Ocean Quigley, the Creative and Art Director of the latest SimCity installment, has left Maxis along with Andrew Willmott, the engineering lead at Maxis, and Dan Moskovitz, who was the lead gameplay engineer. They are founding an independant gaming studio called JellyGrade, where they “Make games. Rate Jellies”
— Ocean Quigley (@oceanquigley) July 16, 2013
Thier description of them selves on thier website (which doesn’t have much on it), labels them as recovering triple-A devs which they certainly are. The backlash from the mess that was SimCity’s launch probably made them think twice about the world of corporate game development. I mean who wouldn’t want to leave a company that straight up lied about its games ability to run offline, simply to keep players off thier ass.
While, even though they certainly haven’t rated any jellies yet, but they do seem to be working at gamedev though they do not have too much to show for it yet. They have some vague concept images over on their tumblr, but nothing that looks anything like a real game yet though I do suppose we have to give them time.
What really interests me is that they say they are going to be exclusively developing mobile games. Now the market for mobile games, is excessively crowded, and it is going to be interesting to see if they manage to make something unique in such an environment.
In any case its interesting to see more and more AAA developers quit thier jobs and join the indie scene, its kinda empowering to see what indie games are becoming, and just how massive and varied the scene is becoming.