EA shuts down SimCity maker's home office

Sad news in the game world today: EA has announced the closure of Maxis' Emeryville offices, the home of the legendary city building game SimCity, according to Kotaku.

EA says development on Sims and SimCity franchises continues, just without the efforts of the folks in Emeryville.

These changes do not impact our plans for The Sims. 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.

EA says employees affected by the Emeryville closure are being given "opportunities to explore other positions within the Maxis studios and throughout EA."

Originally developed by Will Wright, SimCity was initially released for the Mac and Commodore Amiga back in 1989. It quickly became a phenomenon, spawning ports to other platforms, sequels and other related titles. The Sims followed in 2000, spawning another hugely successful franchise.

The timing is peculiar: The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is happening in SF this week.