The lead designer of Civilization IV has formed a new studio called Mohawk Games.
Based in Baltimore, the developer will focus on building core strategy titles using the new Nitrous game engine from Oxide Games.
The studio will be headed by ex-Firaxis dev Soren Johnson and Civilization V art director Dorian Newcomb. Stardock president Brad Wardell will also serve as the studio's president and will handle day-to-day business operations at the company.
Mohawk has received finances from the Stardock Strategic Investment Fund, and is currently working on its debut title, codenamed Mars.
“Mohawk puts gameplay first,” said Johnson.
“Our goal is to make games that will be played for years, based on elegant, replayable systems that are not limited by finite content creation. Our development process emphasises rapid iteration above all else, requiring our games to be playable as soon as possible so that we have time to find the fun.”
He added: "We are living in the age of the independent game studio – never before have the development tools been so powerful, the distribution channels so accessible, and open development so valuable."