EA closes Maxis Emeryville, the Sims and Spore studio

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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.

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. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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