The Sims team at Electronic Arts is getting a shakeup today.
Lucy Bradshaw, who oversaw the development of The Sims and all other games from developer Maxis, is leaving the company. EA chief executive officer Andrew Wilson announced the departure himself in a blog post on the company’s website. In addition to wish Bradshaw the best as “she takes on her next adventure,” he also made it clear that Maxis will continue working on The Sims 4 content and other projects.
This ends Bradshaw’s 23-year run at EA, where she helped turn The Sims into one of the best-selling franchises of all time by appealing to audiences that people don’t typically consider “gamers.”
EA provided GamesBeat with the following statement from Bradshaw:
“I’ve had a wonderful journey at EA and Maxis, filled with amazingly creative people, unforgettable experiences and an inspiring community of players and creators. I have the highest regard for EA’s leadership today, their vision and their focus on putting players first. I leave knowing that Maxis is in great hands with a leader and teams who are full of respect for our players, passion for our games, and new ideas to bring to the world of Maxis gamers. I look forward to seeing what’s next from these incredible teams, I’ll certainly be playing.”
Bradshaw has not announced what she is doing next, but people — including her former coworkers — are excited to see what she does next.
— Erik Reynolds (@buzzspinner) September 24, 2015
As for Maxis, EA revealed that Rachel Franklin — who previously directly oversaw The Sims development studio — will take over as the head of Maxis.
“Rachel will continue to lead the teams working on more new content and cultivating the passionate player community in The Sims 4,” wrote Wilson. Aand now she will drive our efforts on other new Maxis concepts in development as well.”
Wilson also made an effort to assure fans (and likely investors) that Bradshaw’s exit isn’t a reflection of Maxis falling apart. Instead, it sounds like it is representative of a plan to focus even more on mobile in addition to the full retail releases the studio built its reputation on.
Here’s how the CEO put it:
“Across The Sims 4 on PC and The Sims FreePlay and SimCity BuildIt on mobile, Maxis IP has never had a bigger and more engaged player base. As we look to the future, we want to expand the scope of opportunity for Maxis to reach more players on PC and mobile, as well as explore cross-platform play. To enable this, we are bringing Maxis together with our mobile teams under Samantha Ryan’s leadership, aligning our strong PC foundation with our mobile expertise. The collaboration between these teams will help us unlock new ways for Maxis IP to connect with players wherever they want to play.”
We’ll have more on whatever it is that Bradshaw decides to do next.
Edited at 10 a.m. PDT to correct an implication that Maxis is moving away from PC games.