Electronic Arts has announced it will shut down the studio behind SimCity and The Sims, though development of both franchises will continue at EA's studios throughout the US and Australia.

EA will basically consolidate Maxis by closing the studio's home offices in Emeryville, California, but it promised that Maxis would continue to develop new experiences for current Sims and SimCity players, while expanding the franchises to new platforms: "These changes do not impact our plans for The Sims," the publisher stressed.

Every employee at the Emeryville location will be let go, but not without being given the opportunity to "explore" other positions throughout EA. There's no word on how many employees will be affected by the shutdown. EA only said it will ensure the "best possible transition" for them with separation packages.

Maxis, which began in 1987 as Maxis Software, debuted its first game, SimCity, in 1989. EA acquired the company in 1997. The Sims released in 2000, and along with SimCity, became two of EA's most successful franchises. The Sims 4, which launched last autumn, is the most recent title to be added to the franchises.

EA said we can expect to see "rich new experiences" in The Sims 4, with the game's first expansion pack coming soon. A full slate of updates and content are also in the pipeline.

READ: The Sims 4 preview