Meier making Civilization for Facebook

Free to play, coming next year.

In a post on the Civilization fan forum, strategy guru Sid Meier has announced that he's making a version of his empire-building series Civilization for Facebook.

Civilization Network, as it's called, will launch next year and Firaxis will soon be looking for beta testers.

"Ever since we finished Civilization Revolution last year, I've been looking at ways of expanding the Civ gameplay experience to include solo, competitive and co-operative play to take advantage of the uniqueness of social networks," Meier said. "We're calling this project Civilization Network and the full game will be available next year on Facebook.

"Civilization Network will allow you to join together with your friends to create the world's most powerful, richest, smartest, or just plain coolest civilization," Meier continued. "You can coordinate your strategy to win great battles, share your technology to jump ahead of your rivals, lobby your family and friends to form your own government and win vital elections, manage and grow your cities to maximize production and happiness, spy on your enemies, and work with your friends to create the great Wonders of the World.

"The game will offer everything you enjoy in Civ in a fully persistent environment - you can play as much as you like, whenever you like, and itíll be free to play," Meier concluded.

That probably makes it the first massively multiplayer version of Civ, technically speaking, as well as the first for social networks.

Appropriately enough, the place to keep up with Civilization Network's development is at its Facebook fan page.

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