Fresh Off The Block


EA calls time on SimCity studio Maxis Emeryville

With those 117 characters, SimCity lead gameplay scripter and designer Guillaume Pierre revealed the sad news that Electronic Arts has closed down SimCity studio Maxis Emeryville. After 12 long years, the company have apparently decided to close the studio in order to consolidate Maxis IPs into existing Maxis studios.

EA confirmed the closure and intentions with the following statement:


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.


Although Pierre had additionally tweeted “everyone’s out of a job” in reference to the studio’s employees, EA included a further paragraph in their statement in regards to the affected employees:


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.


At this time, it’s unknown how many employees will be affected by the closure.

Maxis was founded by Will Wright and Jeff Braun in 1987, and was acquired by EA in 1997. The studios are well-known for their town-building and life-sim franchises, SimCity and The Sims respectively; but following the adoption of a new engine in their latest title, Sims 4, causing a large loss of content from that found in previous games; and a disastrous attempt to revive the SimCity franchise in 2013 as an online game which was plagued by numerous technical and design flaws as well as server instabilities, Maxis’ future under EA has found itself on an unfortunate downward spiral.