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EA shuts down The Sims developer Maxis

EA is closing down the studio behind a number of its hit games, including The Sims and the SimCity series.

The mega-publisher has confirmed that it is closing Maxis Emeryville following tweets to that effect from the studio’s staff.

“Well it was fun for 12 years, but it’s time to turn off the lights and put the key under the door,” tweeted designer Guillaume Pierre.

This led EA to issue a statement confirming the closure. Apparently, development of Maxis IP will be transferred to the publisher’s studios in Redwood Shores, Salt Lake Cit, Helsinki, and Melbourne.

“These changes do not impact our plans for The Sims,” said EA. “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.”

The publisher also confirmed that all Maxis staff will be “given opportunities to explore other positions within the Maxis studios and throughout EA.”

It is also offering “separation packages and career assistance” to those leaving the company.

According to Polygon, EA is also laying off “a handful of people” from the company’s dedicated Sims team at its Redwood Shores offices.

Related: SimCity at 25: 5 Best city-building games to play right now

Maxis was founded in 1987 by video game design legend Will Wright and Jeff Braun. Its debut game, SimCity, kicked off a hugely popular city-building series that culminated in 2013’s problematic fifth major edition, which was also called SimCity.

EA bought the studio in 1997, and three years later Maxis went on to develop perhaps its most widely known IP with The Sims.

It’s unknown precisely how many jobs will be shed as a result of this closure.

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