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Civ 4 lead designer Soren Johnson founds Mohawk Games

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Soren Johnson, the lead designer of Sid Meier's Civilization 4, formed a new indie studio "dedicated to building core strategy games," according to an announcement on Mohawk Games' official site.

Johnson will serve as CEO, while Stardock president and CEO Brad Wardell will serve as president and oversee day-to-day business operations.

Wardell revealed earlier this year that Johnson joined Stardock and would be working on Elemental: Fallen Enchantress - Legendary Heroes. Mohawk Games received financial backing from Stardock Strategic Investment Fund, which also backed the Firaxis and Microsoft veterans at Oxide Games earlier this year. Mohawk's first game, codenamed Mars, will run on Oxide's 64-bit Nitrous engine.

"We are living in the age of the independent game studio," Johnson wrote in a post on Mohawk's official blog, "never before have our tools been so powerful, the distribution channels so accessible, and open development so valuable. A robust market exists for original strategy games, my team has the experience to make them, and I am passionate about creating them."

For more on the founder, check out Johnson's recent post-mortem about the 15 months he spent working on Will Wright's Spore and the lessons he learned from developing the game.