Maxis was created by Will Wright and Jeff Braun in order to publish SimCity on PCs, as the game was at the time only available for the Commodore 64, due to the tiny number of publishers willing to port it. The game was a giant success which made Maxis develop many more sequels and expansions as well as some non-Sim games (such as RoboSport and 3D Pinball for Windows).
Financial Troubles and Buy-Off by EA
Following the success of SimCity, Maxis experimented with different genres and ultimately-failed. Financial troubles were also caused by the acquisition of Cinematronics, LLC to publish the debacle Crucible. This ultimately forced Maxis to accept take-over offers. EA bought Maxis in 1997 and with them published the most successful PC franchise of all time, The Sims. They also made two SimCity sequels and the more recent Spore.
Reorganization Within EA
In March 2015 Maxis' main development studio in Emeryville was closed and Maxis employees were offered jobs within EA and what remained of Maxis. Maxis itself was reassigned to EA's mobile development division but EA claims future Maxis products will also come out for the PC.
Famous Franchises Developed by Maxis
Maxis is well known for their innovative games which most of the time don't have an end goal or a win-lose condition, making the game almost endless.
SimCity was the first game developed by Maxis. In this game the player is a mayor tasked with running the city and turning it from a small village to a successful metropolis by taking care of the economy and public services. The franchise includes 5 main games (SimCity, SimCity 2000, SimCity 3000, SimCity 4 and SimCity Societies, although it should be noted that SimCity Societies wasn't made by Maxis but by Tilted Mill Entertainment). The series also includes 3 spin-offs (SimCity: The Card Game, SimCopter and Streets of SimCity).
Maxis' best selling game and the best selling PC game of all time. The Sims is a game in which players are given the task of managing the needs, careers, friendships and other aspects of the lives of virtual people called "sims". The series is comprised of four main games (The Sims, The Sims 2 and The Sims 3, and The Sims 4, although it should be noted Will Wright did not work on the entirety of the series), an online version (The Sims Online) as well as multiple expansion packs for each game, and a number of spin-offs.
Spore is the most recent franchise from Maxis. In it players create a species that is to evolve from a single-cell organism to a creature that rules the universe. Spore consists of a single main game (Spore), many part packs which let players customise their creatures in new ways, as well as an expansion pack (Spore: Galactic Adventures)