Firaxis worked on an earlier XCOM remake than 2012's XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but the prototype was thrown out for being downright "awful," according to lead designer Jake Solomon.
Speaking with Edge, Solomon explained that the studio first attempted a reboot in 2003, but never succeeded.
"It's a good thing it never went ahead, because I was way too young, I had very little experience, and I just wasn't in the right place to make that game," Solomon said. "It really took a long time until it made sense for the team and for the company."
Plans for XCOM picked up again in 2008, when the team sought to create an upgrade of the original game. The project eventually evolved into 2012's reboot, XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown was released on Oct. 9, 2012, for Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.