The critical and commercial success of XCOM: Enemy Unknown is seen by many players as a sign that turn-based strategy title is now appealing again to the general public, but the situation seems a little bit more complicated to one of the members of the team behind the title.
Jake Solomon, the main developer who worked on the game at Firaxis, tells Rock, Paper, Shotgun that, “I’ve thought about this a lot actually, but that doesn’t mean any of what I say has any authority whatsoever. I don’t know that XCOM means anything for strategy as a whole. I really don’t.”
He adds, “I think that that’s like pointing to Civ, which is a multi-platinum game every time we put one out, but that doesn’t really mean anything for turn-based games really.”
The developer says that the success of one game, like Starcraft in the real-time strategy space, does not automatically mean that the entire genre is interesting to developers and to players.
Having just one big success in one area might actually mean that the fan base is shrinking and that it can only support a limited number of actual sales.
Before tackling the revival of XCOM, Firaxis was best known for the development of the long-running Civilization series, which also uses turn-based mechanics but has a much larger game world and scale.
Much of the success of XCOM: Enemy Unknown is linked to its accessibility and other similar projects might have a problem with keeping the same learning curve.
Since the game was launched, Firaxis has delivered a Slingshot DLC pack, which includes three new missions and one core character, and Second Wave, which enables a number of new options to increase the realism level.
Jake Solomon has previously promised that more content will be launched in 2013 and described it as “awesome”.