Former XCOM Director Jake Solomon Making a ‘Next-Gen’ Life Sim

Jake Solomon, the former creative director and design lead for the XCOM franchise and Marvel’s Midnight Sunshas teamed up with veteran developers behind such games as Sid Meier’s Civilization, XCOM, and The Sims to launch Midsummer Studios and create a “next-generation entry to the Life Sim genre.”

Solomon, who was at Firaxis for 23 years, is CEO and creative director of Midsummer Studios, and is joined by co-founder Will Miller, another ex-Firaxis developer who takes on the role of game director for this untitled game. Miller was a part of Firaxis for 16 years and was lead designer of Civilization: Beyond Earth and the lead engineer on Marvel’s Midnight Suns.

Jake Solomon. Image credit: Midsummer Studios.

Nelsie Birch, who has over 25 years in financial and operations management, is COO/CFO. Grant Rodiek, who spent 18 years at Maxis as a producer and director on a wide array of entries and expansions of The Sims, is also on the team.

While we don’t know much more about the game the team is developing, the concept is a “next-gen Life Sim that emphasizes player-driven narratives, allowing communities to share memorable moments that grow out of the creativity of players themselves.”

To help achieve that goal, the studio has raised $6 million from major investors, including Transcend Fund, Tirta Ventures, Betaworks Ventures, 1Up Ventures, F4 Fund, Krafton, and Day Zero Productions.

“The best stories in games are written by the players,” Solomon said. “At Midsummer we’re making a life sim focused on the drama of modern life, where our players will write meaningful stories just by playing, and then share those stories with the world.”

Now that the initial investment has been secured, Midsummer Studios will focus on “growing their studio sustainably. The founders hope to champion the health and happiness of their team members, offering shared equity in the company and unlimited paid time-off.”

For more, check out IGN’s review of Marvel’s Midnight Suns and Solomon talking about wanting to create a simulation game if he could get funded to do so back in 2023.

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Adam Bankhurst is a writer for IGN. You can follow him on X/Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on TikTok.


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