‘Civilization’ creator Sid Meier says monetisation can harm gaming

"When we start to forget about making great games and start thinking about games as a vehicle or an opportunity for something else, that's when we stray a little bit further from the path"

Game designer Sid Meier has shared his thoughts on monetisation within the games industry, and warned that it can jeopardise “making great games”.

Speaking to the BBC for the 30th anniversary of Civilization, Meier warned that trying to monetise games can end up harming them.

Meier explained that the “real challenge and the real opportunity is keeping our focus on gameplay,” and attempting to overly monetise a game can get in the way of that.

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“That is what is unique, special and appealing about games as a form of entertainment,” said Meier. “When we forget that, and decide it’s monetisation or other things that are not gameplay-focused, when we start to forget about making great games and start thinking about games as a vehicle or an opportunity for something else, that’s when we stray a little bit further from the path.”

Civilization VI
Civilization VI. Credit: 2K Games/Firaxis Games

Elaborating, Meier said that monetising gaming could result in fans looking elsewhere for entertainment.

“People can assume that a game is going to be fun and what it needs for success are more cinematics or monetisation or whatever – but if the core just is not there with good gameplay, then it won’t work,” said Meier, who added that “it’s perhaps easy to overlook how important the investment in game design and gameplay is.”

Meier feels that gaming is still “in a good position”, but reiterated that studios need to “realise how critical gameplay is – and how that is the engine that really keeps players happy, engaged and having fun.”

As to what Meier’s working on right now, there’s a chance that Civilization 7 is in the works. Last year, a job listing at Firaxis shared the studio was looking for a narrative lead for a “AAA strategy title”.

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In other gaming news, an Escape From Tarkov streamer has played the hardcore shooter with a Nintendo 64 controller.

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