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Spore Developer Maxis Lays Off Staff

Bay Area-based Spore developer Maxis has laid off an unspecified number of staff, owner Electronic Arts confirmed to Gamasutra today, in order to "focus the business and focus Maxis."
Bay Area-based Spore developer Maxis has laid off an unspecified number of staff, owner Electronic Arts confirmed to Gamasutra today. The scale of the job cuts at the veteran, formerly Will Wright-headed EA division is unclear, although various internet reports peg it as being on the order of dozens, rather than smaller amounts. An Electronic Arts representative characterized the layoffs as part of the normal business cycle, by way of the following statement: "Often in the video game industry, the size of a studio fluctuates in response to business conditions. In this case, EA has taken action to reduce the workforce at Maxis as we focus the business and focus Maxis." The statement concludes: "EA remains fully committed to Spore and other IP within Maxis, with games planned for launch in the next 3 months, including Spore Hero, coming to the Wii for the first time, and Spore Hero Arena on the DS. All eligible employees will receive severance and outplacement assistance." Gamasutra inquired further about the scope and breadth of the Maxis layoffs, but EA has confirmed that officials "are not releasing any more detail on this action." Based in Emeryville, California, Maxis was co-founded by eventual SimCity and The Sims creator Will Wright, who left the studio this year to pursue his "entertainment think tank" Stupid Fun Club.

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