Developed by Firaxis Games, Beyond the Sword brings with it the largest amount of expansion content in the history of the Civilization franchise. The expansion will focus on the late-game time periods after the invention of gunpowder and includes 12 challenging scenarios created by Firaxis and members of the Civilization fan community.

The expansion will also feature ten new civilizations including Portugal, Babylon and Netherlands; 16 new leaders; five new wonders including the Statue of Zeus, Cristo Redentor, Shwedagon Paya, the Mausoleum of Maussollos, and the Moai Statues; and a variety of new units.

Other new features include corporations, enabling players to create corporations and spread them throughout the world; the availability of espionage much earlier in the game; new random events such as natural disasters and demands from citizens; earlier availability of The United Nations; advanced starts making it possible to begin play in the later part of the game; and enhanced AI making the game tougher to beat on higher difficulty settings.

"Civilization is close to our hearts here at Firaxis and we're excited to up the ante on the series once again with what we consider to be our best expansion pack ever," said Steve Martin, president of Firaxis Games. "Fan requests and a constant stream of new ideas motivate our team to continue delivering more and better gameplay for our premier series. Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword is a must-have expansion for every Civ fan."

Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword is scheduled for release in July 2007 and will require the full version of Sid Meier's Civilization IV.