Nation-building gamers who were eagerly anticipating the Civilization series arrival on Facebook are going to have to wait a little longer. Variety is reporting that Take Two Interactive has confirmed that the beta for Sid Meier’s Civilization Network won’t begin until June 2010. This seems to be in contrast with Meier’s initial announcement last fall in the Civilization fan forum Civilization Fanatics Center, in which he claimed they would “soon be looking for beta testers.”

The Civilization franchise has been attempting to appeal to an audience outside of its core demographic in recent years. 2008’s Civilization Revolution both simplified the popular strategy series’ formula and broke away from its PC roots, with versions tailored to home and portable consoles. Even the iPhone version managed to impress (you can check out our review here).

With Meier making an obvious effort to branch out to a new audience, Facebook seems like a logical next step. And as any veteran of the multiplayer in previous Civilization games will testify, offering a turn-based multiplayer component similar to those seen in games like Scrabble or Lexulous will be light years more efficient with a social network like Facebook behind it. Of course it’s entirely possible that the social aspects of previous games won’t carry over, and that multiplayer will take a whole new role to reflect the unique nature of Facebook gaming. Whatever direction it takes, it looks like we’ll now have to wait until June before getting a real peek.

To stay up on the latest news from the development team, be sure to follow the Civilization Network fan page on Facebook.