EA closes Maxis Emeryville, the Sims and Spore studio

3 min read

Maxis closed

Maxis Emeryville, the development house that brought you games like Spore and SimCity, has been a long-time subsidiary of EA. Now, its doors are closing, but this isn’t the end of all its franchises.

It all started with a tweet from Maxis designer Guillaume Pierre:

EA then proceeded to send over a statement to Kotaku that I’m going to copy and paste for you here:

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.

It’s curious why they would shutter the studio. Despite a ton of issues at launch, SimCity was still considered a success, selling more than two million units in its first few months. This doesn’t mean that we won’t see new Sims games, or that Maxis as a brand will disappear – its a “consolidation” of the Maxis studio which means that those from the Emeryville office will be absorbed into the other locations. I’m sad the studio is closing, but glad they aren’t putting tons of people out on the street without job offers. However, the core development studio as we knew and loved it is officially gone, as are any hopes for a new SimCity. I suppose it makes sense for EA – managing multiple studio locations is obviously a headache and not necessarily worthwhile. Sad day to hear doors are closing, even if it is for “consolidation” of the Maxis subsidiary.

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Last Updated: March 5, 2015

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let’s get on with it!

  • Pariah

    Mentally ill in Emeryville
    Accidentally kill your studio still.
    Thinking they won’t, god dammit they will!
    Mentally ill in Emeryville.

  • Hammersteyn

    Hi Maxis! We saved you a seat next to Westwood and Bullfrog.

    • AceZero911

      EA, killing our favourite studios one by one and then releasing crap sequels.

      • Hammersteyn

        Or mobile versions of our favourite games.

        • goswald

          and then have in-app purchases to actually play the game.

  • Matewis Jubilai


  • WitWolfy
    • Hammersteyn

      Big part of my childhood right there.

    • Norm

      Westwood & Bullfrog will forever be missed by me.

  • HvR

    Yeah just like closing Westwood didn’t kill of those franchises.

    Next SimCity will be a mobile and browser game where you purchase building coins for $0.99 for 10 or wait 24 hours.

    • Pariah

      Don’t give them ideas.

      Eh who am I kidding, they ruined SimCity before it went mobile.

    • Wyzak

      Already done – see Simcity build it on IOS.

  • HvR

    LOL, “separation packages and career assistance”

    Corporate speak, for here is your last paycheck, there a box for your shit, get yourself a muffin and fuck off.

    • CrasH

      “Separation packages ”
      Here is my package and you can suck it

      I will even help you… here i will unzip it for you?

  • Afshin Nejat

    Measuring success by how much something has sold when it hits the market is incredibly deluded and misleading. Success? SimCity 4 has SUCCESS. THIS game HERE, is SHIT, no matter how many fools bought it when it first became available or since.

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