Firaxis Games: Jake Solomon leaves after 27 years, Heather Hazen takes over

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Jake Solomon is leaving Firaxis Games after 27 years, and Heather Hazen will take the reins.

2K today announced that Firaxis Games Chief Operating Officer, Heather Hazen, has been promoted to Studio Head, ushering in a new era in the development of the interactive entertainment studio behind Sid Meier’s Civilization, XCOM and the recently released Marvel’s Midnight Suns.

As the new head of the studio, Hazen will lead Firaxis Games’ development teams and pursue the mission of creating the best strategy games in the world.

With 22 years of experience in the games and entertainment industry, Hazen joined Firaxis Games in 2020 as the studio’s Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Firaxis Games, she served as Executive Producer at Epic Games on Fortnite and at PopCap Games on Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled.

Heather Hazen’s promotion comes at a time when longtime Firaxis studio executive Steve Martin is leaving the studio after more than 25 years.

David Ismailer, 2K President, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Heather Hazen as the new studio head of Firaxis Games and believe she will continue the success Firaxis has consistently achieved as part of 2K’s independent studio model will advance. 2K and Firaxis Games are immensely grateful for the foundation Steve Martin laid during his tenure at the studio, overseeing more than 30 game launches across three genre-defining franchises, and for providing Heather with a smooth transition into her new one role made possible. Firaxis is one of the most respected studios in our company and in the industry and we are confident that the team will continue to achieve great things under their leadership.”

Hazen said of her new role, “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue the studio’s storied legacy, beginning with the announcement that Firaxis are working on the next iteration of the iconic Civilization franchise. I’m fortunate to work with some of the best developers in our industry, and we plan to take the Civilization series to new heights for our millions of players around the world. Additionally, we will continue to support Marvel’s Midnight Suns with post-launch content and explore new creative projects for our teams.”

Ed Beach will continue in his role as creative director for the upcoming Civilization. Beach has been involved in the development of Civilization titles for more than 15 years, most recently leading the design of Civilization VI.

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Additionally, Jake Solomon, former Creative Director of the XCOM series and Marvel’s Midnight Suns, will be leaving the studio. Solomon is leaving the studio after over two decades at Firaxis Games and was instrumental in reviving the tactical turn-based genre with the releases of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 and Marvel’s Midnight Suns.

Commenting on his departure, Solomon said: “I’m starting a new chapter, but I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to pursue my dreams at Firaxis Games. I am grateful to everyone who enjoyed XCOM and Marvel’s Midnight Suns, and to my development and publishing partners who helped bring these games to life.”

Ismailer added, “Jake revolutionized tactical turn-based gaming and continued to raise the bar for storytelling in the strategy genre. We really appreciate his work and can’t wait to see what he does next.”

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