SimCity creative director Ocean Quigley announced yesterday he had left Maxis and had told Polygon he would have probably left even if the game had launched smoothly and without controversy. We all know the huge debacle the SimCity launch was, and that made his decision a little bit more easy.
However, he did say that the rough launch helped make his decision easier, and the urge to do more personal projects was something which kept weighing on him.
“I was dismayed at the blundered launch of something that I had poured so much love and attention into, which made the leaving easier but it would have probably happened anyway,” Quigley told Polygon. “Honestly I think I would have left regardless of whether EA’s launch of SimCity was smooth or rough. It was basically my third SimCity. I did SimCity 3000 and SimCity 4 and this new SimCity.
“EA has a certain roster of projects they want to do and they are a big company with big momentum. If you have something new and untried, and something that’s uniquely yours that you want to do, it’s really not the environment to do it.”
Quigley’s new studio, Jellygrade, also contains SimCity’s lead architect Andrew Willmott and lead gameplay engineer Dan Moskowitz.