Electronic Arts has closed down SimCity studio Maxis Emeryville. The news was revealed on Twitter by SimCity lead gameplay scripter and designer Guillaume Pierre, and confirmed in a statement by EA.
"Well it was a fun 12 years, but it's time to turn off the lights and put the key under the door. #RIPMaxisEmeryville," Pierre tweeted earlier this afternoon. In subsequent tweets, he clarified that "the shop is closing down," and "Everyone's out of a job."
Electronic Arts confirmed the closure with the following 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. Maxis continues to support and develop new experiences for current Sims and SimCity players, while expanding our franchises to new platforms and developing new cross-platform IP.
These changes do not impact our plans for The Sims. Players will continue to see rich new experiences in The Sims 4, with our first expansion pack coming soon along with a full slate of additional updates and content in the pipeline.
All employees impacted by the changes today will be given opportunities to explore other positions within the Maxis studios and throughout EA. For those that are leaving the company, we are working to ensure the best possible transition with separation packages and career assistance."
Maxis was founded by Will Wright and Jeff Braun in 1987, and was acquired by EA in 1997. Its most recent release, The Sims 4, was reasonably well-received, but its attempt to revive the SimCity franchise in 2013 was plagued by numerous technical and design flaws. It's unknown how many employees will be affected by the closure.