Lucy Bradshaw, Maxis studio head, has announced her departure from EA. Bradshaw joined the publisher in 1997, and was most recently promoted to senior vice president by CEO Andrew Wilson in 2013.
“I've had a wonderful journey at EA and Maxis, filled with amazingly creative people, unforgettable experiences and an inspiring community of players and creators,” Bradshaw writes. “I have the highest regard for EA's leadership today, their vision and their focus on putting players first. I leave knowing that Maxis is in great hands with a leader and teams who are full of respect for our players, passion for our games, and new ideas to bring to the world of Maxis gamers. I look forward to seeing what's next from these incredible teams, I’ll certainly be playing.”
Bradshaw’s departure means a leadership change at the studio and for Maxis. Rachel Franklin, who has been the leader of the Sims Studio and face of The Sims 4 at press conferences and trade shows, will take over leadership of all Maxis projects.
Maxis will now fall under EA’s mobile division led by Samantha Ryan, whose title is changing to senior vice president, EA Mobile and Maxis. This combines the senior vice president roles previously held by Bradshaw and Frank Gibeau, who departed the publisher in May. Ryan was brought aboard to head up EA's mobile operation in July, after eight years at Warner Bros.
EA tells us that there are no other staffing changes planned. The publisher reiterated its commitment to both The Sims 4 and Maxis’ work on PC. With a number of Maxis IPs appearing on mobile (SimCity BuildIt and The Sims FreePlay), the publisher says this aligns two teams working on the same properties.
Update: This story has been updated to correct Samantha Ryan's change in title (which is not a promotion, as she was already a senior vice president). Information on her tenure at EA has also been added.
Lucy Bradshaw had a long and successful career at EA, though many fans will unfortunately remember her name associated with the problematic launch of 2013’s SimCity. However, over 23 years with the publisher, she has had a hand in far more than that one project, and a number of successful endeavors, including The Sims titles from the beginning.
I’ve had the opportunity to interview Rachel Franklin, who is genuinely enthusiastic about The Sims. While it would be easy to fear the alignment of Maxis with the mobile division, EA went out of its way to communicate that the PC titles aren’t going away.