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Maxis Software Inc.

Overview

Maxis Software Inc. was a game development studio founded by Will Wright and Jeff Braun in 1987 in California (USA). The company was best known for its best-selling series of Sim games. Coined with SimCity in 1989, these games all use the Sim prefix and are mostly managerial strategy games, spanning all kinds of areas. The most successful segment is The Sims franchise. The company also had two other divisions, Maxis UK Ltd. and Maxis South.

Prior to starting The Sims, the company was acquired by Electronic Arts, Inc. in June 1997. The integration went slowly. The original studio location based in Walnut Creek officially closed in February 2004 and most of the jobs were moved to EA Redwood City. Although the studio was officially closed, the name Maxis still remained associated with The Sims games and most games are thus still credited as such. During the years, EA steadily removed Maxis from in-game text and credits and the development was credited to The Sims Studio based on the Electronic Arts’ Redwood City campus. Called Maxis and later EA Maxis, the name became one of EA's four primary labels, replacing the EA Play brand in 2012. Maxis was reintegrated with The Sims Studio in 2012 and Maxis returned as a branding development name in 2013, also with staff from EA Salt Lake, and tracktwenty (formerly EA Helsinki) for mobile development.

The original founder Will Wright is considered one of the industry's visionaries. When The Sims production was moved into EA, he continued to operate a studio in Emeryville (known as Electronic Arts - Emeryville and later Maxis Emeryville), California where he developed the Spore franchise. This studio was largely considered the successor to the original Maxis studio. The Maxis Emeryville studio was closed around March 2015.

Trivia

Company addresses in 1989 (from in-game and manual of SimCity: Terrain Editor):

Maxis
Two Theatre Square
Orinda, CA 94563-3346
USA

Maxis
1042 Country Club Drive, Suite C
Moraga, CA 94556
USA
Tel: (415) 376-6434
FAX: (415) 376-1823

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