Can The Sims franchise survive and thrive without Maxis? That’s the question that popped into the minds of longtime fans of the life simulation game series when EA Games announced the sudden closure of its subsidiary earlier this week.
Maxis was the development studio behind the wildly popular SimCity franchise, Spore, and The Sims franchise. EA Games acquired Maxis in 1997, several years before the release of the first Sims game in 2000.
EA Games has developed a reputation among gamers as a conglomerate that buys struggling studios, only to close them later.
As one Reddit user puts it, “EA just did what they always do – they first acquired company, then they closed it down. It took them some years with Maxis, but still, that’s eleventh name on the list of EA’s ‘bought, then shut down’. They are just buying struggling studios with well known titles, getting rights to use their brands, then shutting it down still milking their titles trying to run with the nostalgia. That was the story with e.g. Medal of Honor, Dungeon Keeper or Command & Conquer.”
The question in the minds of The Sims fans is how will the disappearance of Maxis affect the series, especially the current base game, The Sims 4.
Not much, according to some sources. It seems that The Sims 4 development was never at the Maxis Emeryville location, which closed it’s doors this week. This news came directly from Creative Developer Lyndsay Pearson.
“Hi Simmers – you may have seen a lot of news today, and many threads here on the forum discussing what happened today for our Maxis Emeryville location. I want to assure you that The Sims 4 development has not been changed in any way. The Sims 4 has been in development at Redwood Shores all along and that will continue to be true. Many members of the team here have been developing The Sims franchise as far back as The Sims 1 and continue to invest in and love The Sims 4. Through the studio name changes and locations moves that have happened in our past, we’ve always remained Maxoids & Simmers.”
Pearson’s statement may have led some to conclude that Maxis never really developed The Sims 4, but she was quick to address that conclusion on her official Twitter account.
.@Pinstar MAXIS is still building The Sims 4. Many of us have been Maxoids since the beginning. (Myself included!!)
— Lyndsay Pearson (@SimGuruLyndsay) March 4, 2015
Whatever your feelings about the development of The Sims 4, it seems like things will be business as usual for quite some time.