An Open Letter to Sid Meier


Dear Sid,

Hope this letter finds you well. First off, some congratulations are in order: You’ve got a new game coming out today for iOS, Ace Patrol, and it looks awesome. World War I! Fighter planes! Rich, turn-based strategy that also incorporates collectible card game mechanics! And am I right in guessing that it’s inspired by Wings of War, a classic board game? What’s not to love?

Just one thing, actually: I can’t play it on my PC. I know, I know — mobile gaming is the way of the future. It’s good for turn-based gameplay. You’ve even said that you like zooming around the battlefield using the touchscreen. But I’ll be honest: Playing the first Civilization on PC turned me into a gamer. I wore out several trackball mice. Even my dad became addicted. It’s the reason I have this job. And I wish you would come back.

Not that you’ve ever really been away. You haven’t always been the lead designer, but there’s a long list of great games that have prospered thanks to your name above the title and your guiding influence as creative director behind the scenes. They need no introduction. I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing them.

Even when you wandered in the past, I followed. Civilization Revolution never really got its due. I even played a lot of CivWorld, the only Facebook game I ever really bothered with. Still, I can’t help but feel a little envious today — envious of the iPhone-clutching people who are playing Ace Patrol and enjoying code that you yourself programmed.

I’m patient, though. I’m confident that you’ve got something big in store for us — something so big that only a mouse and a price and a team of 50 working for a year will do. Instead of a game that we can play on the way to work, a game that we spend all our time at work thinking about, and all weekend playing. Maybe it’s your idea about dinosaurs that never quite got going. Maybe it’s something I can’t even conceive of.

The stewards of Firaxis have defended the Gondor of strategy long enough. It’s time for the Return of the King. I’ve got a brain between my ears, and a PC under my desk. They’re both at your disposal.

Ben Richardson


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6 Comments on An Open Letter to Sid Meier


On May 9, 2013 at 9:05 pm


(Civ V: The Non-Sucking Actually Playable Edition would be a good start.)


On May 9, 2013 at 9:49 pm

I would love to see a return to alpha centauri. Though i have to agree completely with the letter.


On May 10, 2013 at 1:04 am

“The stewards of Firaxis have defended the Gondor of strategy long enough. It’s time for the Return of the King.” OOOOoooohhhhhHH! excellent :)

+1 globally m(U;U)
i’m joining the writer !


On May 10, 2013 at 8:23 am



I’d also like to see another Pirates! game.


On May 10, 2013 at 8:16 pm


Alpha Centauri and its expansion Alien Crossfire are still my all time favourite Sid Meier games. I would love to see that series continue someday.

I agree with the letter as well.


On June 26, 2014 at 1:58 pm

I used to play the board game, “Civilization”. On my old Apple IIe I played Civ II. I still play Civ III and Civ IV. I found Civ V too slow and complicated, and I hate “Steam”, which kept trying to sell me things. And that damn introductory movie ran every time I started it up. It’s off my computer and is going to stay off. I like “alpha Centauri” but it doesn’t seem to recognize my Logitech Trackball anymore. That makes the game almost impossible to play.
I understand that there is a new version of Civ coming out, and if I don’t need “Steam” I may check it out. But, I’m afraid that Firaxis has been taken over by the bean counters and marketers, and has lost its creative edge.