Another development studio responsible for countless gaming memories is going away. Maxis Emeryville, which launched the massively popular The Sims franchise, is being closed by publisher Electronic Arts. Designer Guillaume Pierre tweeted the news earlier today. "Well it was a fun 12 years, but it's time to turn off the lights and put the key under the door," he wrote. Founded in 1987 by Will Wright and Jeff Braun (and acquired by EA a decade later), Maxis has dreamt up some of PC gaming's greatest triumphs. The main Emeryville studio also produced Spore, a memorable title that became one of the iPhone's earliest high-profile games from a third-party developer.
But the studio (and EA) stumbled greatly with the launch of 2013's SimCity, which was marred with server-side issues that crippled the gameplay experience for players. Maxis spent months trying to right the botched release, and later delivered another installment of the Sims series with The Sims 4. But sales of that title have disappointed EA, according to Kotaku, and apparently EA has decided it time to shut down Emeryville for good. It's a terrible day for people who spent years making unforgettable simulation games, though reports say they're being offered severance packages and positions elsewhere at EA. Here's what EA says about the changes:
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.
These changes do not impact our plans for The Sims. Players will continue to see rich new experiences in The Sims 4, with our first expansion pack coming soon along with a full slate of additional updates and content in the pipeline.
All employees impacted by the changes today will 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.