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Firaxis cites graphics, controls behind shelving of CivRev for Wii

Jason Dobson

2K Games' decision last week to pull the plug on the the Wii version of Civilization Revolution no doubt left armchair rulers with a taste for waggle at a loss for words. Admittedly we had questions ourselves, especially considering the Wii's popularity, which like a racehorse on speed has shown little signs of slowing down. Why axe a game for the Wii, especially one boasting such a widely recognized name? Patrick Klepek of MTV's Multiplayer blog had questions himself, and went to the source by asking Firaxis' coder Scott Lewis why the Wii version was kicked to the curb.

The reasoning behind why Civilization Revolution for the Wii was put on hold is likely symptomatic of the machine's surprise success, as Lewis notes that the Wii SKU was added as an afterthought once the world became wise to the console's runaway popularity. The project, as it turns out, was originally just PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 bound, and without a PS2 or PSP version from which to draw art assets "a great deal of work" would have been required to create entirely new graphics for the Wii version alone. Other issues, such as having to shoehorn the game's controls onto the Wii remote only compounded difficulties. Added Lewis: "If we had started the project with all four platforms in mind, it is far more likely that we would not have put the Wii version of CivRev on hold."

This highlights an unfortunate reality when it comes to the Wii, as studios' are quick to cash in on the console's success, provided the amount of work to do so is minimal, something that doesn't exactly paint a rosy picture for Wii game development once developers begin to turn their back on the previous generation. However, Lewis noted that if Civilization Revolution performs well at retail for the existing SKUs, namely the PS3, Xbox 360, and DS, a version released for the Wii "will be more likely."

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