SimCity creative director "dismayed" at game's launch

Ocean Quigley says he was alarmed by "blundered" release of city-building game, but would have left EA regardless.

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SimCity creative director Ocean Quigley, who announced his departure from Electronic Arts this week, was "dismayed" by the troubled launch of the game, he told Polygon in a new interview.

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Quigley, along with two other veteran Maxis developers, is now heading up Jellygrade, an all-new independent studio already at work on a simulation game for tablets. Though the botched launch was troubling, Quigley said, he was planning to leave regardless.

"I was dismayed at the blundered launch of something that I had poured so much love and attention into, which made the leaving easier but it would have probably happened anyway," he said. "Honestly, I think I would have left regardless of whether EA's launch of SimCity was smooth or rough. It was basically my third SimCity. I did SimCity 3000 and SimCity 4 and this new SimCity."

Explaining his decision to leave and try something new, Quigley said that though he did not pitch his project to EA or Maxis, the idea for his new game is "too weird and science nerdy for EA."

"EA's strengths are executing things with hundreds of people, to well-understood patterns. The stuff that I want to do now is to explore some new simulation themes and some new mechanics and do some stuff that EA is not well set up to do," Quigley said. "So, not knocking EA, they do what they do, but it was time for me and the other developers Andrew Willmott and Dan Moskowitz to go off and try some new stuff."

SimCity's launch in March was marred by server woes, though this trouble has not kept the game from selling 1.6 million copies since launch. The game is due out for the Mac in August.

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