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Civilization 5 designer Jon Shafer has split with Paradox over 'creative differences'

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Back in May, Civilization 5 lead designer Jon Shafer joined Paradox Development Studio to make a new grand strategy game. It was a pretty big pickup for Paradox, and Shafer described it as "an exhilarating moment." But just six months later, he has left over "creative differences." 

"Jon is an ambitious person with a lot of drive and passion and he has led some good discussions in our teams over the past few months", Paradox executive vice president of studios Mattias Lilja said in a statement. "However, during the course of these discussions, it has become clear that we want different things creatively and we have therefore taken the mutual decision that it is best to part ways. We wish Jon the very best in the next part of his career and would like to thank him for his efforts during his time with us." 

Paradox didn't reveal anything further about the reasons for his departure, but "creative differences" rarely indicates a happy split. Whether it will impact the project he was working on isn't known, and may never be, since at this point we don't even know what that was: Shafer refused to talk about it during our interview with him shortly after he signed with Paradox, although he did say that Civilization studio Firaxis didn't provide him the opportunity to "do new things" after the completion of Civ 5.

Shafer is also working on a separate project at his indie studio, Conifer Games, called At the Gates, which was very successfully Kickstarted in 2013.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.