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Will Wright Leaves EA/Maxis For Stupid Fun Club 102

Dave Knott writes "Gamasutra reports that SimCity, Sims and Spore game creator Will Wright is leaving EA/Maxis. He will now be acting as head of Stupid Fun Club, an 'entertainment think tank' that he was previously funding out of his own pocket. From the article: 'The club has focused mainly on designing and building robots, as well as creating video productions based on them. Wright and EA will co-own Stupid Fun Club, which will focus on developing new cross-media IP for games, movies, TV and toys. EA has the right to develop game concepts that emerge from the think tank, and both the company and Wright have an equal stake.'"
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Will Wright Leaves EA/Maxis For Stupid Fun Club

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  • Thank god (Score:5, Funny)

    by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @07:24PM (#27511533) Homepage Journal
  • Daikatana (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bucketoftruth ( 583696 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @07:26PM (#27511561)
    Reminds me of Daikatana for some reason. Someone breaking away on their own with an open-ended, ambitious project that may or may not actually produce anything.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @08:07PM (#27512011)

      But he already had Spore. Your last game before Daikatana is supposed to be GOOD.

    • by smartr ( 1035324 )
      EA is actually partnering with Will Wright. I don't think EA and id are much alike, nor do I think Romero really left on such ambivalent terms.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      On the other hand he may come up with a game like Deus Ex.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gaspyy ( 514539 )

        Deus Ex was not made by John Romero of the Daikatana "fame".

        Deus Ex was made by Warren Spector.

        I remember that at the time Ion Storm had two offices, one in Dallas, one in Austin.

        Sadly, Warren Spector was not involved with Deus Ex: Invisible War, and we all know how that turned out.

        • Pretty well, actually.

          So stop suggesting things as if they were globally true for everybody. Maybe it's just you. ^^
          (And don't come to me with game website ratings. Most of them are bought anyway, and I found that Americans seem to hate more complex movies and games. [I don't want to insult anyone. But on IMDB, I just had it too many times, that I loved a movie for its cleverness, and the average IMDB user from the USA totally hated it. Revolver by Guy Richie being the prime example of a brilliant movie tha

          • It's generally considered a bad game if most people didn't like it, not if a few did. Part of making a good game/movie/anything is making it accessible... to a degree of course, some people just aren't interested in meaning.

            However, you could name anything and I could find somebody who likes it and somebody who hates it. For Deus Ex IW, the problems I had with it were really odd animations and voice acting (I know, Deus Ex had these same things), extremely odd system requirements (it ran crappy on my
      • Reinstalling now...thanks alot, I had stuff to do.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Fortunately Daikatana finally came out after the delays, and it exceeded all expectations. I've been making my own Daikatana mods and maps ever since. I'm not sure if anyone downloads them from PlanetDaikatana, but I'm the only one on the message boards there.
  • by oneiros27 ( 46144 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @07:28PM (#27511577) Homepage

    The club has focused mainly on designing and building robots

    Kickass -- we can finally play RoboSport [] in real life!

  • Spore (Score:4, Interesting)

    by religious freak ( 1005821 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @07:30PM (#27511599)
    Anyone know how Spore has been received or how well it's selling? I've always thought it might've been a disappointment?

    I still haven't played the game, but I've got to imagine that if there were troubles, this is probably why he split with the company.
    • Two thumbs down cause that's all I got.

    • I can only speak from personal experience, but... I love it! As long as you don't care about the "science vs entertainment" debate and enjoy building things, it's fantastic! Don't expect The Sims, expect SimCity. The emphasis is on creating things, not so much on the gameplay. Really, it's best to think of the editors as the game and the "real game" as sort of campaign mode.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      A lot of people hated Spore, I think they're smoking crack. I enjoyed it. I think it might have to do with expectations, though: I've always felt Will Wright was rather overrated as a designer (SimCity aside, cause that was amazing), so I didn't buy into any of the game's hype. If you did buy into it, though, I can see how you might have felt let down.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nevermore94 ( 789194 )
      I played it obsessively for about 2 weeks and then I went back to playing RTS games like Command & Conquer 3 and Supreme Commander and haven't been back since. Despite its supposed infinite combinations, it has held almost no replayability interest for me since raising 2 creatures from Spore to Spacefaring.
    • Re:Spore (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @09:31PM (#27512661)
      Will sacrificed his original goal, that of something similar to evolution, for a toy completely unrelated to evolution.

      Remember all of Will's talks about the high cost of content and how the game industry needed to change?

      He had lead everyone to believe that "procedural content" was the goal, when the real goal was apparently to get millions of people to create content for free: all your creature designs are owned by E.A and are automatically uploaded to their servers.

      And that explain the evolution sacrifice nicely, as well as the "free" creature creator. They wanted no limits to creativity in order to maximize the diversity and quantity of the free content they were going to aquire.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        You've gotta remember though, EA & Will burnt a LOT of people who actually invested and were looking forward with Spore, such as myself. Now, I personally go out of my way to tell people NOT to get a game produced, owned, written etc by EA, or Will for that mater.
        • Re:Spore (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @12:43AM (#27513953)
          Of course, this really doesnt matter.

          They have already gotten literally millions of free player-created "creatures." The cost of creating all that content would have easily been hundreds of millions of dollars if they hired modelers/artists to make it.

          You can bet anything that in the next year or two, E.A. will release games that are not anything like Spore, but will leverage the player created art they got for free from Spore players.

          "Thats my Ososaplopicus!! What the hell is it doing in StupidGame 2010, and why did they rename it HaHaHaSucker?"
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            But... My giant space slug... No!

            Fuck, and I thought I felt ripped off before. My hatred for EA just scaled 10 fold.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Hurricane78 ( 562437 )

            They have already gotten literally millions of free player-created "creatures."

            Yeah. With 99% of them being penises, vaginas, boobs and asses. Including 4chan-like furry child-dicknipple feet.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by canajin56 ( 660655 )
              I'm pretty sure there are more varieties of mudkips in Spore, than there are varieties of real amphibians on earth ;) And btw my mudkip is the best, a random person said so in my comments page!
              • English is not my native language, and I just tried to find out, what the word "mudkip" means: []

                I don't get it... Could somebody explain?

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by mpeskett ( 1221084 )

                  I don't know how good or bad your English is, but I'll try and use only fairly common words so that it's easy to read.

                  Mudkip is one many Pokemon - types of animal (or plant, or robot) things from a series of cartoons and video games (and other things - toys, playing cards, all kinds of stuff)

                  That specific Pokemon is famous mostly for being part of a crappy internet meme, it's supposed to be funny but really, really isn't.

                  This might be harder on a limited amount of English, but the start of the 'joke' can

    • by Tridus ( 79566 )

      Most of the feedback about the game was actually about SecuROM. That totally overshadowded the game.

      The game itself was pretty meh. It's easy as hell, and the replay value very poor.

      Still waiting for SimCity 5.

    • Ley me put it this way. I spent $50 on it. I palyed up to Tribal, my chieftain kept getting trapped in space due to some glitch (of course he can't commit suicide, nice error tolerance). So I waited for a patch. Got the patch, played again up to Tribal and... "wait... this boring as hell". Haven't played it since.

      The editors are actually very nifty, but there's no game to back it up, and the editors alone are worth about $5.

      I am ashamed at myself for buying this. By doing so, I basically told EA:
      1. Sup
      • I feel the same shame. I bought it on stupid impulse shortly after launch despite my better instincts telling me to wait until some proper reviews surfaced. Even got as far as figuring out the return process and came so close to following through, but then I was curious... I was weak and I regret it. Anyway, I played through the animal stages, and it was sort of fun, but immensely disappointing compared to my expectations (the videos we were shown back in '05 made it look epic, what they delivered was pure

  • Holy shit (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mozk ( 844858 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @07:31PM (#27511617)

    Holy shit that website is ugly! They use Comic Sans, for FSM's sake.

    I know that Will Wright is famous and that appearance isn't always everything, but who would do business with a company with an appearance like that?

    • Re:Holy shit (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @08:00PM (#27511941)
      I thought "Meh, just someone complaining" but this site is....really bad. The globe menu is silly, I didn't even realise it was a menu, the buttons spins around for too long so you can't read them and then when they stop they are still difficult to read due to the font and colour. The text is pink and has crusty pixels around the edges. The website itself has very little useful information what so ever and it lags when ever you do something. It looks like a website made in Flash by a High School student learning how to design websites.
      • by bcmm ( 768152 )
        If you don't have flash, it tells you so, in a Javascript messagebox. Really.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I thought you were talking about /. for a few seconds there.

        Then I wondered '/. has a world news section? why?', then was confused how annon got Informative mod while bad mouthing /., then it started hailing and the entire office ran to the windows like children, then I shot myself for such a bad run on sentence.

        Then I wondered if I would get modded insightful. If only there was a random mod.

      • by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:00PM (#27513253) Homepage

        Please - I regularly work with HS students learning how to design websites, and that comparison really isn't fair to the students.

        • It's really the opposite :)

          A good HS student will make something simple, homely, but effective and easy to use\read

          A bad team of expensive website designers will make the mess we see there.

          ProTip: very few people will ultimately purchase your game based on how many 3D graphics are on the intro to your website. In fact, most people who buy your game won't even go to your website. They'll see a trailer on Youtube.

          Here's EA a few months ago: "It's so expensive to make games, it's not fair!". Well, mayb
      • by dmomo ( 256005 )

        I clicked on something, I don't know what, after waiting 2 minutes for the thing to load. As I site here typing this, I'm still waiting for whatever I clicked on to do whatever it's supposed to.

        Maybe they don't want us to know what they do to give some mystery and go all virally on us. Is this just a dumb publicity stunt? Did anyone actually find information on the site?

      • The globe menu is silly, I didn't even realise it was a menu, the buttons spins around for too long so you can't read them and then when they stop they are still difficult to read due to the font and colour. The text is pink and has crusty pixels around the edges. The website itself has very little useful information what so ever and it lags when ever you do something.

        So, you mean to say the website of the Stupid Fun Club is stupid, but fun?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I spent about five minutes there, trying to figure out what it was all about. It was five minutes of my life that I'll never get back. That is the most pointless excuse for using bandwidth that I've ever seen.

      The "Stupid" is very fitting, while the "Fun" is complete bullshit.

      He should be put in a fucking wood chipper, while it's running.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Kranerian ( 1427183 )
      The entire website was blocked by NoScript. I allowed it, and within 30 seconds changed my mind and blocked it again. That website is atrocious.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      All I get is a message saying I need Flash 10, so it really is stupid.
    • by ndixon ( 184723 )
      I didn't see any Comic Sans MS. But that's probably because:
      * The site requires Flash 10
      * Flash 10 requires local admin rights to install.
      * Getting local admin rights here at work would require me to perform "favors" for the desktop support staff.

      Have you met our desktop support guys?

      Frankly, I'm not that desperate.

    • It was even better for me - "Flash 10 required".

      A website which actually refuses to show you absolutely anything unless you have Flash 10. Well done.
      At least it made sure I didn't have to see myself how ugly this site is ;)

  • Maxis = Sims (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mc1138 ( 718275 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @07:32PM (#27511621) Homepage
    I can't blame him for moving on as the Maxis IP has turned into nothing more than a platform for the Sims and its spin offs, the latest Sim City will taking a fresh spin on things, was really just a dumbed down version of the complex monolith I'd grown to love.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      After the way he was backstabbed and had Spore sabotaged by other members of the development team, I can't blame Will for leaving Maxis, either. It makes me sad to see people still dumping on him for the way Spore turned out when it was revealed months ago that it wasn't his fault.

  • by HexOxide ( 1375611 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @07:53PM (#27511861) Journal
    This might be a stupid question...

    But, how is Will Wright actually leaving EA if EA co-owns Stupid Fun Club?
  • by theskunkmonkey ( 839144 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @08:18PM (#27512107) Homepage

    Everyone knows that the first rule of Stupid Fun Club is to never talk about Stupid Fun Club!

    When will people ever learn?

    • by General Muzak ( 1000098 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @08:49PM (#27512351)

      You're wrong.

      The first rule of Studpid Fun Club is to never make fun of Stupid Fun Club.

      (oh btw - please don't mod this funny, for obvious reasons)

    • ...the first rule of Stupid Fun Club is to never talk about Stupid Fun Club!

      After seeing their website, I've decided to follow this "first rule" (although I will refrain from actually joining the club) and I also fervently recommend this rule for anyone else who wishes to receive any degree of respect for their opinions from another human being.

  • Am I the only one that had to read it more than once?

    1. Will, Wright Leaves EA/Maxis For Stupid Fun Club?

    2. Will Wright Leaves EA/Maxis For Stupid, Fun, Club.

    3. Will Wright Leaves EA/Maxis For Stupid, Fun Club

    4. Will Wright Leaves EA/Maxis, For Stupid, Fun, Club
  • by Deathlizard ( 115856 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @09:30PM (#27512657) Homepage Journal

    * Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to Stupid Fun Club.
    * Caution: Stupid Fun Club may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds.
    * Stupid Fun Club Contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at.
    * Do not use Stupid Fun Club on concrete.

    Discontinue use of Stupid Fun Club if any of the following occurs:

            * Itching
            * Vertigo
            * Dizziness
            * Tingling in extremities
            * Loss of balance or coordination
            * Slurred speech
            * Temporary blindness
            * Profuse sweating
            * Heart palpitations

    If Stupid Fun Club begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.

    Stupid Fun Club may stick to certain types of skin.

    Ingredients of Stupid Fun Club include an unknown glowing substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.

    Stupid Fun Club has been shipped to our troops in Saudi Arabia and is also being dropped by our warplanes on Iraq.

    Do not taunt Stupid Fun Club.

  • by ProfM ( 91314 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @09:43PM (#27512731)

    Is that anything like Super Adventure Club []?

  • by durnurd ( 967847 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @10:55PM (#27513209) Homepage
    I don't know what's going on with that website. It vaguely reminds me of []. There's nothing there, but it's some damned fine nothing.
  • The REAL Will Wright left Maxis when they announced the cancellation of SimMars to allocate its development team to help out with The Sims. What was left of him after that was just an empty shell of a once-great man roaming the halls.
    • The REAL Will Wright is a one hit wonder who has ridden on the coattails of SimCity for 20 years because nobody else in the industry has the brains or the balls to come up with something better. What non-SimCity spin-off of his has been successful?
  • First thought? "My God, it's full of stars."

  • Wow, I'm impressed: Clicking the link to this mighty "Stupid Fun Club" results in a "This page needs Flash 10" popup and I get redirected to the Adobe website. Wow, just wow...

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus