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Maxis

Maxis
Maxis Software
5980 Horton Street Suite 675
Emeryville, CA 94608
USA
Year Founded:
Year Defunct:
1987
1997
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Maxis Software is an American company that was founded as a video game developer and is now a brand name of Electronic Arts (EA). Maxis' second software title was the seminal SimCity, a city simulation and planning game. Maxis is also the creator of the best-selling computer game of all time, The Sims and its sequel The Sims 2 and have recently finished development of Spore. 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.

Maxis was founded in 1987 by Will Wright and "idea guy" 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 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.

The SimCity series has since been updated to include SimCity 2000 (1993), SimCity 3000 (1999), SimCity 3000: Unlimited (2000), SimCity 4 (2003). It also released some non-sim titles, such as 1991's RoboSport and the well-known 1995 3D Pinball for Windows, which has been included as one of the standard system games in many Windows releases.

After such success with the SimCity series, Maxis tried various other Sim- titles. Some of these attempts include SimAnt, SimFarm, SimEarth, SimLife, SimTower, and SimIsle. 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.

Maxis was acquired by Electronic Arts in 1997.