While SimCity received a mixed welcome due to server problems and always online features, Maxis’ Emeryville studio has been working hard on improving it and correcting the nags, including the recent removal of said always online requirement. Apparently, though, they’re ready to move on to something new, as shown by a career opportunity ad seeking a Director of Product Development.
Here’s an excerpt, with the relevant parts underlined:
Our Maxis Emeryville studio is seeking you as our Director of Product Development or Senior Development Director on a new AAA PC game! This project represents a critical piece of Maxis’ strategy for growth and requires a leader who can pull from his experience, energy and creativity to attack new challenges. Reporting to the Studio GM, you will have a unique opportunity to join the studio’s leadership staff and lead a newly formed team within Maxis. As Director or Product Development for this new game, you will be in charge of defining development strategy and successfully managing it to quality, time and budget goals.
We are looking for a professional with in-depth knowledge of game development acquired by having led the delivery of AAA and/or mobile game franchises. This role requires highly developed relationship building skills, the ability to build credibility and influence within and outside the Studio. It also requires comfort in using multiple leadership and partnering styles (e.g. coach; mentor; directive/prescriptive as required), and an ability to engage, lead, and influence meaningfully at all levels.
Apparently the project is a new AAA PC exclusive like SimCity was. Normally EA’s career opportunity ads mention it when it’s a new IP, so it’ll be possibly a return of one of Maxis’ existing intellectual property, or maybe a sequel of SimCity itself.
The mention of experience on mobile games is interesting. While the game is indicated as a PC title, it could involve some mobile interaction, but of course this is just my personal speculation.
What we do know is that the gears are grinding at Maxis Emeryville, and it’s for something big. We’ll keep you updated on any info that will surface about it in the future.