A Reddit user spotted the recent job opportunities that have led to some spinning of the rumor mill around EA Maxis. There are posting for a UX-focused designer with experience in “excellent user experiences for new IP,” to lead a team on the new project. This project is a “new, unannounced title,” leading some to question what the developer has planned for the new game. Some details have users a bit worried though.
The game will use “real-world visual effects,” including “smoke, fire, clouds, water, steam, and explosions” according to these listings. The job postings request experience with physics simulations as the game will have “run-time dynamic systems for physics-based animation, impact interactions, destruction, water, cloth & hair sim, etc.”
The worrying aspects come in when you notice the mention of “launching a live service,” which suggests that EA Maxis could be heading down the same disastrous rabbit hold that BioWare did with Anthem. Although Maxis isn’t hyping their new game as the “Bob Dylan of video games.” At least that gives us hope that it won’t be too ambitious for it’s own good.
Since being founded in 1987, the studio has worked on a variety of games. Their most-popular efforts by far where of course The Sims. Other entries like SimCity were winners as well. However, heavy losses and lack of direction led Maxis to consider a new course after the failure of efforts like SimCopter and various other experimental games. After 10 years, the company was acquired in 1997 by Electronic Arts, and refocused on their core franchises. Since that time, the company has been focusing on the SimCity and Sims franchises. Over the years, that output has slowly scaled back to just The Sims though, as the studio continues to milk the franchise with Stuff packs, addons and other DLC.
There’s no indication that this new project is directly related to The Sims, although it is still possible. It is possible that this is The Sims 5 or a The Sims spinoff, and EA is content that this next entry contrasts enough to be deemed a “new IP.” The prospects are still pretty murky though, we will all have to just wait and see.