It is unfortunate that in recent years Maxis has been a pawn to EA's money-hungry ways. Don't get me wrong, The Sims is an amazingly popular franchise that holds a special place in many peoples' lives (I personally like to find the most creative ways to kill my Sims). Other then The Sims and the continuation of SIM City, Maxis has been off the map.
EA has been known to latch on to good concepts and release sequel after sequel after painfully repetitive sequel. It's refreshing to see something new coming out of their publishing doors. I am glad to see the creative genius that is Will Wright being set loose on a new project, one that will change the way we look at sandbox games, something Maxis seems to be good at.