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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

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Will Wright Discusses Gaming, MMOs, And Spore
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

An interview with Maxis' Will Wright has kicked off Eurogamer's Spore Week, focusing on the upcoming god sim, Spore. The interview touched on a variety of topics including Wright's personal history, the future of gaming, and Spore's position as a hybrid of single and multiplayer game concepts.

Eurogamer: You attempted an MMO with The Sims Online, which didn't prove a success; and you've described Spore as a 'massively single-player online experience'. Are you more interested in pursuing this course now, or have you learnt enough so that you would go back and look again and look at a more multiplayer-oriented title?
Will Wright: I think the reason I was driven to what Spore ended up becoming is that there are a lot of games out there that were single-player experiences, unconnected. There were a lot of games that were massively-multiplayer experiences, and there was nothing between the two. Yet there's a really interesting space of hybrids between the two that Spore became, where you have a lot of players connected through content, but it's not synchronous: it's asynchronous interactions.

When you design a massively-multiplayer online game you have to bite off a lot of major design limitations, like nobody can pause the game, nobody can cheat, you usually have to pay a subscription. But the biggest benefit I saw from that was the possibility of having a collaboratively built world, that's huge and always surprising. So for Spore we tried to figure out, how do we get the best aspects of a massively-multiplayer game without all these huge design limitations?

I think a lot of these limitations were what sank The Sims Online: we didn't have enough user-created content; to a lot of the people that were playing The Sims, the idea of paying a subscription was a really big filter - a lot didn't even have credit cards. So really I think it's interesting that nobody's explored this hybrid space between the two, and that's the reason we ended up there with Spore. That's not to say that one day we might not do a massively-multiplayer online version of it, but it's just not the most interesting initial unveiling of it for me.
Read the full Q&A at the site linked below.

Eurogamer: Will Wright Interview
Electronic Arts
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• Will Wright Discusses Gaming, MMOs, And Spore6:00 AM
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Archives  News  Will Wright Discusses Gaming, MMOs, And Spore