2K has announced that industry veteran and Firaxis Games Chief Operating Officer, Heather Hazen, has been promoted to Studio Head, ushering in a new era of development at the studio behind Sid Meier’s Civilization, XCOM, and, most recently, Marvel’s Midnight Suns. As part of that announcement, Firaxis confirmed that it is currently developing a new mainline Civilization title, continuing the popular series of turn-based strategy games beyond Civilization VI that allows players to build and lead various civilizations that range from ancient times to the modern era. Ed Beach will continue in his role as Creative Director for the new Civilization game, while two veterans, Jake Solomon (former Creative Director of the XCOM franchise and Marvel’s Midnight Suns) and Steve Martin (former Studio Head) will be departing Firaxis after over two decades at the studio.
“We are excited to welcome Heather Hazen as the new Studio Head of Firaxis Games, and believe she will continue to drive the success Firaxis has consistently delivered as part of 2K’s independent studio model,” said David Ismailer, President of 2K. “2K and Firaxis Games are deeply grateful for the foundation that Steve Martin set during his time at the studio, shepherding more than 30 game launches across three genre-defining franchises, and for ensuring a smooth transition for Heather into her new role. Firaxis is one of our company and industry’s most renowned studios, and we are confident that the team will continue to do great things under her leadership.”
“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to carry on the studio’s storied legacy, beginning with the announcement that Firaxis is in development on the next iteration of the legendary Civilization franchise,” said Hazen. “I’m lucky to be working with some of the best developers in our industry, and we have plans to take the Civilization franchise to exciting new heights for our millions of players around the world. In addition, we will continue to support Marvel’s Midnight Suns with post-launch content, and explore new creative projects for our teams.”
“I’m embarking on a new chapter; however, I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to fulfill my dreams at Firaxis Games,” said Solomon. “I’m thankful to everyone who enjoyed XCOM and Marvel’s Midnight Suns, and to my development and publishing partners who helped bring those games to life.”
“Jake revolutionized tactical turn-based games and continually raised the bar for storytelling in the strategy genre,” added Ismailer. “We have deep appreciation for his work and can’t wait to see what he does next.”
From a 2K press release:
As Studio Head, Hazen will manage Firaxis Games’ development teams and lead its mission to build the best strategy games on the planet. With 22 years of experience in gaming and entertainment, Hazen joined Firaxis Games in 2020 as the studio’s Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Firaxis Games, she was an Executive Producer on Fortnite at Epic Games, as well as Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled while at PopCap Games. Hazen’s promotion comes as longtime Firaxis Studio Head, Steve Martin, will be leaving the studio after more than 25 years with the organization.
Ed Beach will continue in his role as Creative Director on the forthcoming Civilization. Beach has been an integral part of the development of Civilization titles for more than 15 years, and most recently led the design of Civilization VI, the best-selling Civilization game to-date. The Civilization franchise is one of gaming’s most definitive and decorated franchises, with more than 65 million copies sold to-date.
In addition, Jake Solomon, former Creative Director of the XCOM franchise and Marvel’s Midnight Suns, will be departing the studio. Solomon leaves after over two decades at Firaxis Games, and was instrumental in revitalizing the tactical turn-based genre with the releases of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2, and Marvel’s Midnight Suns.