Some of the key people behind SimCity leave Maxis to make new simulation game

Jellygrade making a sim about the dawn of life on earth.

Some of the key people behind controversial simulation game SimCity have left Maxis to found an independent studio.

Ocean Quigley, the former creative director and art director on the new SimCity, has joined forces with Andrew Willmott, former engineering lead at Maxis, and Dan Moskowitz, former Maxis lead gameplay engineer, to found new developer Jellygrade.

"We're a few recovering ex-AAA game developers, now looking to make the kinds of games we love on mobile," reads the Jellygrade website.

"We're hard at work on our first project, and should have something to show soon."

Quigley, who was also art director on Spore, SimCity 4, SimCity 3000, announced his EA exit on Twitter, where he wrote: "We're making a simulation about the dawn of life on earth; about lava, water, rock and the emergence of the first primordial creatures."

To get things started, there are a few concept images on the Jellygrade tumblr. One is below.

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Following the announcement, Quigley took to Twitter to answer some questions. "It was time - I have lots of affection for Maxis, but eventually you have to move on," he said.

After one follower suggested politics helped convince Quigley to ditch EA, he replied: "No, it's the desire to do something new."

EA and Maxis were criticised for making SimCity require an internet connection to work, and SimCity's catastrophic release earlier this year confirmed many fears when it left the game unplayable for many as EA's servers buckled under launch pressure.

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