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Lead SimCity developers leave EA to form indie studio

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Former SimCity Creative Directer Ocean Quigley, Gameplay Lead Dan Moskowitz, and Lead Architect Andrew Willmott have left EA to form an indie studio, Jellygrade (opens in new tab) , calling themselves "recovering ex-AAA game developers." The trio is now working on "a simulation about the dawn of life on earth; about lava, water, rock and the emergence of the first primordial creatures," according to a tweet (opens in new tab) from Quigley.

Jellygrade is "starting off on the iPad with a fundamentally new simulation engine," says Quigley, but he also says (opens in new tab) the studio is "hoping to be on PC in time." At Maxis, Quigley also worked on SimCity 3000, SimCity 4, The Sims, The Sims 2, and Spore.

The new developer's Tumblr (opens in new tab) has been updated with concept art and what appear to be in-progress screenshots of 2D lava simulation.

Correction: The first version of this article erroneously included Stone Librande, who has not left Maxis.

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.