Spore

Spotlight

FeatureThe Will Wright Stuff

Was Spore a success? What has The Sims become? And more.

VideoDark Spore developer diary

EA spills the beans on action RPG.

Spore

We looked over the hill and we saw fire.

FeatureMaxis' Will Wright

Spore, The Sims and what lies ahead.

Key events

Spore and Sims creator Will Wright unveils Proxi

Spore and Sims creator Will Wright unveils Proxi

Build a world and AI out of your memories.

Will Wright led creation of SimCity and later The Sims, then he made the very ambitious evolution-themed simulation Spore. He's someone who thinks rather big. And he's unveiled a new game called Proxi, the mobile version of which is due late 2018 (no other platforms are named).

It's a simulation based around creating an artificial intelligence from your memories and then building a world out of them.

Here's Wright's lofty pitch:

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In the weeks leading up to No Man's Sky's release, when the hype train was speeding heedlessly toward the collapsed bridge of reality, the gaming community's collective neuroses coalesced beneath the ragged banner of another game - Spore. "Will No Man's Sky end up being the next Spore?" fretted Forbes, while Quora quavered "Will No Man's Sky become another Spore?"

FeatureThe Will Wright Stuff

Was Spore a success? What has The Sims become? And more.

Will Wright, the man who created the best-selling PC game series of all-time, is wearing a leather jacket and smoking a cigarette outside Chaplin Theatre in Raleigh Studios, Los Angeles. He has just delivered a BAFTA-sponsored blow-by-blow account of his illustrious career, dissecting PC classics SimCity, SimAnt, The Sims and Spore and revealing his musical preferences (seventies rock, in case you were wondering).

Will Wright leaves EA

To run Stupid Fun Club.

SimCity, The Sims and Spore creator Will Wright has left EA to run Stupid Fun Club, an "entertainment think-tank" pursuing new IP.

Spore to get first expansion this spring

Spore to get first expansion this spring

Prepare for more Galactic Adventures.

Evolution sim Spore is to get its first expansion pack this spring.

That's according to an invite sent out to US websites such as Kotaku. It states that an event is being held in San Francisco to reveal the "Spore line-up for 2009", including "our first expansion pack, Spore Galactic Adventures".

The invite also reveals the add-on will be "available this spring". Seeing as the main game was released within the same week in the US and Europe, it's reasonable to assume the expansion will arrive around the same time too.

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New Spore patch offers free limbs

New Spore patch offers free limbs

Celebrates Creepy & Cute Parts Pack.

EA is giving away free limbs for Spore with a brand new patch.

The 24 free arms and legs are being handed out to celebrate the US launch of the Creepy & Cute Parts Pack today. The update also fixes a couple of minor glitches. Just fire up the EA Download Manager to begin installation.

The Spore Creepy & Cute Parts Pack launches in shops and on the EA Store here this Friday, and adds over 100 body parts to put together creatures from.

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EA calms Spore forum threat outcry

Blames an "over-zealous" outsider.

EA has been quick to distance itself from a Spore forum moderator who threatened account bans for openly discussing the game's controversial SecuROM DRM.

Spore sales top 1 million

Spore sales top 1 million

More than 25m items now in Sporepedia.

Electronic Arts has announced more than 1 million copies of Spore have been sold since the game launched on September 7th.

What's more, over 25 million player-created creatures, vehicles and buildings to the Sporepedia.

"Spore is a hit," said EA Games president Frank Gibeau, rather unnecessarily. "Will Wright's latest delivers an incredibly diverse game that appeals to casual gamers and the core alike."

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EA threatens to cancel Spore accounts

EA threatens to cancel Spore accounts

Of those who complain about DRM online.

EA has threatened to ban the Spore accounts of members discussing DRM issues on the official game forum.

"SecuROM has been discussed and discussed so much and it causes arguments in threads," barked a moderator. "If you want to talk about DRM SecuROM then please use another fan site forum.

"Please do not continue to post these threads or you account may be at risk of banning, which in some cases would mean you would need to buy a new copy to play Spore."

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Spore is meant to be Sims, not Half-Life

Will Wright responds to reviews.

Will Wright has said that Maxis wanted to emulate the critical and commercial success of The Sims 2 with new game Spore, rather than making something to rival the highest-ranked games ever released in the eyes of reviewers.

EA investigating Spore login problems

You're not really invalid.

EA is currently investigating login problems affecting the online side of Spore, which finally went on sale today after 6 billion years in development.

Spore

Spore

We looked over the hill and we saw fire.

At the heart of Spore, say some, lies a fascinating, amusing, baffling contradiction: you're the Creator in the ultimate God game, in which you can succeed by imposing your beliefs on others, and yet Maxis' universe - a convincing mishmash of procedural and many-user generated species - is, as the game puts it, "an epic journey of evolution". One tends not to get on with t'other.

However, as with so many things (religious fundamentalism, for instance), the mistake was to accept the premise; Spore isn't a God game, it's a many-Gods game. In it you guide the development of your species from a single cell in a 2D ocean onto its newly formed feet, along a prickly path to abstract reasoning, problem-solving, emotion, science and interstellar conquest, with rest-stops in savagery, tribalism and tank-rushing. As you do this, thousands of other real-life players do the same and their species become part of your game-world, adopted by the AI ruling their own planets to greater or lesser effect.

Spore's happy to think of you as a God, but in the end your status is debatable. Perhaps you're just evolution itself. So endeth the contradiction in what, as is typical of Spore, turns out to be bright and amusing fashion.

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Will Wright discusses Spore porn

He's not offended by all the winkies.

Will Wright has said he's not offended by all the penis monsters people have chosen to make with the Spore Creature Creator - adding that in fact, some of them are rather impressive.

No Spore demo, but expansions planned

No Spore demo, but expansions planned

And anti-piracy measures explained.

Spore executive producer Lucy Bradshaw has ruled out a demo for Maxis' upcoming "Sim Everything", but has confirmed plans for expansions.

"We're not planning a demo of the game. Just the Creature Creator," she said during our live chat. "We've released a number of videos to show off the game."

On the subject of expansions - sort of an inevitability given Maxis' success expanding The Sims and its sequel - Bradshaw said this would happen but hinted at a few interesting approaches involving editors rather than simply new assets.

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Lucy Bradshaw live interview today!

Rounding off Spore Week in style.

Eurogamer will round off Spore Week today with a surprise live interview with executive producer Lucy Bradshaw at 5.30pm UK time (6.30pm CET / 9.30am PST).

Spore

Gene cool.

Will Wright is lying flat out on the floor behind me, his head resting awkwardly on a small pile of books. Pieces of string are tied around his face and pinned to the carpet, with a plastic menagerie of weird alien figurines placed around his head and balanced precariously on the side of his face. I'm trying to play Spore on one of Maxis' laptops, and it's awfully distracting.

Wright hints at Spore MMO

Sims man's latest will evolve.

He's referred to his latest project as a 'massively single-player online game' - but despite the failure of The Sims Online, Will Wright has hinted that Spore could evolve into an MMO experience.

Wright has new projects "in the wings"

"Very short term" titles mooted.

Having spent the last eight years creating Spore, Will Wright is now eyeing a range of new projects to sink his teeth into, some of which could be "very short term".

Eurogamer announces Spore Week!

Eurogamer announces Spore Week!

Final game explored and explained.

Earth took seven days (reportedly), but Spore has taken more like seven years - probably longer - and yet emerges from extensive, relatively serene development on 5th September as one of the most anticipated games of the year.

To celebrate its impending arrival, Eurogamer grabbed the nearest aeroplane and flew halfway round the world to interrogate developer Maxis and investigate the finished game at length - and then flew back to bring you Spore Week: a collection of impressions, assets and interviews from our exclusive studio tour.

We'll have new additions throughout the week, but to kick off we have an exclusive, extensive interview with Maxis co-founder and chief designer Will Wright, the brains behind SimCity, The Sims, Spore and some of the best speeches we've ever heard. We know some of you prefer to watch these things rather than reading them, so we've laid out the options for you:

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FeatureMaxis' Will Wright

Spore, The Sims and what lies ahead.

You can tell a lot about someone by what's on their desk, and Will Wright is no exception. He may have sold over 100 million copies of The Sims alone, but there's no solid gold plaque adorning his office door; instead there's a simple EA-branded sheet of A4, with his name printed across, that tells you you're in the right place.

EA man wants to charge for Spore content

But will focus on launching game first.

The launch of Will Wright's Spore is still over a month away, but John Riccitiello is already considering whether consumers could be charged for extra content in the future.

Riccitiello: EA quality up "sharply"

"We've turned the corner on that issue."

John Riccitiello believes the fruits of his reappointment as EA boss are beginning to show and has noted a "sharp" rise in the quality of the publisher's games.

Spore has more species than Earth

Wright serves up E3's best stat attack.

Speaking at EA's E3 press conference, Spore creator Will Wright announced that thanks to the release of Creature Creator, the number of player-created species in the game already exceeds the number of species on Earth.

Spore Creature Creator

Spore Creature Creator

Ironically, not evolutionary: revolutionary.

It's an unusual situation, to say the least. The Spore Creature Creator is one small part of the full game of Spore, due out on 5th September. Specifically, it's the bit - and smart, title-reading readers will spot this - about creating the creature. You stick bits together, in the manner of a 21st Century Mr. Potato Head, and watch it animate. There's no game. Of course, since one of Spore's main selling features is that your in-game universe will be populated with everyone else's creatures, they'll turn up in a game eventually, but right now there's nothing more than making a creature out of computer clay and marveling as Maxis' magic brings it to life. Maybe put it in front of a different background. Make it dance. Make it play with kids.

But to review or not to review? That is the question. The 'nay' argument: this is only one part of a much larger project, and in the UK it's basically a pre-order thing so you can get your money back. The 'yay' argument: whenever a company charges money for something, you bloody well review it. Like, obviously, you blithering idiots. Review!

If you've any interest in videogames, you should at least play the demo. While it's going to be disappointing to some people - and I'll explain why in a bit - this is absolutely one of the cutting edges of videogames at the moment. That it does what it does so naturally almost undersells its achievement: it just works. The difference between the demo and the full version is that you simply get a lot more parts out of which to construct your creature. Which, when written down, makes you wonder why anyone would pay for it. It'll all be in the game eventually, and you can have a crack at a fair chunk of it now... why pay?

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Limited edition Spore unveiled

Comes with Making Of video, shockingly.

Electronic Arts has revealed forthcoming evoution sim Spore will be available as a limited edition, or Galactic Edition as it's being titled.

250,000 Spore creatures created in a day

249,999 are walking willies.

It's only been out for a day but 250,000 beasties have already been birthed using the Spore Creature Creator, with community site sharing taking place at a rate of two creatures every second.

FeatureSpore

Through the eyes of right-hand lady, Lucy Bradshaw.

Spore is either accompanied by sweeping statements proclaiming its genius or by confused faces wondering what all the fuss is about. It's certainly ambitious. And early last week - Tuesday for those who like specifics - we were treated to the first stage of its launch: the Spore Creature Creator.

Spore Creature Creator

Eurogamer creates life.

Two hours is not a long time in gaming terms. Time enough for a tutorial, maybe, or a handful of cut-scenes - at most a quick blast through a first act of easy victories.

Spore demo coming in June

Create your creature in advance.

EA has announced a demo for Spore, the new evolutionary sim from Will Wright, will be available for download this summer.

"Europe is the priority for Spore"

Maxis on why we'll get it first.

Speaking exclusively to Eurogamer, Maxis's Patrick Buechner has explained why the game is to be released in Europe on 5th September, two days earlier than in the US.

Spore

And on the seventh day, User created content.

"Will really wanted to make a single-player MMO." With this blunt and baffling statement, producer Thomas Vu sums up the last, most remarkable thing of the many remarkable things about Spore. This is an entirely solo, yet massively multiplayer experience. At no point in Spore do you compete or co-operate with other players. But you're in their company - or that of their creations, at any rate - every step of the way, and it's a profoundly social game.

Spore release date announced

Spore release date announced

God news, everyone.

Spore will be released here for PC on 5th September 2008 and in the US two days later on 7th September, EA has confirmed to Eurogamer. Europe first! Woo!

EA's since confirmed that Mac, DS and mobile versions will both arrive on that date too.

"We're in our final stages of testing and polish with Spore, and the team at Maxis can't wait to see the cosmos of content created by the community later this year," Will Wright said in the obligatory release quote.

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PC gaming "should be like Punk Rock"

Spore developer loves its variety.

Former Civilization IV designer Soren Johnson, currently hard at work on Spore, reckons PC gaming "should be like Punk Rock" for developers - rich with variety.

Spore heading to Wii

Wright tells Guardian.

Tucked into a brief chat with Will Wright on The Guardian website is confirmation that Maxis is going to make Spore for the Wii.

Games are not stories - Wright

BAFTA speech summary.

Will Wright, creator of SimCity, the Sims and forthcoming open-ended evolution game Spore, gave the inaugural annual BAFTA Video Games lecture at an event in London last night, and GamesIndustry.biz was there to capture all the details.

Spore is six months away

Seedy duplication soon.

Will Wright has said that Spore is about six months away from release on PC, suggesting that Maxis' ambitious life sim is on track to launch in line with publisher Electronic Arts' most recent estimate of early fiscal 2009.

Will Wright will become the first videogame "celebrity" to be awarded the Fellowship BAFTA; joining the ranks of recognised and household names like Dame Judi Dench, Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg.

GC: Spore for consoles

After PC, says Maxis.

Maxis has confirmed that there are plans to develop a version of Spore for consoles - but said it won't be released alongside the PC and DS versions.

FeatureGC: Spore

New details of Will Wright's latest.

Not long into our 30-minute demo of Spore, there's a knock on the door. A PR's head appears. "We need to limit the demos to 20 minutes," she says. There's a pause. One of the men demoing the game quietly replies, "Yeah. We can't do that."

Spore slips to 2008

Expected in spring.

A financial paper from EA has revealed that Spore has slipped out of fiscal 2008, meaning that we won't see it until at least next April.

Wright talks about Spore date

Behind the scenes on Colbert.

Will Wright reckons Spore is on track for release in the second half of 2007, having recently reached the stage where EA people outside the core development team are able to play it from beginning to end.

Spore due in late 2007

Will Wright offers a hint.

Will Wright's life-building opus Spore won't be released until late 2007, the Maxis veteran's revealed.

War and Spore for mobiles

MOH, Battlefield on way.

EA is planning to bring Medal of Honor, Battlefield and Spore to mobile phones, EA Mobile senior veepee Mitch Lasky told a mobile games conference this week.

See Spore in action

New video now on EG TV.

Leaked video footage of Spore, the latest game from Sims creator Will Wright, is now available for viewing on Eurogamer TV.

Spore coming to handhelds?

Job ad seems to suggest so.

Sims creator Will Wright's latest project, Spore, may be spreading to handheld consoles, according to a new job listing that's appeared on GameDev.net.

Sims creator talks Rev

He's rather keen on it.

Sims creator Will Wright has gone on record to express his interest in the Nintendo Revolution's "freestyle" controller.

Spore for Xbox 360?

MS CEO seems to think so.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has hinted that Spore, the latest project from Sims creator Will Wright, will be getting an outing on the Xbox 360.

Will Wright unveils Spore at GDC

Will Wright unveils Spore at GDC

Sims creator enormously ambitious new project sees you control life from the petri dish to the Star Destroyer in a totally user-defined environment.

Sims creator Will Wright used his speech on the last day of the Game Developers Conference to unveil his latest project, Spore, which has gamers guide an organism from its beginnings as a single cell right through to an eventual quest for intergalactic domination - in a completely user-defined manner.

The enormously ambitious project splits gameplay into six distinct stages, beginning as players take control of a single-cell organism in a tidal pool, where the idea is to fight and consume other creatures in a Pac-Man-esque freeform environment to help give the organism shape.

The scale then changes as the creature moves through various phases, which draw upon a large number of genres paying homage to Wright's favourite games - so much so that he even likened the project to Nintendo's mini-game collection Wario Ware. As the game moves on, the creature evolves in line with the player's decisions.

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