Publisher Electronic Arts has closed down the original Maxis studio behind the SimCity and The Sims video game franchises.
“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,” read an EA press release. “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.”
Guillaume Pierre, a Maxis employee, was the first to break the news, tweeting “it’s time to turn off the lights and put the key under the door. #RIPMaxisEmeryville”
Barry Tingle, another Maxis staffer, wrote that it “was a rocky ride with SimCity but an honor to work with you these past 2 years”, to which Pierre replied, “We certainly did the best out of a difficult and weird situation.”
SimCity fans need not worry—”The small team tasked with keeping SimCity running (including myself) have all accepted positions to continue and develop SimCity at EAHQ”, wrote Barry Tingle in another tweet.
Maxis was founded in 1987 by Will Wright and Jeff Braun, and went on to develop popular simulation games, first under the SimCity series, and then under The Sims series. EA acquired the studio in 1997, and later created a new studio, The Sims Studio, to handle The Sims games.
Maxis Emeryville most recently developed the 2013 SimCity reboot, which was poorly received. EA has shuttered the studio the day before that game’s second anniversary.