The fine folks over at GigaOM asked: “Will Spore Sell?“. It’s weird because in a sense EA is betting they will be wrong. If you go back far enough, you’ll find talks by Will Wright on how EA (and the rest of the game publishers) were totally against the idea of something like the Sims. It wasn’t a licensed property, it wasn’t a known genre, it wasn’t even a palatable idea to them (“paper dolls” in a computer?).
In this case, like many others, it’s not so much the concept (“alien landscapes”, “blobby creatures”), but the execution. Will Wright is regarded as a pillar of light in the game community, but where he should really be held up is in the user interface and accessibility community.
The game isn’t about some random blobby creature, but about YOUR blobby creature’s culture and civilization. It’s more a species level Tamagotchi than some tactical back and forth game; and it’s success will make or break on how much it draws in people to care about the species they raise for the most basic level of evolution (The 10X Eames move referenced in the article).
The Sims succeeded because it was able to draw people in to care about the needs of an abstract nuclear family in the suburbs. I think Will Wright will be able to do the same for a game in which you’re charged with caring for a species from speck to interstellar conqueror.
[tags]games, gigaom, sims, spore, userinterface[/tags]