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    Maxis is a Software developer best known for the creation of the SimCity and Sims franchises. The company became a part of Electronic Arts in 1997.

    EA Shuts Down SimCity Studio Maxis

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    alex

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    Edited By alex
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    SimCity developer Maxis is undergoing a major shift within EA, one that will see the closure of its primary Emeryville location. According to a statement from EA, an undisclosed number of employees have been either reshuffled or laid off as a result of the restructuring. Maxis will continue on as a brand within EA, but development responsibilities of existing franchises have been distributed among multiple other internal studios.

    The full statement from EA on the closure is as follows:

    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, Maxis was responsible for a wide variety of Sim games over the years, from the original SimCity on through the early installments of The Sims. Though development responsibilities for The Sims had split off to a separate studio--called, appropriately enough, The Sims Studio--as of 2006, Maxis continued to work on various major projects for EA, including Spore, and 2013's troubled SimCity reboot.

    As someone who counts the original SimCity and some of its sequels among his favorite games of all time, this is a horrible thing to have to write about. Say what you will about the current state of SimCity and post-Will Wright Maxis, it's a terrible thing to see a studio with so much great history get broken down into component materials like this. Here's hoping everyone affected by the layoffs finds work quickly.

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    MrProtagonist

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    Hate to say this isn't really surprising. SimCity flopped way hard and the Sims 4 probably didn't sell enough to dig them out of that hole. Still sad to see them go, though.

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    wibby

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    Holy shit!

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    Benwyn

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    Sad, but not shocking. Just another addition to the long list of studios EA has failed.

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    Rirse

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    EA still showing they are just the evilest studio of them all.

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    Chuugoku

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    What a bummer.

    Kinda makes me feel guilty for constantly joking about SimAnt, now.

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    Kalli

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    Stinks for the people laid off, as it's pretty safe to blame EA meddling, but their projects have been woeful for awhile. They weren't the Maxis of the good old days.

    I'd feel worse about it, but I played that last Sim City game, so just go ahead and fill the blank with Jeff's Most disappointing game rant here.

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    Jorbit

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    I hope everyone finds work soon. Maybe this is a good thing for them in the long run.

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    Afroofdoom

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    EA gonna EA.

    No other company has quite such flair, panache, and most importantly experience when it comes to shuttering beloved studios and shitting all over classic series.

    Sing it with me now!

    • Origin
    • Bullfrog
    • Westwood
    • Black Box
    • Mythic
    • Criterion
    • Pandemic
    • Maxis

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    Jimbo

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    Literally the only thing they had to do was make a proper SimCity 4 sequel and not piss everyone off in the process.

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    winsol

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    Not that surprising to be honest. EA are good at this. Make the developer do bad decisions, then punish them because those bad decisions turn into less sales.

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    excast

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    EA and Ubisoft continue to trade blows in their epic struggle to see who is the most soulless company in video games.

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    Jazz_Lafayette

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    @jimbo said:

    Literally the only thing they had to do was make a proper SimCity 4 sequel and not piss everyone off in the process.

    There's a big disparity between the tone of this sentence and what it's actually proposing.

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    Bollard

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    EA gonna EA.

    No other company has quite such flair, panache, and most importantly experience when it comes to shuttering beloved studios and shitting all over classic series.

    Sing it with me now!

    • Origin
    • Bullfrog
    • Westwood
    • Black Box
    • Mythic
    • Criterion
    • Pandemic
    • Maxis

    Minor correction, Criterion are still open and working on a game.

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    Wilshere

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    Thats EA! ba dum tss!

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    The_Ruiner

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    #15  Edited By The_Ruiner

    It sounds like they closed one location and pulled all the other locations into one building. But it doesn't look like all of Maxis is closed down. Polygon has since retitled the article.

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    Corevi

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    @bollard: Barely. 98% percent of their staff were either fired or sent to Ghost Games to work on Need for Speed forever. There's like 10 people left at Criterion.

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    KaneRobot

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    We'll always have SimAnt, Maxis.

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    pr1mus

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    It's funny learning about this while watching a stream of Cities: Skyline and thinking "yeah that game made by a tiny team looks pretty great".

    Puts things into perspective when compared to the shit show SimCity turned out to be.

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    alfawolf04

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    I'd really rather they sold it instead of just shutting it down. Ugh :-(

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    GERALTITUDE

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    More history into dust.

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    overnow

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    I'm actually kind of surprised this didn't happen sooner with the way SimCity went. That being said this still sucks for employees but at least (it sounds like) they aren't leaving them out to dry.

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    ShadowSwordmaster

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    That sucks to hear.

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    UltorOscariot

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    #23  Edited By UltorOscariot

    "YOU CAN'T CUT BACK ON FUNDING! YOU WILL REGRET THIS!"

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    Jimbo

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    @jack_lafayette: Haha, true enough. I feel like there were a couple of obvious pitfalls they could have chosen not to take a running jump into though.

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    Bollard

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    @corevi said:

    @bollard: Barely. 98% percent of their staff were either fired or sent to Ghost Games to work on Need for Speed forever. There's like 10 people left at Criterion.

    Still counts. Also as far as I'm aware, the staff that were moved from Criterion are mostly still in the same office in Guildford working on NFS which is what they were doing anyway at Criterion... I'd say changing the studio up so they could work on something other than NFS is a blessing.

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    poser

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    Sadly I feel as if Bioware will the next company to die at the hands of EA. I hope I'm wrong....

    Hopefully the studio has been aware of this for some time and this is just the press release. The idea of this news dropping during GDC seems... unprofessional... and not in an ironic kind of way.

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    Lurkero

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    #27  Edited By Lurkero

    Not surprising. I think a lot of the casual audience who bought Maxis games had moved on to mobile games already. Unfortunate, but that's the way things go at companies like EA.

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    Luck702

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    I'm gonna reinstall Sim City 4 in memoriam.

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    cornbredx

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    Another one bites the dust :'(

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    Venekor

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    Why I don't buy EA games any more, they and Microsoft run everything they ever touch into the ground.

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    me3639

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    "Fuck you, what a piece of shit" "This game sucks" "Fuckin EA". Oh, sorry hope you all find jobs soon. Now where did i put that most excellent 100th Mario game.

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    Brendan

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    #33  Edited By Brendan

    Its easy to hate on EA and I'm not saying anyone's necessarily wrong for doing so, but...did Maxis not fail because of Maxis? The last few projects were busts and that tends to kill studios regardless of whether they're owned or on their own.

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    seannao

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    #34  Edited By seannao

    Kind of a bummer. As morbid of a hope this is, I hope it opens up more Maxis employees to talking about what went wrong with modern Maxis, especially irt The Sims / City and the speculation surrounding how Origin influenced newSim City's development w/ shoe-horned online features.

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    citizenkane

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    Maxis was an important staple of y childhood gaming life. Its really sad to see what they have become post-Will Wright. Reshuffling the studio might be the best course. Its a shadow of its former self and could use a shift in its operations. I want great SimCity games again, and this might be the best option to getting those.

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    Turambar

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    Simcity 2000 was the first computer game I ever played, followed immediately by SimCopter. The latter sent me down the dark hole of Jane's flight sim games for a good few years.

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    spitz1000

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    this looks more like an implosion than a shift.

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    Hunter5024

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    What a bummer. Even though their last few games weren't exactly what I wanted, they were still a developer I was fond of.

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    Fredchuckdave

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    Those Bastards.

    I only liked the first Sim City.

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    THE_RUCKUS

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    oh no what will all those people that want to buy clothes dlc do

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    selbie

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    SimCity was a total waste of potential. Both parties were stupid to think an online experience was going to be successful after what happened to Spore.

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    magicwalnuts

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    While it's sad to see people lose their jobs, their last couple of games where pretty fucking horrible, so it's likely safe to say the Maxis we knew and loved has likely been gone for some time now.

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    Capcrunch

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    #43  Edited By Capcrunch

    Looks like they only finished off the zombie that Maxis has become. Like it or not, Maxis's original ideas are responsible for being the gateway to a lot of female gamers I know of (Sim City/The Sims).

    Good job EA, as always.

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    deactivated-5d9707771cd62

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    Cities: Skylines is waay better than SimCity! SimCity had potential but... well, EA.

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    enoteware

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    Who will reticulate the splines?

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    Jamsque

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    EA drove one of the greatest minds in this industry out of the studio he founded by forcing changes on the game he was making, then they damn near buried one of the greatest franchises in the history of PC games with the direction they chose to take it in. Now they are closing that studio, ensuring that the only future for the once-great house of Maxis is an endless treadmill of micro-transaction content and expansion packs for The Sims. Sadly they will probably continue to rake in enough from The Sims that the catastrophic impact they had on its designer and his studio won't matter at all.

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    Giant_Gamer

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    #47  Edited By Giant_Gamer

    @corevi: I'm pretty sure they were only ten during the pre-production stage of Going Beyond Cars and now since NFS:R have been released the rest of the team is most likely back to help with GBC.

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    kindgineer

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    #48  Edited By kindgineer

    I still stand by my enjoyment of the newest SimCity, but damn this news sucks. I'm glad it won't just be given up on, but it's never cool to see a studio closed. Especially one that has so much worth to it's name.

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    generic_username

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    Ea killed another studio blah blah blah I know, but they had Maxis for like, a while, didn't they? This seems more like "major corporation being a major corporation" than "EA being EA" to me. Not that it doesn't still absolutely suck. I just don't know if this particular instance really mirrors the situations it's being compared to.

    Here's hoping all those affected by this are able to land on their feet, though. It always sucks to see people lose jobs, and it sucks seeing people have to uproot their entire lives and move to another city in order to keep their jobs, too.

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    Acornactivist

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    Whoa...

    I know we all hated Sim CIty and Sims 4 was pretty lacking, but... man. Times are changin'. Good luck to any and all who are out of a job now.

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