SimCity and Sims 4 Development Continuing After Shutdown of Maxis Studio

Maxis Emeryville is no more.

133 Comments

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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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cjtopspin

Further proof that EA can take a perfect IP and drive it into the ground.


EA. Where IPs go to die.

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chrishughes571

As the games industry revenues increase and the stakes become higher and higher, where will the concentration of studios go? A few massive ones, EA, Ubisoft etc and indie firms or will the big firms collapse under their weight of their own bureaucracy?

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magusat999

My thoughts about maxis is that they hadn't put out a new product in years. They obviously were struggling. Then comes along Evil Angel... I mean Electronic Arts, looking for another victim to hollow out - but offering big money. the Maxis execs fall willingly for the okey-doke, they could care less about the employees or the fans of the series. they wanted a quick personal cash infusion and whatever happens to Maxis - well so what! I'm rich, b***h - and EA gets what they really want - intellectual property so they can sue the hell out of anyone who makes a game similar to Sim City (look what they did to Zynga when they came online for their less than genuine effort to make a f2p city builder - they had Zynga in court and on the ropes gasping for air 5 seconds after they acquired Maxis).


So it is a large part EA, but it's also Maxis greed and no confidence in their product. And like all of these deals the few at the top get mega rich and the rest get tossed out like rotting lettuce off a produce truck. I'd bet money the top people at Maxis aren't hurting at all by this - they got PAID for the pig they put lipstick on and sold at the fair. And that's entrepreneurship 101...

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musalala

EA are we even shocked anymore, bioware is next

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dinamo4ever

so... bullfrog, westwood, now maxis... waiting for bioware...


worst company EVER !!!

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sega31098

Boooo

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alanandooa

Maxis never delivered what their customers wanted so they may as well shut up shop, and good riddance. Sim City was a total disappointment.

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maxpowr3

So what's gonna refill EA's cocaine bucket now?

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buffalo_girl

What??? NOO!!!! I loved windows xp pinball!!!!!! :(::::::::::::::::::::::::::: this is so sad

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Ripper_TV

<< LINK REMOVED >> But TBH every huge corporation is like that.

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Blightedmythos

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I'd argue Valve and a handful of other major companies are not like that.

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Rufus_the_rat

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Valve is not publicly traded, that's the difference. Also, try getting a refund from Valve customer support - they can be just as ruthless as any other corp.

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buffalo_girl

<< LINK REMOVED >> they truly are. and yet i cant stop playing sims. love hate relationship.. i certainly wont be paying like 60 bucks for that stupid work expansion pack though.

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x_poetz

RIP Maxis, thanks for the old Sim Farm.

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PlaystationZone

Well EA Games behind close doors want to close down Maxis company to save money and have games and lose people who work there to get more money in there pocket if that case EA Games worst company.


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magusat999

It was inevitable - everyone knows when you play with EA you LOSE...

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SaturatedButter

I still want them to do another SimCity. A good one.

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Karistrov

<< LINK REMOVED >>You should try Cities: Skylines coming for pc this March 10. I heard it has all of what was lacking in SimCity 2013 and even more.

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SaturatedButter

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I do have my eye on that. But I'm not getting hopes up. Cities in Motion weren't great games, so I don't hold much reverence for the devs. They're promising a lot in a genre that has 0 good modern games. The last great city builder was SimCity 4, and I still hold hope that EA has the budget and the power to make another great one if they make a proper attempt.

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Blightedmythos

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> It's actually a really good game. It has a lot of good features Sim City didn't have but at the same time there are some cool things out of Sim City I really did enjoy. Like building upgrades, managing the corporations, and Mega Towers were a cool concept.

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blackothh

Well since they are just closing the location its no big deal. Maxis cast themselves to the wayside when they put their names on sim fail. It sucks for the workers that are being told either move to a new home or your fired. They can continue to develop their effed up vision of what a city building game is while the rest of us wait for Cities: Skylines to release next week.

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pboontap

<< LINK REMOVED >> on the other hand i wouldn't complain if a company wanted to move me to melbourne or especially helsinki.

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blackothh

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Its a very tempting offer for sure!

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FredWilkins

I hope they fired that stupid woman who was responsible for all the bad decisions that ultimately led to the downfall of Maxis.

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pboontap

<< LINK REMOVED >> i'm pretty sure she (bradshaw i think is her name) is now one of the higher ups at EA. go figure......

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CommandoAgent

RIP Maxis, Westwood Studios. :(


Hope EA Games Fails in the Market.

Avatar image for saturatedbutter
SaturatedButter

<< LINK REMOVED >> If anything is going to hit their bottom line, it will be the failure of Sims 4. That's probably their biggest franchise, since it's one of the best selling franchises in gaming history. With all the expansions and online microtransactions, that series makes truckloads of cash. but Sims 4 was quite a major flop.

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CommandoAgent

I am not interested in EA games anymore nor there crappy quality games.

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straightcur

Maxis is way past its prime!

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buffalo_girl

<< LINK REMOVED >> yeah since EA started messing around

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Taegre

The sad thing is EA now has a better kill/death ratio than I've had in a looong time.

Avatar image for deactivated-58270bc086e0d

Another iconic developer who's shell of a body has had its soul sucked out and left to rot at the way side by EA.

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NothingForMoney

Damn you to hell, EA

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ACMC85

Simcity 4 was good. That's a compliment, still a damn good game.

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NothingForMoney

<< LINK REMOVED >> The sequels, though....

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SeriousDave

It's really not surprising. EA has a long history of buying studios milking their franchise to the extreme, for which Sims was pretty mch THE parade example, and closing them down. Maxis is not the first and defenitly won't be the last, it's only a matter of "when" and not "if".

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Kyelo

EA is a like a swarm of locusts sweeping everything up and sh*tting it out the other end.

Lucky this wasn't a Sony dev either, would have more doomsday predictions!

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karkar88

Sims City Series, Medal of Honor Series and Red Alert series GOOD JOb EA...

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dylandr

<< LINK REMOVED >> not only red alert they freaking discontinued C&C all together... the b4stards...

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RossRichard

This is what EA does, they are the borg.

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karkar88

FAQ Every time EA come to the Mix ...this IS what happen...Jesus FAQ..

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wexorian

We won't sya that WE told you that this would happen to maxis.

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locuas123

Goodbye Maxis, You gave me Sim City 200 and Sim Copter, you just sell you'r soul to EA

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TeknoBug

EA kills many companies that they get their hands on, BIoware hasn't been the same since SWTOR and watch Respawn rot to the ground in a few years.