On September 9th, 2016, it was announced that Rachel Franklin would depart EA and give up her role as Maxis’ Executive Producer, GM, and VP. At the time of her departure, many in the community speculated that she had been laid off due to the “poor performance of The Sims 4”, but several outlets including Techcrunch and TheDrum have now confirmed that she was tapped by Facebook to lead the Social Virtual Reality Team.
From Facebook: Mark’s demo at the Oculus Connect keynote last week was mind blowing. We showed our vision for a future of computing that puts people first, allowing you to go anywhere and do anything with the friends and family that matter to you. The software Mark showed is the early work of our Facebook Social VR team, which is made up of amazing engineers and designers who for the past year have been hard at work imagining and building this new platform.
Last week our team welcomed Rachel Rubin Franklin – formerly of EA/Maxis – adding to the roster of talent that already includes Michael Booth and Lucy Bradshaw, who were on stage with Mark, and others who worked behind the scenes. It is a blast to fuse the experience of people who have developed many successful immersive online worlds with engineers who have decades of collective experience building Facebook. As we demonstrated we have ambitious goals and have lots to do, so if you are a game developer, designer, or artist … come join us!
Interestingly enough, Lucy Bradshaw who oversaw the development of The Sims and other Maxis Games for 23 years, is also part of the Facebook VR team since her departure from EA. The social giant has definitely picked up some great talent for their future in VR Gaming.