Former XCOM and The Sims Developers Launch Midsummer Studios to Reinvent the Life Sim Genre

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Image: EA

Today marks the official launch of Midsummer Studios, a new video game studio that aims to reinvent the Life Sim Genre—as popularized by franchises that include EA’s The Sims—with a next-gen title that is said to emphasize player-driven narratives, allowing communities to “share memorable moments that grow out of the creativity of players themselves.” The studio’s leadership includes Jake Solomon and Will Miller, both of whom previously worked for Firaxis Games on titles that include Marvel’s Midnight Suns (2022) and XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012).

Midsummer’s staff includes:

  • Jake Solomon (CEO, Creative Director)
  • Will Miller (Game Director)
  • Nelsie Birch (COO/CFO)
  • Grant Rodiek (former Maxis Director and veteran of The Sims franchise)

Quotes from the founders:

  • Jake Solomon
    • “At Midsummer we’re making a life sim focused on the drama of modern life, where our players will write meaningful stories just by playing, and then share those stories with the world.”
  • Shanti Bergel, Founding Partner at Transcend
    • “Leading the Seed for Midsummer was a natural fit for Transcend. As a Producer on The Sims myself nearly twenty years ago, I am well acquainted with the power that meaningful player-driven stories can unlock.”
    • “I also have an abiding respect for how hard it is to deliver the alchemy of community, systems design, gameplay, and user generated content necessary to do so. The Midsummer founders are industry veterans with the rare experience and design artistry required to deliver against this massive opportunity. I am delighted to join the board and support their journey to redefine the LifeSim category.”

An official description for Midsummer Studios:

MidsummerStudios is an independent game development company headquartered in HuntValley, MD (Baltimore region) and led by a team of accomplished developers behind legendary game franchises like Civilization, XCOM, and The Sims. Midsummer is a well-funded start-up that is passionate and eager to create a next generation entry into the life sim genre. Midsummer is a collaborative environment where everyone has a voice and the work/life balance of our team is cherished. Every employee at Midsummer gets equity in the studio when they join, because we all succeed together.

About Transcend:

Transcend is a top performing early stage venture capital firm that partners with the boldest founders in the industry to collaboratively build the future of interactive entertainment. Founded in San Francisco by gaming veterans, the Transcend portfolio features a preeminent group of high growth digital entertainment companies around the world.


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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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