Maxis developers leave EA to form indie simulation studio

55 second read

The lead developers of SimCity, SimCity 4, Spore and The Sims 2 have run away screaming from EA in order to form their own studio – Jellygrade.  Their first game will be on iPad and will be about the dawn of life.

This three-man development studio has already gotten to work building their game.  Here are some concept images.

As explained via twitter

We’re making a simulation about the dawn of life on earth; about lava, water, rock and the emergence of the first primordial creatures.

Obviously, their game is not about the correct use of a semicolon.  It could be interesting to see what Ocean Quigley, Dan Moskowitz and Andrew Willmott pull together.  I’m more interested in the trend of AAA game developers moving toward indie game design while the successful indie developers are getting picked up by mainstream development houses and publishers.  

Last Updated: July 18, 2013

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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!

  • TiMsTeR1033

    look forward to seeing what they come up with. They really should make a new spore! and not dark spore! like the 1st one

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    I enjoy sim games like this so I’m interested

    • Brady miaau

      I used to enjoy them a lot, years ago. Now? not so sure.

      Zoo Tycoon, Rollercoaster and so forth. Enough. SimCity 2000. Played and played and played.

      Remember a very old game called Detroit? You had to start a car company in the very start of the car industry and research and market the cars over the years. If your profit was not good enough, bye, if car quality not good enough, not enough future sales, if car quality too good, not enough profit. Loads to manage in a friendly and engaging way.

      Man, now I must look for it!

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        Best ever was Theme Hospital. No competition

        • Brady miaau

          never even heard of it!

          So, Hospital Administration then? Can be fun, I suppose. But today they would want to make the game “dramatic” instead of a sim.

          Sim games are like TV Series. Greys Anatomy, Season 1. Sort of watchable. S2 and S3 – then Soap Opera, big dram events required to keep interest or something. Just keep it simple and clever, Big Bang Theory, or Two and Half Men before the melt down. Have a formula, stick to it well. Have fun, buy Sim.

    • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

      I have a certain SIM you might be interested in, MINT condition, never opened, just a little dusty…

      • John Ambitious

        I assume it sounds a lot better than it is

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        Not THE SIMS Mr Katey Perry lover 😛

        • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

          Not buying it, you said you enjoy sim games, and they are sims correct?

          I STAND BY MY PROOF. Llew loves SIMS

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            I enjoy sim games LIKE THIS. (see above article). Not the same thing 😛

          • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

            Keep digging that hole buddy

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            Row row row your boat

      • Unavengedavo

        Playboy Mansion?

  • Hammersteyn

    Imagine leaving EA and applying for a new job. The person doing the interview then asks “Why do you think EA is consistently being voted the worst company and what could you have done to prevent this?”

    • Trevor Davies

      Because we don’t even pretend anymore to give a crap about the games or customers, and I should have made more fake posts on sites posing as a happy EA customer.

    • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

      Easy, just tell interviewer that you as a person cannot continue to work for insane money for a evil corporation, its just not right. And that you will work for insane money but for a better company like the one you are interviewing for.


      • John Ambitious

        Or that you’re tired of living in your amazingly beautiful and expensive house funded by the souls and hopes of customers

  • Trevor Davies

    It’s the circle of life

  • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    A comma and a F**king dot; semi-colon!

    • RinceWind

      yes, but what does it mean!? Using the damn thing isn’t hard; I swear even a Cod player has used it, once…

      • John Ambitious

        That’s pushing it man

        • RinceWind

          Very good point 😉

    • HvR

      like a boss on a boat

  • Wyzak

    Jumping ship before the inevitable bullet in the back of the head.

  • ElimiNathan


  • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

    Oatmeal ftw

  • RinceWind

    So dawn of life. You mean 4000 years ago right? trololo

    • Brady miaau

      4004 bc, 9am on a Thursday

      • RinceWind

        Ah! My bad!

    • John Ambitious

      I prefer a Dawn of War actually
      40 000 years into the future

      • Brady miaau

        Yeah. But 1 not 2

        • John Ambitious

          Quite. Though 2 is fun when playing co-op online

          • Brady miaau

            never played online! but SP and overall game play just not as fun as 1

          • John Ambitious

            I agree. Nothing beats the strategy behind the first one

    • Trevor Davies

      I remember that movie. Year One, with Jack Black.

      • RinceWind

        That was a documentary!

  • Ultimo_Cleric N7

    Why did it take them so long to leave EA?

  • blitzmat

    This sounds like a remake of the old Sim Earth game 🙂

  • Crash0Lux

    Um, I dont think that makes them indie. I actually think this whole trend of AAA devs moving towards “indie” is killing the chances for real indie developers and destorting the definition of indie games and peoples perception of what an indie studio can do. These guys aren’t indie, they have contacts in the industry to get their stuff published much easier, not to mention all the contacts they have in game marketing and the technical and artistic fields. Lastly they’ve also have years of building up funds as well as a reputation (which distorts people’s perception even more).