EA confirms Maxis cuts

Publisher reduces studio payroll "in response to business conditions," reaffirms commitment to Spore franchise.

Earlier today, reports surfaced that Activision had trimmed staff at its subsidiary Raven Software, better known as the studio behind X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Wolfenstein. However, Activision isn't the only top publisher making layoff headlines, as arch rival Electronic Arts confirmed today that it will be making reductions to its workforce at its Spore studio, Maxis.

The Maxis beast just had a few limbs removed.

"Often in the video game industry, the size of a studio fluctuates in response to business conditions," an EA rep said in a statement. "In this case, EA has taken action to reduce the workforce at Maxis as we focus the business and focus Maxis. EA remains fully committed to Spore and other IP within Maxis, with games planned for launch in the next few months, including Spore Hero, coming to the Wii for the first time, and Spore Hero Arena on the DS."

With The Sims franchise fully in the hands of EA's Sims Studio, Maxis has taken the reins of the Spore series. The original game debuted to positive reviews on the PC, DS, and mobile platforms in September 2008, with the Spore Galactic Adventures expansion pack arriving for desktops in June. EA did not indicate the size of the cuts, though it did note that all eligible employees have been offered severance packages and outplacement assistance.

Notably, Maxis founder and game designer Will Wright left the company in April 2009 to form Stupid Fun Club, a venture Wright describes as an "entertainment think tank."

Maxis remains at work on Spore Hero and Spore Hero Arena, which are due to debut October 6 on the Wii and DS, respectively.

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78 comments
tat2pap
tat2pap

EA is going to get shutdown

yas710yaf
yas710yaf

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

yas710yaf
yas710yaf

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

yas710yaf
yas710yaf

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Jl-95
Jl-95

what about the people that just lost there jobs you guys don't care about that do you. and if you don't like EA don't support them it's just that simple .EA is not gonna read this . I like ea always have they make good games

s4dn3s5
s4dn3s5

EA can turn gold into crap

Joesocwork
Joesocwork

There's great indie games out there like Psychonauts by Majesco and World of Goo by 2-D Boy among many others. But EA has shown that they will farm out to either willing indie or smaller companies, results be hanged, as evidenced by the disastrous Sim City Societies from Tilted Mills

jaSteRdcX
jaSteRdcX

i agree with everyone else's "Anything EA touches turns to crap" a big steaming pile of crap.

Jedi_Dad
Jedi_Dad

@snoopy_22. I only partly agree. EA may one day control many of the companies as we know them now, but they will never control the entire market. The more they control, the more you will see a rise in indie games that will make as much or more than EA's games. In addition, the indie companies will have no reason to join EA because they sell direct to gamers on the internet. An because the internet is ubiquitous, they really don't have to worry about marketing costs. Great games sell, regardless of the source. Indie companies will be to EA like a pesky fly at a picnic that you can't kill and won't leave you alone.

snoopy_22
snoopy_22

If anyone should be getting a cut back it should be EA. No wonder Will Wright left, he saw his dream ever slowly die into the on-going future that EA is bringing to this world where 1 company will own everything. I see in a few years EA will be owners of all major gaming companies then they will slowly but surely turn all those companies into 1 complete EA where everyone is just working for them under there control. I never knew that domination would not only take place in politics and people but also Video Games. Its a very sad time my friends -____-

LarkAnderson
LarkAnderson moderator staff

Always sad to hear this sort of news :(

funkmugumbo
funkmugumbo

The deepest cut EA ever made on Maxis was Sim Cities: Societies.

jazilla
jazilla

why all the negative comments? gaming companies like movie studios have NEVER been about being magical job security institutions. they are about one thing: making money. if that doesn't happen, heads roll. if you don't like it, then don't buy games. it's really as simple as that.

nurse_tsunami
nurse_tsunami

I want SimCity 5 please! I loved Maxis back in the day when it was doing creative sim games all the time. I haven't been as big of a fan since EA bought them. I hope they return to their roots soon!

Nikola_Bathory
Nikola_Bathory

"business conditions" lol, I like how it sounds. But why EA fires them, I thought that SPORE was a success?

junor69
junor69

F--U EA every thing you touch turns to crap

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

Possibly the best division of EA gets down sized. Awesome times we live in...

CHAOS100
CHAOS100

Thats what happens when you associate with EA. It's like trying to develop games with a cobra under your desk... it doesn't matter what you do, some time it will kill you off.

forhekset
forhekset

Get back to what you used to do Maxis.

Redhunt_86
Redhunt_86

talents are finally being released from the reigns of EA-Maxis contracts, to be able to join other companies to create games which are actually mature, immersive and treats the gamer with respect! no wait....unless they join a Eastern European or Russian game developer, they are going to end up making Wii and DS games. I certainly don't see them jumping over. It's still all about the $$$$.

RadPie
RadPie

And I thought the economy wasn't affecting this industry. Oh well, stuff happens.

bad_fur_day
bad_fur_day

Spore was the most overinflated average game ever.

NuKkU
NuKkU

hope this doesnt affect Spore that much

Jedi_Dad
Jedi_Dad

Good Bye Maxis. EA will do to Maxis what Microsoft did to Access and Ensemble Studios. Sad.

Grayedoutmix
Grayedoutmix

EA workers "lets repackage the same game as last year and add two new upgrades like new tackling system and add refs to the field and call it Madden 2010 and sell it for 60$$....AGAIN!" EA manager " PERFECT!"

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

Don't be surprised if you start seeing projects 'held hostage' by development teams that anticipate getting laid off when they finish the product. Maybe leave it at 85% and then suddenly slow work to a crawl, invent glitches to fix, or come up with a dozen other reasons to stay working for another three-six months while they polish the resume.

pajamas
pajamas

Where's Simcity 5? Bring it back!!!!

kytomasi
kytomasi

i would so work for a company named "stupid fun club" XD it'll be awesome

kytomasi
kytomasi

I no longer support EA and their 70% complete games they release. Fight Night 4 & Madden 10 was the last straw. Even tho i saw it coming with excessive DLC for Madden 10, its almost impossible to have a fair long lasting franchise without buying their stupid DLC scouts. They are nothing but money thirsty leechs that want to drain us of our hard earned money.

wcw6
wcw6

Does EA have like employees going around posting propaganda about how great they are? I wonder why they aren't laid off instead.

Geek12
Geek12

@strayfies 100% agreed.

agathalynn
agathalynn

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

strayfies
strayfies

Yeah I'd definitely punish the studio that brings us a yearly guaranteed best-seller based on name alone. Especially when there are so many great sports game studios out there that require only a room of trained monkeys to import the same engine from last year and tweak the stats. Challenge EVERYTHING.

brian_13un
brian_13un

Great Maxis you cheeky bastards ^_^ (it just a joke).... But I mean IT

mertron1
mertron1

they could do so much more with spore..good as the game is its limited and lacking foresight...hopefully when they eventually bring out a sequal and not these sims like add-on's it really will be worth purchasing.

cyborg100000
cyborg100000

EA doing what they're best at, being greedy bastards.

Leo_Colt
Leo_Colt

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

wildnine00
wildnine00

..after all that talk about gaming being the only recession-proof industry out there.

Mr_Versipellis
Mr_Versipellis

This should teach them to make less worthless expansions and more decent games...

bodylotion
bodylotion

Like Will Wright is a god lol. The guy has left for 4-5 months it can't be that these problems exist because he left.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

When Maxis get lay-off's, you know PC gaming is in trouble!

wahyudil
wahyudil

well ... after will wright gone, we can wait until maxis closure not long time after this ... as EA has habit to close lots of great studios like westwood and origins ...

Sortek
Sortek

I could name a few, but most of them closed down ;)

brendameistar
brendameistar

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

elwapo2004
elwapo2004

@"Often in the video game industry, the size of a studio fluctuates in response to business conditions," an EA rep said in a statement. What they really said is "We worked our employees like slaves to get Spore and it's expansion done and now that the other Spore titles due out soon are 75%-85% complete we can start firing people." @ EA did not indicate the size of the cuts, though it did note that all eligible employees have been offered severance packages and outplacement assistance. By eligible employees they mean no one. By severance packages they mean expired coupons for oil changes. By outplacement assistance they mean security threw them off the property. Burn in hell EA and take Activision/Vivendi with you.

badtaker
badtaker

EA confirms Maxis cuts WTF.Eventhough Sims 3 and spore are best sellers. All Maxis employees should join Stupid Fun Club

Inconnux
Inconnux

Just like EA, buy a company... force them to release sub par products far before they are ready and then gut the staff... in 5 years we will be reading about how they are laying off staff at bioware... Don't believe me? just look at all the studios they have destroyed... Westwood, Bullfrog, Origins, blackbox, Mythic and now Maxis... all studios 'aquired' by EA and now a shadow of their former selves...

talshiarr
talshiarr

Maxis without Will Wright isn't really Maxis anyway. Even the games he wasn't directly involved in saw his input or advice. With him gone, Maxis would have been nothing but a sequel or expansion pack factory.

elwapo2004
elwapo2004

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Kungfu_Kenobi
Kungfu_Kenobi

This is hardly unusual. People that have been in the industry a while know not to get attached to their jobs at any given company. Maybe we'll see a new studio form out of this.