RIP: Maxis

You may not have heard of Maxis, an Emoryville game company, but you’ve heard of their game, a little something known as SimCity. Electronic Arts has closed their doors.

I’ll admit I haven’t played the game in ages, but it was one of the very first games that I bought in the mid/late 80’s when I bought my first PC: a 386/SX16 with a Hercules monochrome graphics card and 2 MB of RAM! WOOT! The first two games that I bought were SimCity and Chuck Yeager’s Advanced Flight Trainer. AFT was fun: you could fly the space shuttle and actually loop it, even though you didn’t have engines. At the top of the loop you were so close to stall speed that it wasn’t funny.

But SimCity, man, some very fond memories of that. I built-out this huge city, then just to see what would happen, I turned off all the services, set it to auto-budget so it didn’t need any interaction from me, then I turned off the monitor and went to bed. The next morning a hundred years plus had lapsed, and the city was in ruins from exploded nuke power plants, tornadoes that had swept through, fires burning everywhere. So I did my best Bill Murray voice: “This was the city after the apocalypse. Our job was to rebuild it.” And I did, if I recall correctly — it was a long time ago.

It was an amazing game, absolutely nothing like it at the time. I wonder if Sid Meier’s Civilization series would have been the same without Maxis coming first.

ETA: This does not mean the end of the Sims line. EA is going to continue development, the work done at Emoryville will be continued at other EA development sites.

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