SimCity creative director Ocean Quigley has quit Maxis and Electronic Arts and set up a new studio.

Along with SimCity lead architect Andrew Willmott and lead gameplay engineer Dan Moskowitz, Quigley has founded a new independent studio called Jellygrade.

Speaking with Polygon, Quigley said that while he was on the way out anyway, SimCity’s disastrous launch sped the process along.

"I was dismayed at the blundered launch of something that I had poured so much love and attention into, which made the leaving easier but it would have probably happened anyway," he said.

Quigley also yearned to work on something a little weird that EA was unlikely to green-light.

"EA has a certain roster of projects they want to do and they are a big company with big momentum," he said. "If you have something new and untried, and something that's uniquely yours that you want to do, it's really not the environment to do it.

"EA's strengths are executing things with hundreds of people, to well-understood patterns. The stuff that I want to do now is to explore some new simulation themes and some new mechanics and do some stuff that EA is not well set up to do.

"So, not knocking EA, they do what they do, but it was time for me and the other developers Andrew Willmott and Dan Moskowitz to go off and try some new stuff."

Quigley broke the news via Twitter, adding that Jellygrade's focus would be simulation games.

"We were lead developers on SimCity, SimCity 4, Spore and The Sims 2,” said Quigley.

“We love making simulations. We're making a simulation about the dawn of life on earth; about lava, water, rock and the emergence of the first primordial creatures."

"We're starting off on the iPad with a fundamentally new simulation engine. I can't wait to start showing it off," he added.

"We're building the new simulation engine now."

The studio's first game will center around the iPad’s touch functionality, with the player manipulating fluids, gases and solids to create landscapes, said Quigley.

It will be influenced by Spore, which Quigley also worked on.

"A lot of the ideas that we have about the early emergence of live on Earth were in the early development of Spore but were lost as it became a much more cute game and less a game about physical processes," he said.

"Those are things that I have been wanting to get back to, to deal with that subject matter, the dawn of life, the formation of the earth, where the oceans come from, all the real processes. In the context of a game I want to do justice to that."

SimCity would be fine without him, said Quigley.

“It's in capable hands,” he tweeted.