A company revered for their incredibly popular Sims franchise may be about to branch into the world of the MMO if a new post on the careers section for Maxis is to be believed. A subsidiary of Electronic Arts, Maxis has made a name for itself developing the popular Sims series alongside Sim City and Spores but have yet to have a successful entry in the MMO space.
The new careers post is looking for a Senior Designer in California, nothing out of the ordinary for a successful development studio, right? Well, that’s usually the case but the specific required expertise and experience leans towards Maxis making a splash with a creative-based online MMO along the lines of Minecraft, Disney Infinity and Little Big Planet.
- The unique nature of this product requires prior experience in deeply social multiplayer games such as MMOs.
- Deep understanding of principles of game progression design,
crafting trees, technology trees, character RPG-style leveling design
and mathematical loot progression modeling (i.e. spreadsheet design
- Deep understanding of simulation game design, including simulation
loops, wants and needs driven behaviors, and systemic pushback.
- Ability to weave Free-to-Play game mechanics with monetization in
simple, natural, respectful ways (i.e. design monetization that players
respect and feel adds a great deal of value for their money).
- Solid understanding of popular games, their gameplay, and their art direction.
- Understanding of Maxis creativity and simulation games, including SimCity, The Sims, and Spore.
- Understanding playing and understanding other games in the
creativity space, including Little Big Planet, Minecraft and its popular
mods, Roblox, Disney Infinity, Project Spark, and other upcoming
As you can see from the above information taken from the post, it would seem pretty clear that Maxis are looking to venture into Sims MMO territory. A particular segment that will stand out to veteran MMO gamers is the mention of free-to-play game mechanics and balanced micro-transactions that players will “respect” – a rare quality in many of today’s top titles.