The Sims has long been a hugely successful part of the video game landscape. The life simulation franchise was a smash hit from day one, with the Maxis-developed series gaining millions of fans for its addictive gameplay and slapstick humor. The latest iteration of the title, The Sims 4, has once more been a commercial success, with fans playing an accumulated 12,000 years of gameplay within just six months of the game’s release, creating 32 million Sims in the process.
The title did have a few hiccups, however, and some The Sims fans were disappointed in some of the missing fixtures at launch, including series staples such as swimming pools. Meanwhile, The Sims 4 also suffered from a few embarrassing bugs when it arrived in 2014. Perhaps the most awkward was one which allowed a huge number of male Sims to get pregnant after alien abductions, leading to a mixed reaction from The Sims players.
Now, it seems as though publisher Electronic Arts has lost one of The Sims’ most important figures. In a recent blog post from CEO Andrew Wilson, the publisher announced a major overhaul of Maxis, the developer that created The Sims and city-building title SimCity. According to the update, a key feature of the organizational change is the departure of senior vice-president Lucy Bradshaw.
Bradshaw had been with the publisher for an incredible 23 years, joining EA in 1997 when the gaming giant bought out developer Maxis. The veteran executive was involved in a number of hugely successful projects during her time at the company, although her reputation was somewhat dampened over the notorious launch of 2013’s Sim City reboot. Bradshaw will be succeeded as head of the Maxis group by Rachel Franklin, who was leading the Sims Studio.
The post also explained that there are to be further major changes to the structure of Maxis and its place within EA as a whole. Maxis will be brought under the remit of EA’s expansive mobile division, with Wilson explaining that the move is an aim to “unlock new ways for Maxis to connect with players wherever they want to play.” It’s understood that Maxis titles will continue to be available on PC, however, with the potential for further cross-platform play.
The move may well take Maxis even further from its roots as the go-to studio for fans of the simulation genre. Maxis Emeryville, the actual studio behind the likes of SimCity and The Sims, closed its doors earlier this year, leaving behind a historic library of iconic games before departing to the same EA graveyard that includes the likes of Bullfrog, Westwood, and Pandemic. Let’s see whether Maxis can rekindle some of the same magic that made it such a powerhouse in the first place.
Source: Electronic Arts