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    EA Shuts Down SimCity Developer Maxis

    EA has shut down Maxis Emeryville, the main Maxis studio and longrunning developer behind SimCity and Spore, among other games. Though the Maxis brand will carry on, the studio that most people knew as "Maxis" is no more.

    "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," an EA representative said in a statement.

    The news comes smack in the middle of the Game Developers Conference, where developers from across the world are congregating in San Francisco for various meetups, lectures, and sessions. It's poor timing, to say the least.

    I've been hearing rumblings about a shake-up at Maxis for a few days now, but official word first came this afternoon from former Maxis designer Guillaume Pierre, who wrote on Twitter this afternoon that the studio would be shutting down.

    Originally founded in 1987, Maxis was best known for the Sim franchise, which began with Will Wright's SimCity and expanded to include a number of other games, including the popular The Sims series, which is handled by a separate developer called The Sims Studio.

    In 2013, Maxis released an online reboot of SimCity that was plagued with all sorts of problems, which may have been what led to this final closure. Neither SimCity nor the recent release of The Sims 4 performed very well, according to a person familiar with goings-on at the studio.



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    My gut feeling is that SC 2013 will be the last SC we get.  EA has a habit of all but permanently retiring games/IPs at times, and given that there is real competition for SC now, they may not see it as financially viable.

     

    I wish they had allowed a 3rd-party studio outside of EA to take over, as they did with their Ultima and Dark Age of Camelot games.

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    Well, well.  Not surprising, but the SimCity fiasco crew has already gone over the side, so I suspect there wasn't much left.

     

    Can't really fault EA for cutting a losing proposition and harvesting anything worth keeping.  I think the Maxis assets have long since found their way into EA's vaults.

     

    A note to EA:  Hot kid programmers may produce some neat stuff, but they always hate reading someone else's code.  Remember, old programmers never die, they just get a little buggy.

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    They deserve to go imo, Maxis completely sold-out their future by allowing EA to take over. I mean what did they expect? EA consumes all, it's the game publisher equivalent of the Borg.

     

    The SimCity 2013 monstrosity was the final straw as far as I'm concerned. They clearly had no interest in making a proper sequel to SC4 so good riddance to them.

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    It is very sad to see hardworking developers and content creators lose their jobs.

     

    I hope that each talented individual is able to find employment doing whatever he or she enjoys most.

     

    You made some great games that have given people the ability to have some fun and offer a little bit of escapism. All we can say is thanks and good luck to each of you.

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    That's what happens when you mess up Simcity, sorry Simtown.

     

    At least there is City Skylines coming out very shortly.

     

    Despite this, it is a sad day :(

     

    I grew up with Maxis and Sim titles, its been a part of my life all the way up to SC13. Sad to see it go.

     

    Stephen-Colbert.gif

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    They deserve to go imo, Maxis completely sold-out their future by allowing EA to take over. I mean what did they expect? EA consumes all, it's the game publisher equivalent of the Borg.

     

    The SimCity 2013 monstrosity was the final straw as far as I'm concerned. They clearly had no interest in making a proper sequel to SC4 so good riddance to them.

    Actually that's not entirely true.

    Maxis was literally facing liquidatiaon if they didn't find a buyer in 1996.

    Maxis went to Nintendo, Activision, and the rest of the major Western developers at the time to get a buy out. They all shot Maxis down due to terms of agreement and the debt Maxis had.

     

    EA was the only company willing to save Maxis from liquidation, in 1997 Will Wright and co. secured the deal they wanted from EA, paving the way for the buy out.

     

    The Sims became a massive hit, sparing Maxis from restructuring. Simcity 4 started the trend of Maxis games struggling to sell enough to breakeven, including Simcity Build it.

     

    Maxis games were never popular and decently profitable outside of The Sims. This eventually caused EA to give them the axe.

     

    The Sims Studio and some of Maxis smaller teams are still operational in Redwood and other EA campuses for now.

    Though I expect them to close the remaining stuidoes expects for The Sims.

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    We all saw this coming. 

    The quality of Maxis games dropped rapidly from the last SC4, main programmers left and Maxis was reduced to creating content for Sims. 

    Cities Skylines looks good so far. It's promising. 

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    "consolidating Maxis IP development to our studios in Redwood Shores, Salt Lake City, Helsinki and Melbourne locations as we close our Emeryville location"

     

    consolidating... 1 location to 4 locations.

     

    "You keep using that word... I don't think it means what you think it means."

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    This is not just sad, this is bad for the genre. Fewer competitors, means lower quality standards.
     
    I doubt if there will be any other studio willing to take on the challenge of producing a high-budgeted city builder. The risk for them is too high at this point.

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    Actually that's not entirely true.

    Maxis was literally facing liquidatiaon if they didn't find a buyer in 1996.

    Maxis went to Nintendo, Activision, and the rest of the major Western developers at the time to get a buy out. They all shot Maxis down due to terms of agreement and the debt Maxis had.

     

    EA was the only company willing to save Maxis from liquidation, in 1997 Will Wright and co. secured the deal they wanted from EA, paving the way for the buy out.

     

    The Sims became a massive hit, sparing Maxis from restructuring. Simcity 4 started the trend of Maxis games struggling to sell enough to breakeven, including Simcity Build it.

     

    Maxis games were never popular and decently profitable outside of The Sims. This eventually caused EA to give them the axe.

     

    The Sims Studio and some of Maxis smaller teams are still operational in Redwood and other EA campuses for now.

    Though I expect them to close the remaining stuidoes expects for The Sims.

     

    EA would later still impose their obsession with DRM and all-multiplayer aspects into Simcity. Publicly I didn't hear any objection from Maxis either, hence they sold out imo. It didn't take a genious to realise that was going to fail big time.

     

    I always despised "The Sims" series tbh, as it seemed to suck all of Maxis's attention away from making new "City" games (with it's endless and pointless expansions).

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    Great timing, EA. Great timing. 

     

    Well, I guess my dreams of an upgraded SimTower are dead now - if anyone remembers that game. 

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    Great timing, EA. Great timing. 

     

    Well, I guess my dreams of an upgraded SimTower are dead now - if anyone remembers that game. 

    Yeah, and no Streets of SimCity2.

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    Actually that's not entirely true.

    Maxis was literally facing liquidatiaon if they didn't find a buyer in 1996.

    Maxis went to Nintendo, Activision, and the rest of the major Western developers at the time to get a buy out. They all shot Maxis down due to terms of agreement and the debt Maxis had.

     

    EA was the only company willing to save Maxis from liquidation, in 1997 Will Wright and co. secured the deal they wanted from EA, paving the way for the buy out.

     

    The Sims became a massive hit, sparing Maxis from restructuring. Simcity 4 started the trend of Maxis games struggling to sell enough to breakeven, including Simcity Build it.

     

    Maxis games were never popular and decently profitable outside of The Sims. This eventually caused EA to give them the axe.

     

    The Sims Studio and some of Maxis smaller teams are still operational in Redwood and other EA campuses for now.

    Though I expect them to close the remaining stuidoes expects for The Sims.

     

    EA would later still impose their obsession with DRM and all-multiplayer aspects into Simcity. Publicly I didn't hear any objection from Maxis either, hence they sold out imo. It didn't take a genious to realise that was going to fail big time.

     

    I always despised "The Sims" series tbh, as it seemed to suck all of Maxis's attention away from making new "City" games (with it's endless and pointless expansions).

     

    Actually the multiplayer part was Maxis doing, Maxis has always dreamed to make an full multiplayer online Simcity game. Though it was EA, who forced the targets specs down. This caused Maxis to scale down Glassbox and the game to meet those specs.

    The low target specs were dictated to ensure the biggest market possible.

     

    Simcity 2013 is close to 3M sales, making it the second best selling mainline Simcity after Simcity 3000.

     

    The Sims was in development before Maxis went under and EA bought them. Will Wright wanted to make the Sims sine early 1990s. The Sims was so successful, it allowed Maxis to make Simcity 4, Spores, Darkspores, Simcity 2013 and whatever else the made after the first Sims.

     

    Maxis was always trying to do more than they were capable of, making things too expensive for them. This caused them to bleed money left and right and bankrupted them the first time.

     

    Without EA we wouldn't have gotten: Simcity 3000, Simcity 3000U, The Sims (1-4), Simcity 4 Deluxe, Simcity DS , Simcity Creator DS, Simcity Creator Wii, Spores , Dark Spores, Simcity 2013 (it is a decent game after the 6th update), and Cities of Tomorrow (which I enjoy playing).

    Most are decent to good games.

     

    In short EA gave Maxis an second run at life.

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    Ever since I learned that Maxis would not be involved with the development of Simcity Societies back in 2007 I've tried to put a plug on the thought of this outcome. I KNOW that we as a Simcity community will keep this train in motion.

     

    A big thank you goes out to Will Wright for the original "Sim" games I've enjoyed over the years like Simtower, SimAnt, and of course Simcity SNES, Simcity 2000, 3000, and 4.

     

    From EA's perspective I can understand the decision thats been made, but I'm still not in favor.

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    Since EA is really only interested in the current cash cow (The Sims 4), maybe we'll get lucky and they will release the SimCity 4 Deluxe source as abandonware.  Suggest not holding breath.

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    That's what happens when you mess up Simcity, sorry Simtown.

     

    At least there is City Skylines coming out very shortly.

     

    Despite this, it is a sad day :(

     

    I grew up with Maxis and Sim titles, its been a part of my life all the way up to SC13. Sad to see it go.

     

    Stephen-Colbert.gif

     

     

    Ditto - I've had a SimCity title on every computer I've owned since the original on the Amiga A500+

     

    That and the Civ series have been my gaming mainstays for literally decades O_o

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