In an a move to consolidate its studios Electronic Arts has announced that it will be closing down Maxis.
One of the sad truths of the video game industry is that game studios close down and disappear all the time. That being the case, there are still moments when you see certain names coupled with the words "shut down" and can't help but feel a bit saddened.
Case in point, Electronic Arts has announced at GDC today that it will be closing down Maxis Emeryville in an effort to fold its staff and projects into other development houses under the Maxis brand. Recognizing that this consolidation will lead to many of the studio's staffers losing their jobs, EA stated that former Emeryville employees "will be given opportunities to explore other positions within the Maxis studios and throughout EA." The publisher also intends to work with employees leaving wholesale "to ensure the best possible transition with separation packages and career assistance."
Prior to this news, the Emeryville office was in many ways the most important studio bearing the Maxis name. The former haunting grounds of studio co-founder Will Wright, it was the driving force behind major franchises including Spore, SimCity and, most recently, The Sims 4. EA, in its statement, also affirmed that the closure will "not impact our plans for The Sims" and that players "will continue to see rich new experiences" coming to the game in the form of expansion packs and "additional updates." The publisher offered no comment as to whether or not this closure was related to the disastrous launch of 2013's SimCity or the arguably lackluster reception critic and fans have given to The Sims 4.