Back in March it was revealed that the studio responsible for The Sims and all related content, Maxis Emeryville, would be shut down by parent company, EA. Following the closure of the studio, which many believe can be attributed to the failure of the most recent SimCity installment, The Sims 4 also saw an underwhelming response on release, especially regarding its “always on” requirements.
The leader of the team responsible for The Sims 4 is Lucy Bradshaw, and she recently resigned. EA CEO Andrew Wilson confirmed Thursday, the 24th, that Maxis Senior Vice President Lucy Bradshaw would be leaving the publisher. His statement read as follows:
Through 23 years with our company, Lucy has brought an incredible passion for games and our player community. I want to thank Lucy for her dedication to EA, her contributions to Maxis, and the creative spirit she infused in every one of her teams and projects. We wish her the best as she takes on her next adventure.
Alongside news of Bradshaw’s departure, Wilson revealed some internal changes occurring between EA and Maxis. Specifically:
As we look to the future, we want to expand the scope of opportunity for Maxis to reach more players on PC and mobile, as well as explore cross-platform play…To enable this, we are bringing Maxis together with our mobile teams under Samantha Ryan’s leadership, aligning our strong PC foundation with our mobile expertise. The collaboration between these teams will help us unlock new ways for Maxis IP to connect with players wherever they want to play.
So the changes mostly entail a redirection of focus toward the mobile platform. Head of Sims Studio Rachel Franklin will be taking over the role Bradshaw played overseeing the team responsible for the work currently being done on The Sims 4. EA Mobile SVP Samantha Ryan has been appointed to the remaining responsibilities Bradshaw shouldered as leader of Maxis.
Following Wilson’s statement, Bradshaw released one of her own:
I’ve had a wonderful journey at EA and Maxis, filled with amazingly creative people, unforgettable experiences and an inspiring community of players and creators. I have the highest regard for EA’s leadership today, their vision and their focus on putting players first. I leave knowing that Maxis is in great hands with a leader and teams who are full of respect for our players, passion for our games, and new ideas to bring to the world of Maxis gamers. I look forward to seeing what’s next from these incredible teams, I’ll certainly be playing.
All of this is evidence that this is definitely not a case of “Konami syndrome” at the center of all the rumors about Hideo Kojima and Konami. EA and Bradshaw have had, at least superficially, a rather cordial separation after over two decades. Bradshaw had been in her position for over five years, claiming it after Maxis co-founder Will Wright left EA in 2009.
Moving forward, all that can be certain is that The Sims will almost definitely reappear on mobile devices.