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Three lead developers from Maxis are striking out to form a new studio. Former creative director Ocean Quigley, former lead architect Andrew Willmott, and former lead gameplay engineer Dan Moskowitz announced on Twitter that they will pursue their love of simulation games at Jellygrade.
Their first idea is an early Earth simulator for iPad: players manipulate the magma, water, and rock with multitouch. The elements coalesce, seas form, and life begins--an appropriate place to start for the independent studio.
Quigley told Polygon that he worked at Maxis for nearly 18 years. When the latest SimCity (he worked on three) launched to jeers instead of accolades, largely for writing always-online checks its servers couldn't cash, the timetable may have moved up slightly.
"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 said.