The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

By Brenna Hillier, Wednesday, 4 March 2015 21:36 GMT

The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed.

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The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California.

Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed.

“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,” the publisher said in a statement.

“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.

“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.”

EA said that support plans for The Sims 4 won’t change as a result of the plan, and as you probably gathered from the statement above the Maxis brand will continue – but the core group of talent, representing a previously unbroken line from Will Wright, has been sundered.

EA didn’t give any real explanation for the decision but Kotaku’s sources said neither SimCity nor The Sims 4 were successful, financially.

All the best to all staff affected by the closure. It’s pretty rough timing, given many of them will be at GDC. Hopefully they’ll be snapped up by their colleagues ASAP.

Maxis has been in action since 1987. Its first game was the original SimCity. Assuming nobody else picks up the Sim mantle, Maxis’s closure means EA has pretty much no PC-focused development projects left – Star Wars: The Old republic must be about the only ongoing concern now that Command & Conquer and Dawngate have both been shuttered.

Update: Polygon‘s sources have said EA is also laying off “a handful of people” from the Sims team at EA Redwood Shores offices. EA has not issued a statement in response.

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