Soren Johnson has returned to the West Coast and joined California-based Electronic Arts. He previously worked there as a programming intern for sports titles Knockout Kings 2000 and 2001 for the PlayStation.
Currently, he is working on the cross-platform “Spore”, which the game’s designer Will Wright has referred to as a Massively Single-Player game.
Soren is a very talented game designer and made lots of truly significant contribution to the Civilization series. We wish him the best of luck at EA!
EDIT (11:39 PM): GameDaily contacted Firaxis and Firaxis Director of Marketing Kelley Gilmore confirmed Johnson is indeed leaving:
"It's a sad day for us, but we had 7 terrific years with him," expressed Gilmore. "He's an incredibly talented game designer and we look forward to seeing the wonderful work he'll produce for many years to come."
Although it can’t be a good feeling to lose a key designer, Gilmore assured us that Firaxis will be just fine thanks to the many talented staff still there: “We have lots of very talented designers at Firaxis – Alex Mantzaris and Jon Shafer are leading the design on our recently announced expansion: Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword. We’re also working on some yet-to-be announced titles with some great designers leading development. More on that soon!”