SimCity and Sims 4 Development Continuing After Shutdown of Maxis Studio

Maxis Emeryville is no more.

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The primary Maxis studio in Emeryville, CA--the developer behind games like SimCity, Spore, and the early Sims games--has been shut down, Electronic Arts confirmed today.

The news first came to light when SimCity designer Guillaume Pierre tweeted, "Well it was a fun 12 years, but it's time to turn off the lights and put the key under the door. #RIPMaxisEmeryville."

EA has since confirmed the news with GameSpot, saying in a statement, "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."

According to the publisher, the shutdown will "not impact our plans for The Sims." The first expansion pack for The Sims 4 is still on the way, with "a full slate of additional updates and content in the pipeline."

As for the now out-of-work Maxis employees, EA says they will all "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."

2013's SimCity famously required an Internet connection to play when it launched and severely limited the maximum size of cities. The Sims 4, developed in part by Maxis, launched without certain features seen in previous games, prompting worries that they would be added back in the form of paid expansion packs.

Maxis was originally founded in 1987 by Will Wright before being acquired by EA a decade later. It has since expanded to become one of EA's major development labels, with development of The Sims series being spun out to a dedicated division, The Sims Studio.

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