Maxis, the iconic studio behind megahits like SimCity and The Sims, is being officially shutdown by owner Electronic Arts. It is important to note that the brand and its intellectual property will not be going away, only their Emeryville headquarters. This site was the original location of the studio before becoming part of EA, and the location where most of its globally known brands started.
An EA representative said in a 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.
Unfortunately, along with the closure comes layoffs. This is disappointing, as the team at Maxis is what makes the games so successful. Losing the people, talent and relationships found within that office will surely affect the future of Maxis-branded games. EA has promised that the schedule of Maxis content will not be affected, including the upcoming expansion for The Sims 4.
This comes at a very weird time: during the Game Developers Conference. Game developers from all over the world have come together in San Francisco to talk and trade ideas, so the end of an era like this is certainly unfortunate. Hopefully the developers from Maxis who will no longer be employed have found some new positions during the event.