Sid Meier has said the reason it has taken Firaxis so long to develop CivWorld, compared to the development cycle of most social games, is because the team wanted to make it “as good,” as they could make it.
Speaking with Gamasutra, Meier also said the first game in a new genre from a developer, usually takes a bit more time as well.
“This is Civ. I think there’s another strategy, which is to kind of throw five games out there and see which ones stick. We don’t have five games to throw out there and see what sticks,” he said. “I think we kind of said from the beginning that this game has to be as good as we can make it.
“We’re not going to have five opportunities to make games. We have to put all of our best ideas to make this game. That’s part of the reason it took longer. I think also your first game in any new genre is going to require tools and infrastructure and a bunch of stuff that you probably don’t already have,” said Meier. “So, we did it as quickly as we could, but there was quite a bit involved. I think that’s the reason it took the time that it did.”
Meier also said a game has to fun, so when developing CivWorld, the team was “basically looking to find the fun,” so when developing the social title, Firaxis took a “subjective gameplay-oriented approach to development,” than an analytical one.