'SimCity' game studio Maxis shuts down

Posted at 6:46 PM, Mar 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-04 19:25:42-05

The game studio behind classics like "SimCity," "The Sims" and "Spore" has shut down.

Nearly three decades ago, Maxis Software launched the revolutionary game "SimCity," which gave players free rein to responsibly build and manage a city — or just destroy it with earthquakes, tornados and a giant lizard.

In 2000, Maxis launched "The Sims," one of the most successful video games of all time. The franchise has sold more than 175 million copies worldwide, according to CNN.

Despite closing the studio, Electronic Arts, which acquired Maxis in 1997, said that it will continue to develop Maxis brands like "The Sims."

“Maxis continues to support and develop new experiences for current Sims and SimCity players, while expanding our franchises to new platforms,” EA said in a statement.

In the 1990s, Maxis also produced other “Sim” games that gave players the freedom to experiment. More obscure favorites included "SimFarm," "SimTower," "SimLife" and even "SimAnt."

Yes, you could pay money to live a virtual life as an ant.

The original SimCity was released for free online in 2014. You can play it below or at The Internet Archive:

Gavin Stern is a national digital producer with the Scripps National Desk.