From Sega Retro
|T-series code: T-126|
|Merged into: Electronic Arts (1997)|
|Headquarters: Emeryville, CA, United States|
Maxis Software is an American company founded as an independent video game developer in 1987. It is currently a subsidiary of Electronic Arts (EA). Maxis is the creator of the best-selling computer game of all time, The Sims and its first sequel, The Sims 2. These titles and their related products are the brand's most popular and successful lines.
Most Maxis titles are simulation-based, though none are considered traditional simulations. Maxis founder Will Wright likens them as "digital dollhouses." Maxis has also released games developed by other production houses, such as A-Train and SimTower.
Origin and early acclaim
Maxis was founded in 1987 by Will Wright and Jeff Braun to help publish SimCity on home computers. Before then, the game was only available on a limited basis on the Commodore 64 due to few video game publishers showing any interest in porting it. The reason for this is because SimCity wasn't a traditional game that had definite "win" and "lose" conditions. The title went on to become, statistically, one of the most popular and successful video games of all time. Maxis has also released some non-sim titles, such as 1991's RoboSport and the 1995 3D Pinball for Window's'.
After such success with the SimCity series, Maxis tried various other Sim- titles. Some of these attempts include SimAnt, SimFarm, SimEarth, SimLife, SimTower, SimIsle and SimHealth. Maxis was also approached by companies to design business aids; SimRefinery is one example. The success of these franchises varies, but none matched that of the original SimCity. Maxis' hit The Sims is the only notable exception.
Acquisition by EA
Electronic Arts (EA) completed its acquisition of Maxis on July 28, 1997. Compared to other companies acquired by EA, such as Origin Systems and Westwood Studios, the absorption of Maxis has taken a slower pace, and the company has retained some of its original staff, including Will Wright. Products were shipped under the Maxis logo for several years, but in 2004, The Sims 2 bore only the Electronic Arts logo on the box cover (although Sims 2 displays the Maxis logo at game start, and on the reverse side of the box).
For many years, Maxis was a traditional studio located in Walnut Creek, California (and before that, Orinda, California), but in February 2004 the division was folded into EA's Redwood Shores headquarters. The present Maxis is based at Will Wright's studio in Emeryville, California.
- SimEarth: The Living Planet (1993)
- SimCity 2000 (1995)
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