Game developer Maxis, creator of “successful” franchises The Sims and SimCity, is being consolidated by its parent company, Electronic Arts. Though the Maxis label will still be used on its existing series as a brand name, the studio itself has been dissolved.
The news was announced during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015 in San Francisco, which is odd timing, to say the least. The story broke after former Maxis developer Guillaume Pierre tweeted the sad news:
Well it was a fun 12 years, but it's time to turn off the lights and put the key under the door. #RIPMaxisEmeryville
— Guillaume Pierre (@MaxisGuillaume) March 4, 2015
EA followed that with an official statement on Wednesday evening:
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 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.
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.
Maxis was founded in 1987 by Will Wright and the company made its name with a series of simulation games, of “digital dollhouses,” as Wright described them.
EA has developed quite the reputation for ruining respected game development studios, with gamers turning against the likes of Maxis, BioWare, Pandemic, and Westwood Studios after their EA buyouts.