To put this another way... Peaceful empires are equally capable of a cultural victory regardless of size. Warlike empires are less capable of cultural victories than peaceful ones. This was the statement that's incorrect: I gave the reason in my original reply to this statement, and will try and explain it better: When we have a high per-player culture income, new cities have a greater responsibility for increasing our total income. +10 when we have 100 in total is a 10% increase. +10 with 500 in total is a 2% increase. It's why adding cities does not speed up policy generation for a culture victory game, even under the best possible circumstances. Each city adds a small, fixed amount of culture and cannot adequately offset its cost against the large sources of per-player culture income. Tall empires gain culture faster, and wide empires offset this with higher science that unlocks new culture sources sooner. If we can't do something in the best possible situation, then we never can do it. Things can't get better under worse circumstances. Spoiler : You're using data from conquest victories to make a conclusion about cultural victories. It's important to use the right data set. The data is conquest-victory specific because it omits per-player culture from sources like cultural citystates, landmarks, world wonders, and national wonders. I haven't played enough culture games to know for sure, but I doubt a culture game could be better by avoiding sources of culture.