Electronic Arts closes the Maxis office in Emeryville, California. While other Maxis studios around the world remain open, the Emeryville location was the studio’s headquarters and home to the principals behind the ill-received and ill-crafted 2013 reboot of the legendary SimCity franchise.
News of the closure was initially made public by the now former staff on Twitter. Lead gameplay scripter and designer SimCityGuillaume Pierre, tweeted that everyone on the site had lost their jobs.
EA subsequently confirmed the closure in a statement saying development efforts are now being “consolidated” to the other Maxis offices in Redwood Shores, Salt Lake City, Helsinki and Melbourne. Subsequently, Polygon has reported job losses at the Redwood Shores location.
Development The Sims franchise, including the latest The Sims 4largely took place in Redwood Shores and Salt Lake City, and EA says the shutdown won’t affect that game or its upcoming and near-endless pipeline of DLC.
The closure is certain SimCity‘s legion of old fans sad. SimCity is over 26 years old and has a veritable army of admirers. But a combination of both technical and design issues meant the 2013 release squandered the goodwill built over a generation. Many, including myself, believed that SimCity was almost dead anyway. Disbanding the team that built it feels like an inevitable reaction.