No simulation: EA shutters main studio of ‘Sims’ maker Maxis

Electronic Arts is shutting down the Emeryville studio of Maxis, the developer behind such hit games as “The Sims” and “SimCity.”

Although Maxis has other studios, the Emeryville one is its primary location. EA said that it is consolidating Maxis’ development work to Maxis’ other locations and will lay off an undisclosed number of Maxis employees as part of the move. In a tweet sent Wednesday morning, Guillaume Pierre, a lead designer at the studio said, “Everyone’s out of a job.”

In a statement sent to video game blogging site Kotaku, EA said Maxis’ other studios, which are located in Redwood City, Salt Lake City, Melbourne and Helsinki, will continue working on Maxis’ popular simulation games. Employees affected by the studio closure will be able to apply for jobs at other Maxis locations, it said.

Maxis was founded in 1987 by legendary game developer Will Wright. EA purchased the studio in 1997. In 2000, the studio released “The Sims,” which went on to become one of the top selling games of all time.

More recently, though, the studio has struggled. Wright left the company in 2009. The latest versions of “The Sims” and “SimCity” reportedly experienced disappointing sales, and an online version of “SimCity” was plagued by glitches when it launched in 2013.

Photo: Screenshot from “The Sims FreePlay.” 


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