Mar 06, 2015

    Say goodbye to game studio that brought SimCity to life


    THE game studio behind the original SimCity and The Sims games is no more. But development on new titles and content for those franchises will continue elsewhere.

    Game publisher and distributor Electronic Arts (EA) confirmed on Wednesday that Maxis Emeryville - the original Maxis studio that made 1989's city-building PC game SimCity - is shutting down, video-game news site Kotaku reported.

    Founded in 1987, Maxis was bought by EA in 1997. Maxis developed several sequels to the hit SimCity, and released a life-simulation game called The Sims in 2000.

    In a statement on Wednesday, EA said: "We are consolidating Maxis (intellectual property) development to our studios in Redwood Shores, Salt Lake City, Helsinki and 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."

    Since EA's acquisition of Maxis, other Maxis-branded studios have been set up. But, as a Kotaku article noted, "Maxis' original and largest home was in Emeryville, so when we say goodbye to that studio, it feels like we're saying goodbye to SimCity as well".

    Maxis and EA were hit by one of the biggest brouhahas in video gaming when they tried to reboot SimCity in 2013 as a game simply called SimCity. It initially required a constant Internet connection, even when playing the title's single-player mode. Reports suggested this was for anti-piracy reasons.

    The game was plagued with many issues, such as players having to wait 30 minutes before they could connect to the game and other online connection woes, reported.

    Things got so bad that online retailer Amazon stopped selling the game at one point shortly after its release. The title got an average rating of one star then.