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GDC: Neil Young takes the helm at Maxis

Speaking at his keynote at the Game Developers Conference, Electronic Arts' Neil Young announced that he has taken over as general manager of Maxis, the studio which was responsible for blockbuster title The Sims.

Young, whose most recent credit is as producer on EA's well-received Lord of the Rings: Return of the King title, replaces Maxis' current general manager, Luc Barthelet. It's not known what Barthelet will now be doing.

This is the latest in a series of shakeups for the Sims developer, which last month began moving from its old offices in Walnut Creek, California, and relocating to EA's headquarters at Redwood Shores. A small team will be remaining in Walnut Creek to work on an as yet unannounced project under the watchful eye of Maxis founder Will Wright.

Young announced the news at his GDC keynote, which was titled "Entertainment First, Videogame Second", where he argued the case for creating full fledged entertainment rather than focusing on simple gameplay.

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Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.