EA has shut down its Maxis Emeryville studio, which was responsible for creating SimCity and The Sims. The news, originally reported by BeyondSims.Com, came out when lead gameplay designer Guillaume Pierre tweeted: “Well it was a fun 12 years, but it’s time to turn off the lights and put the key under the door. #RIPMaxisEmeryville”
EA confirmed the move in a statement: “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to our studios in Redwood Shores, Salt Lake City, Helsinki and Melbourne locations as we close our Emeryville location.”
Maxis was founded in 1987 by Will Wright and Jeff Braun, and went on to create SimCity and The Sims. That studio, which until now was known as Maxis Emeryville, most recently developed the 2013 reboot of SimCity, which launched with myriad technical issues, and 2008’s Spore. The Sims 4 was developed by the spun-off Sims Studio.
EA confirmed that current Maxis games will continue unaffected: “Maxis continues to support and develop new experiences for current Sims and SimCity players, while expanding our franchises to new platforms and developing new cross-platform IP.
“These changes do not impact our plans for The Sims. Players will continue to see rich new experiences in The Sims 4, with our first expansion pack coming soon along with a full slate of additional updates and content in the pipeline.”
EA also offered support for former Maxis Emeryville employees: “All employees impacted by the changes today will be given opportunities to explore other positions within the Maxis studios and throughout EA. For those that are leaving the company, we are working to ensure the best possible transition with separation packages and career assistance.”