What happens now that the lead designer and lead gameplay programmer of Civilization V has walked away, leaving Firaxis and the iconic settlement-building behind? Will the series noticeably change?
Jon Shafer is the man in question. "Establishing a vision", "team/project direction" and "designing and engineering gameplay systems" were all his responsibility when making Civilization V, according to his LinkedIn profile (via Flash of Steel).
On his profile Shafer confirms that, after five years and 11 months, he has left Firaxis.
Shafer told Flash of Steel, "I very much enjoyed my time Firaxis, worked on many projects that I've very proud of and got to know a lot of amazing people. I'm appreciative of the opportunities provided by Firaxis and 2K, and hope to see (and play) more great games from them in the future."
Shafer made clear how he left of his own accord and was not pushed.
In response to Shafer's departure, 2K told Flash of Steel: "We are grateful for Jon's contributions to Firaxis and the Civilization franchise and wish him all the best in the future."
Civilization V arrived on PC this September and, though predictably enjoyable, highlighted more than ever that the fundamental mechanics of the series are in need of an update. Quintin Smith dissected Civilization V for Eurogamer.