consolidate its branding under the MicroProse name, and subsequently laid off several studios, including two of MicroProse's satellite studios. Discouraged by this, Meier, Reynolds, and Briggs left MicroProse and formed Firaxis to continue to develop strategy games in the same style as Civilization.[2] At this point, MicroProse retained the rights to the Civilization branding, preventing Firaxis from making a direct sequel to Civilization. This led to the development of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (1999), a space colonization game that was a spiritual sequel to Civilization.[3]

Co-founder Brian Reynolds left Firaxis in the early 2000s to found his own studio, Big Huge Games.

MicroProse was bought by Hasbro Interactive in 1998, which later was bought by Infogrames in 2001. Infrogrames provided Firaxis the license to make Civilization III under its publishing label.[2] In 2004, Take-Two Interactive acquired the Civilization license from Infogrames for $22.3 million,[4][5] and licensed this to Firaxis to make Civilization IV (2005). After its release, Take-Two acquired Firaxis in November 2005, effectively giving Firaxis full control of the Civilization series.[6] The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but according to the SEC filing it amounted for US$26.7 million in cash, stock, and development advances, with almost US$11.3 million of that figure coming in the form of possible considerations based on future product sales. The company was consolidated with PopTop Software in March 2006, the resultant combined studio to be headed up by Sid Meier.

Jeff Briggs assumed the role of Chairman in April 2006 and left the company completely in November. In April 2007, Soren Johnson left the company and joined Electronic Arts to work on Spore with Lead Designer Will Wright. Johnson was formerly a key person for Firaxis, acting as co-designer for Civilization III and later Lead Designer on Civilization IV.[7]

In September 2009, the studio moved a few miles, from Hunt Valley, Maryland to Sparks, Maryland.


Firaxis' titles are frequently prefixed with Sid Meier's name, a practice continued from Meier's earlier games at Microprose.[8]

Year Title Platforms
1997 Sid Meier's Gettysburg! Microsoft Windows
1999 Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Windows, OS X, Lin
1999 Sid Meier's Antietam! Windows, OS X, Linux
2001 Sid Meier's Civilization III Windows, OSX
2002 Sid Meier's SimGolf Windows
2002 Sid Meier's Civilization III: Play the World Windows
2003 Sid Meier's Civilization III: Conquests Windows
2004 Sid Meier's Pirates! Windows, OS X, Xbox, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation Portable, iOS, Windows Phone
2005 Sid Meier's Civilization IV Windows, OS X
2006 Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords Windows, OS X
2006 Sid Meier's Railroads! Windows, OS X
2007 Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword Windows, OS X
2008 Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, iOS, Windows Phone
2008 Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization Windows, OS X
2010 Sid Meier's Civilization V Windows, OS X, Linux
2012 Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods & Kings Windows, OS X, Linux
2012 XCOM: Enemy Unknown Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360
2013 Haunted Hollow iOS
2013 Sid Meier's Ace Patrol iOS
2013 Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World Windows, OS X, Linux
2013 Sid Meier's Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies Windows, iOS
2013 XCOM: Enemy Within Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360
2014 Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution 2 PlayStation Vita, iOS, Android
2014 Sid Meier's Civilization Beyond Earth Windows, OS X, Linux
2015 Sid Meier's Starships Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS
2015 Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth - Rising Tide Windows, OS X, Linux
2016 XCOM 2 Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2016 Sid Meier's Civilization VI Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS
2017 XCOM 2: War of the Chosen Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2018 Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Rise and Fall Windows


  1. ^ Keefer, John (March 31, 2006). "GameSpy Retro: Developer Origins". GameSpy. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Features - The History of Civilization". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  3. ^ "Sid starts up. Again -". Forbes. 1997-07-25. 
  4. ^ Feldman, Curt (2004-11-24). "Civilization sold off to mystery buyer - PC News at GameSpot". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  5. ^ Winegarner, Beth (2005-01-26). "Take-Two takes over Civilization - PC News at GameSpot". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  6. ^ Thorsen, Tor (November 7, 2005). "Take-Two takes in Firaxis". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on November 25, 2005. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  7. ^ iTZKooPA (April 18, 2007). "Civilization IV Lead Designer Leaves Firaxis Games". TotalGaming.NET. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  8. ^ Sullentrop, Chris (May 8, 2017). "'Civilization' Creator Sid Meier: "I Didn't Really Expect to be a Game Designer"". Glixel. Retrieved May 8, 2017. 

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