Electronic Arts has decided to close Maxis’ Emeryville studio, the developer’s headquarters. Other studios where Maxis works on games will continue to exist, but the Sims team would face layoffs.
EA has confirmed this to games site Polygon, after studio employees tweet about the closure. “It’s been 12 fun years, but it’s time to turn off the lights and slide the key under the door,” tweeted development team head Guillaume Pierre.
All employees at the main Maxis site, where the development of the new SimCity took place, have lost their jobs. EA does want to give them ‘the opportunity’ to find another job within EA or Maxis. It is unknown how many employees have lost their jobs. Maxis’ teams in other cities will remain unaffected, Electronic Arts says, although Polygon has been informed that the team working on The Sims is also losing “a handful of people.”
It is unclear what the decision says about the plans for a possible new SimCity. EA stresses that nothing has changed in its plans for The Sims; for example, new DLC will continue to be released for The Sims 4. The company won’t say so about SimCity, although it does state that Maxis will “develop new experiences for current Sims and SimCity players.”