EA confirms Maxis cuts

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

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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.
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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