EA Shutters Maxis Studio That Developed Poorly Received SimCity Reboot

Word is out that Electronic Arts has closed down Maxis Emeryville, the studio responsible for the buggy SimCity remake and, more recently, The Sims 4. Guillaume Pierre, a designer and lead gameplay scripter for SimCity, first revealed the news on Twitter saying, "Well it was a fun 12 years, but it's time to turn off the lights and put the key under the door. RIP Maxis Emeryville."

Subsequent tweets would clarify that yes, "the shop is closing down," followed by confirmation from EA once the news spread. The timing really couldn't have been worse, as EA dropped the bombshell right in the middle of the Game Developer Conference (GDC), an annual event where developers and game studios from around the world get together to announce new projects. As Ron Burgandy would say, "Stay classy, EA."

SimCity Night

EA didn't provide too much information on why it decided to close the studio, other than to say it was a consolidation play. Here's EA's statement in full:

"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 Jeff Braun and is best remembered for its SimCity franchise. EA acquired Maxis in 1997 and promptly shifted Wright to develop The Sims, ongoing development of which was later split into The Sims Studio.