EA shuts down Maxis, the studio behind the SimCity franchise

EA has announced that it is shutting down Maxis Emeryville, the studio behind franchises such as The Sims and SimCity. Development of SimCity will continue at EA's studios in Redwood Shores, Salt Lake City, Helsinki and Melbourne.

Here's EA statement in full, as provided to Kotaku :

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.

Founded in 1987 as Maxis Software, the studio's first title — SimCity — achieved critical acclaim, which led to EA's acquisition of the studio in 1997. Maxis rebooted the SimCity franchise in 2013, but the launch was riddled with server connectivity and gameplay issues.

Source: Kotaku

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia for Android Central, Windows Central's sister site. When not reviewing phones, he's testing PC hardware, including video cards, motherboards, gaming accessories, and keyboards.

  • Somehow, I'm not sad about this. I am sad however that Mike Ey (Hololens designer) died in a car accident. RIP :(
  • :(
  • They have been working on the hololens for years.
    It's a shame that he didn't get to see it in its finale stage. R.I.P.
  • I'm having mixed feelings since your statement doesn't match your name.
  • You're right
  • Have mixed feelings all you want, Mike died. You should not care about the combination of my name/statement.
  • Oh my! When did that happen?
  • http://uk.businessinsider.com/mike-ey-microsoft-hololens-designer-and-en...
  • Was no "accident" - the guy who hit him was drunk at 100+ mph.
  • I mean, I'm sure that the drunk driver didn't purposefully hit him.
  • A drunk driver purposely chooses to multiply enormously the chances of him killing people.
  • What a tremendous loss of talent and life, he was only 30!
  • Remember Playfish, EA?
  • That's what happens when they stop making good games, they are an investment and they became a bad one so EA shut them down.
  • No, EA ruined a perfect company (Maxis). Like they ruin most games they acquire. Literally no respect for them, no matter what.
  • Perfect is big word!! A good company? yes, but not perfect.
  • Perfect?
    Maxis were ALWAYS doing extremely shoddy code. Hell, the original SimCity was so badly programmed that Windows 3.1 needed to get a feature that allows the specific game to run properly. Because Maxis didn't want to patch it, because they'd already got their sales on Windows 1.   I still remember the horror of the Sims and its constant crashes, which only got worse with expansions.   Also, fuck whoever killed Spore.
  • Spore?! That is by far the single worst game I've ever paid full-price for. It had the scope as wide as the ocean but was as shallow as a puddle. Incredibly disappointing game after years of hype. I think they just took out 90% of the features to release them as DLC later, leaving only a shell of a game.
  • If you want to read my comment, I'm afraid you'll have to buy the DLC.
  • ^ Good one
  • Hah! Good joke ... most of the time it is EA (or publishers in general) that lead to bad games! Because they don't understand what they are about and only try to maximize their profit, no matter what! By that they often ruin basic gameplay mechanics or simplify games to death. And don't forget about almost impossible deadlines. Bad devs are almost never the fault. There are so many people embracing into the game industry, that you really have to be damn qualified to get a job for a major dev studio.
  • >.> Mirror's Edge
  • Perfect might be a strong word, but it was good. SimCity 4 is probably the game I have player the most. And Maxis as a whole created the most compelling and interesting games from my childhood. That's why they were perfect. Not due to coding, but due to the thought they put into the games
  • EA made then shitty, EA is to blame.
  • I hope Google doesn't get shut down, I and millions of others depend on them and respect them adamantly.
  • Wait, what? Lol
  • Either YouTube or sarcasm, most probably sarcasm Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • As a windows phone user I will be happy if google shuts down
  • Then you'll be unhappy all your life I'm afraid. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Such a moronic comment. Id bet that over 95% of people with windows phones use google services to some degree, whether that be through google, gmail, youtube etc.
  • I'm a PC Gamer, so I don't really mind news like this... But isn't this Windows Central? What has this got to do with Windows or Microsoft?
  • Maxis, a major and historic Windows developer was shut down.
  • And how is that relevant to Windows?
  • End of The Sims series...
  • Yeah...Not while it makes EA the buckets of money it does. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That's EA. Always shutting down and ending support. After all years with Microsoft, now they don't even consider windows phone. Always ignoring just like SimCity build it and the Sims feeplay has never seen an update since a while a go nor real racing.........etc
  • EA dropped support for Sims Free Play on WP. WPCentral ran an article on it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • EA sucks
  • Childhood gone :'(
  • From the press release on the article it seems just one location not the whole studio as the title says at the time of this post.
  • That's exactly how I read it. One studio of Maxis, but the other Maxis studios are still operating.
  • Yeah, it sounds like they closed one office and provided all the staff an opportunity to move to a different office (if they were so inclined). This is actually probably one of the better closures that has occurred in the technology field.
  • SimCity 2000, good times..
  • Yes. I am a fan for SimCity. I like play all SimCity series.
  • Absolutely LOVE SimCity Buid It on my iPad Air 2! One of my favorite games...
  • Sounds like a consolidation of spaces more than a true shut down. Why have two spaces when you can have one .
  • I always wanted The Urbz to make a comeback. *Sigh*
  • Yes! Best sim game!
  • Always wanted to play it, never could. I Was obsessed with the character dressing.
  • So can someone clear something up for me... Does this mean no more new Sims and SimCity games? Only continued support for existing games?
  • wow, i consider this big news...reallty sad, pioneer development team.
  • Used to like Simcity, Played it for days at a time but, very slow moving game. I did find a money cheat, it was always entertaining to build a massive City, then let it get wrecked... Even with a money cheat, it was always good to see a good balince of things in the game, as your city could be a mess in a short time, if you dont have water or police in a area... It was fun but, the newest one was riddled with bugs and I was going to grab it on the PC but after reading the reviews, I skipped it...
  • Article Incorrect:
    EA has only shut down one branch of Maxis, not the entire division. You should correct that. :)
  • So... Maxis was not shut down, only their current headquarter office. All other regions will continue operating. Misleading title that should be edited to represent the actual news.
  • SimCity was my favorite game back to 2003
  • So... does this mean no Sim Copter 2? I really liked the first one and can't wait for a sequel.
  • Why do they mention SimCity 4 in the press release? That's not the current version of SimCity Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The Sims 4.
  • Nooooo, not maxis. One of the most historic game developers there is.
  • This is, like most studio closings, awful for the people working there right now, but great for later. By abandoning SimCity, this means the people who know best how to create a city simulator are free from EA and have the potential to form or be picked up by someone who is creating a new city simulator. On the flip side, I have no idea why any studio that intended to continue producing successful games would allow themselves to be purchased by EA.  Janes, Origin, Kesmai (Air Warrior), Mythic (DAoC), and others; Bioware is next.
  • They're only shutting down 1 studio, not all of Maxis. Maxis & BioWare were bought by EA years ago... It's difficult and risky being a small game studio. It's hard for them to turn down a multi-million dollar windfall instead of always looking for the next big hit or trying to keep monetising old IP.