Former Firaxis developer Greg Foertsch has revealed Bit Reactor, a new game development studio made up of other Firaxis veterans and talent from several other studios. Firaxis is best known for its work on the stellar XCOM and Civilization series.
Foertsch himself served as art director at Firaxis, and spent more than 20 years at the studio. Over that period, he worked on XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2, and Sid Meier's Civilization III and IV. He says Bit Reactor will stick to its bonafides in the turn-base strategy realm, but aims to push the genre to new heights.
"The whole genre started to fall backwards while not having enough production values and it got dropped a bit," he said in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz. "There are ways to tell stories and convey information that doesn't require a wall of text. That's what we're focused on — bringing that to the genre, and really blurring that line between what a strategy game is and what an action game is."
"If you lead with story and immersion, I think you can find ways to just make a great game and not just make a strategy game."
Foertsch sees tablets as a major advantage for strategy games, saying they could open the genre up to new populations, but that consoles and PC remain the studio's focus for now.
"I honestly think that tablets are going to do for strategy games what consoles did for shooters, and there's a way to take advantage of that," he said.
"We're super interested in cross play and being able to play the game on as many different platforms as possible, but right now, we're really focused on nailing the console experience and PC experience."
Bit Reactor is reportedly working on multiple unannounced games, but the studio has yet to share details.