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Will Wright has finally left EA to focus on his own company, after thinking about the move for more than a year

Electronic Arts confirmed Will Wright, the man behind The Sims and Spore, is leaving EA to work at an entertainment studio he originally created in 2001.

Wright will be working full-time at Stupid Fun Club, a company designed to focus on new projects that could later be turned into video games, movies, toys, and other entertainment ventures -- EA also is serving as a sponsor of the company.

In 2001, the company was focused on robots, and drew a large amount of media attention because of Wright's involvement.

"The entertainment industry is moving rapidly into an era of revolutionary change.  Stupid Fan Club will explore new possibilities that are emerging from this sublime chaos and create new forms of entertainment on a variety of platforms," Wright said in a statement.  "In my twelve years at EA, I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside some of the brightest and most talented game developers in the industry and I look forward to working with them again in the near future.”

Wright began talking about leaving EA for Stupid Fun Club -- located in Berkeley, California -- last year, and will lead a team of nine employees.  Sim City -- and all of its expansion games -- has sold more than 100 million copies since the game's original launch in 1989.

Considering Wright's involvement has led to some of EA's biggest game titles, it should be interesting to see if this hurts the company's future projects.  The company is currently reorganizing after announcing it will lay off around 1,100 employees and will publish a smaller number of video games.



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RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By bighairycamel on 4/9/2009 10:28:19 AM , Rating: 5
Skate - never played
Fight Night - again practically the same game with new fighters
Burnout - you serious? only the most mindless racing game of the decade. Each sequel is the same game with different cars and tracks... let the series die for crying out loud.
Need for Speed - This hits a particular sore spot with me, because I grew up playing the original NFS series. They bastardized the game into an urban hip-hop suckfest of crappy storylines and highly unrealistic driving simulations.
Battlefield - you mean the game they released that COULDN'T BE PLAYED because it had so many bugs? 1942 was fun, after that it each sequel was too buggy and too patch happy to be respected.
Tiger Woods - another golf game every year with different golfers and a few new courses. The playability differences are so minor they definately don't deserve another $60 out of pocket.
Mirror's Edge - never played
Left 4 Dead - never played, heard good things
FIFA - like every sports series, updated rosters and minimal playability differences
NHL - see above
Dead Space - never played
Rock Band - Rock band was fun, sure, but to show the real ego of EA, they compared the "creativity" of the game to Guitar Hero and World of Warcraft. Seriously, what the hell... all the game is was an amalgamation of other games that have already been created (GH, Sing Star, and I believe Nintendo had a drum game).


By aftlizard on 4/9/2009 10:48:46 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree that some of the changes seem so minor as to not be worth the upgrade every year but let's face it, if you actually loved sports you wouldn't mind spending $60 a year for an updated roster, improved graphics, new plays etc..

The sports industry is huge and die hard fans are willing to spend that cash. I do it every year on NCAA Football of which $60 is such a minor expense for my passion of the sport that I do not care. The same is with the NFL, golf games, soccer games, etc.. for other people. You may not like it but sales show that EA doesn't care about your opinion.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By ClownPuncher on 4/9/2009 11:47:25 AM , Rating: 2
All World of Warcraft is was an amalgamation of games that came before it too.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By omnicronx on 4/9/2009 12:04:21 PM , Rating: 2
Ultima Online with Warcraft charactors *caugh*


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By ClownPuncher on 4/9/2009 12:06:44 PM , Rating: 2
Ultima Online wasn't that similar! I was thinking it was more of a copy/paste from Everquest.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By omnicronx on 4/9/2009 12:41:06 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you think everquest came from ;)

Ultima is the original MMORPG.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By Chernobyl68 on 4/9/2009 1:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I think there are a couple BBS games that might qualify for this.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By callmeroy on 4/9/2009 2:21:23 PM , Rating: 2
Well if you were getting that technical that some of the BBS games (which were MUDs mostly not MMO's btw -- there is a variance of definition and concept) were MMO's --- your definition is fair off from that of a modern MMO.

I was a heavy BBS user pre before the web came about, i've played some of thsoe BBS games....I don't remember one having a fully developed and living world that you interact with. For that matter back then what definited "massive" --- 100 players? Because that's about the extent of the massive I ever saw on there.


By The0ne on 4/9/2009 4:25:29 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct, they were MUDs :) I use to play them as well. First I know of for PC is Ultima and on consoles PSO. That's my recollection. Anyone know earlier games?


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By ClownPuncher on 4/9/2009 1:29:45 PM , Rating: 2
But EQ and UO arent very similar in any way besides that they are MMO's and they are fantasy based. In WoW, even the engine reeks of EQ, as does much of the gameplay.

Besides, Ultima is not the original MMORPG by a long shot. They just made them popular. Hell, even 1991's Neverwinter Nights was a graphical online multiplayer rpg, not to mention The Realm and Meridian 59.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By callmeroy on 4/9/2009 2:15:25 PM , Rating: 2
Correctly worded, Ultima Online was the first major fully developed and commercially successful MMO -- anyway you want to slice this is fact. It was even printed in a long time gaming mag that has since ceased publication --- Computer Gaming World...I was a subscriber for nearly 20 years and explicitly remember back when UO was "brand new" -- the whole story was about MMO has finally arrived and then it went on to detail the production of the game and tell you about it being a model that all others will build from....I bought into the hype of UO -- played it for only a few months...if that and then I quit. I skipped EQ and tried SWG, and then ended up at WoW which I do enjoy and am still there.

Btw...the funny thing about your comment WoW reeking of EQ makes me want to cry out to you "NO KIDDING!!!" --- where do you think some of the development team from WoW came from......drum roll......EverQuest....maybe that's what the engine is similar.

Finally WoW must have done something better than EQ -- A) a quarter of my WoW guild are ex-self admitted EQ diehards who state they WoW is much better over all though both games have pluses and minuses the other doesn't. and B) Subscription numbers say otherwise too.

NWN is a great game -- but it doesn't meet the criteria of an MMO.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By ClownPuncher on 4/9/2009 3:46:35 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody was talking about which was better. The point was that Ultima and WoW were not even close to the same game, but EQ and WoW are.

As far as NWN goes, I am talking about the original one on AOL in the early 90's. It was fairly similar to Ultima in a few ways, obviously UO did it better.

Google the rest, UO was not the first MMO - period. Meridian 59 was the first "massive" online rpg and it was launched in '95.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By omnicronx on 4/9/2009 4:12:07 PM , Rating: 2
Please stop pretending like you know what you are talking about because you googled the word MMO. Both the creators of Meridian and UO claimed to have created the name 'massively multiplayer' (you can google that too). While Meridian was the first to the market, UO reached a userbase of around 200 thousand people, meanwhile Meridian never even came close to that number (it only ever reached 12 thousand people). I.e Meridian never really reached MMO status.

BTW.. I played both games when I was younger and there were more people on one UO server, than on all the Meridian servers combined.


By ClownPuncher on 4/9/2009 4:22:10 PM , Rating: 2
Meridian 59 is an MMO, by definition.

Meridian 59, the first commercial, 3D massively multiplayer game, was developed by Archetype Interactive and published in September 1996 by 3DO.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By callmeroy on 4/10/2009 7:15:50 AM , Rating: 2
oh be quiet dude....with your "stop pretending you know what you are talking about".

Why would I A) make up a magazine profile on an MMO? What gain is it to me --- I'm not one of those posters who gets a geekish high off of trying to one up folks on lies. (you know like I suspect 90% of the Internet forum using population does) and B) I knew of Meridian 59 as well when i typed my original comment......UO was the first mainstream massively successful MMO......perhaps I should have clarified my position further.....to avoid confusion of my point.....UO was the first one to break six figure subscription rates. IE. the first *truly* successful UO that essentially encouraged all others to go mainstream....companies didn't build MMOs because they saw Meridian 59 and go "oooh see now that has cash potential"....they waited for one to prove an expansive subscriber base was actually viable -- that was UO, and that was the real point I was attempting to make.

As to the other guy about the MMO and EQ comparison -- I know what you were saying, the other stuff I was saying about WoW and EQ sharing some of the same developers and WoW success rate over EQ was just added commentary on my part in a matter of fact sense.

As far as NWN on AOL....that's one thing I have to admit I didn't know about (I disdained AOL even back when AOL was all the rage and we thought they would run the ISP world).
I used AOL a few times though when they sent those 1000 free hours CDs every other week, or on a friend's account when I needed to look up information or send email.


By callmeroy on 4/10/2009 7:22:59 AM , Rating: 3
As a side note, I find it funny that Meridian 59 was taken over by " Near Death Studios ".....quite fitting if you ask me...


By ClownPuncher on 4/9/2009 1:55:27 PM , Rating: 2
And besides, Everquest was in production more than a year before Ultima was released.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By Chaser on 4/9/2009 2:47:48 PM , Rating: 2
UO was junk for gank squads. EQ1 was the first MMO to implement 3D graphics and require a 3D Accelerator card.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By i3arracuda on 4/9/2009 2:58:11 PM , Rating: 3
So a game is junk if it doesn't have 3D graphics? I take it you have never been eaten by a grue.


By Chaser on 4/9/2009 3:08:16 PM , Rating: 2
EQ1 is old and dated yet still around and still getting expansions even today. It was one of the most popular MMOs in history. It made countless noteworthy milestones that paved the way for most MMOS that are around today.

Go Tabula Rasa! /golf clap


By Spivonious on 4/9/2009 4:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'd rate you to a 6 if I could. I still think about grues every time I go down a hallway without a lantern.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By Reclaimer77 on 4/9/2009 3:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ultima Online wasn't that similar! I was thinking it was more of a copy/paste from Everquest.


You're not giving credit where credit is due. Compared to WoW, Everquest is an unbalanced, buggy, and completely unpolished turd.

I mean, your argument is like someone saying that since Tolkien laid the groundwork by inventing Orc's, Elves and Hobbits, that everything after that was a simple 'copy and paste' of his works. Give me a break, that's just absurd.

Sure, similar games with a similar theme to WoW came before it. But honestly, so what ? Like 10 million people play it !!! You think there might be a pretty damn good reason for that ?


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By ClownPuncher on 4/9/2009 4:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
What? Play both and get back to me. The reason so many EQ players were able to jump into WoW with NO learning curve was due to the fact that the majority of both games were identical in implementation. Of course WoW is more polished, of course more people play it, that had absolutely nothing to do with any of my comments at all.

Without EQ there would never have been the WoW there is today, without Ultima Online, EQ would have been the same.

I made this statement due to a post saying that WoW was "creative". It is not, other than the storyline. Successful? Yes. Fun? Yes. Original? No.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By Reclaimer77 on 4/9/2009 4:14:43 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Without EQ there would never have been the WoW there is today, without Ultima Online, EQ would have been the same.


Paradox circular bullshit logic. Please don't insult my intelligence by pretending you have foreseen all possible tangents in the gaming timeline. Your statement cannot be proven or disprooven, it's just a 'logical' assumption with vapor to back it. Therefore I'm well within my rights to argue you on it.

World of Warcraft was based off, DUH, the WARCRAFT games. Not Everquest.


By ClownPuncher on 4/9/2009 4:44:23 PM , Rating: 2
Incorrect, a great many people who developed WoW played EQ before they released their own MMO. Blizzard's own WoW crew says without EQ there would have never been the WoW we know today.

Clearly the graphic styling and storyline of WoW was based off of Warcraft 1-3, but the gameplay similarity to that trilogy is nil.

If stating the facts insults your intelligence, maybe you misuse the word, intelligence?


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By Boze on 4/9/2009 7:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
Normally I agree with a lot of what you say on this site Reclaimer77, but I'm afraid you're speaking out of ignorance right now...

I grew up through the era of MMOs going from backwater pastimes - from playing Ultima Online for two years, to moving to EverQuest on March 16, 1999 and being completely blown away, having more fun killing bats, rats, and snakes than I had ever had in Ultima Online. For five years I played and loved EverQuest (although admittedly, it was probably more for the community than the game itself, as I largely felt like the "fun" of exploration died out after Scars of Velious expansion). Then my guild leader Tigole told us he was going to work for Blizzard Entertainment to work on a new project. It wasn't long afterwards that nearly everyone in Legacy of Steel was invited to test what would become World of Warcraft, and suffice to say, we were absolutely floored. It was EverQuest but with fun built-in from the ground up, and all the way to level 50 (the decision to go to level 60 with the base game had not yet been made, but was on its way).

Of course, Jeffery Kaplan wasn't the only popular EQ player to be hired by Blizzard to help them make a more fun MMORPG. Alex Afrasiabi, also known as Furor Planesdefiler and leader of the Fires of Heaven guild in EverQuest, was asked to come to work at Blizzard as well. Jeffery Kaplan being the Lead Game Designer and Alex Afrasiabi being the Lead Quest Designer for World of Warcraft.

A not-very-well-known fact? Rob Pardo used to lead Legacy of Steel... who's Rob Pardo, you ask? Well, he's the Vice President of Game Design at Blizzard.

So quite simply... had it not been for Meridian 59, there probably wouldn't have been an Ultima Online... had it not been for Ultima Online's success, funding from Sony for Verant to finish up development of EverQuest probably wouldn't have materialized, and had it not been for EverQuest's popularity, World of Warcraft likely would not exist. So in a very roundabout way... had it not been for the first generation MMOs, we likely wouldn't have the ones we do now... including World of Warcraft.

Keep in mind there's not much similarity between Warcraft, 2, and 3 and World of Warcraft, other than their shared universe.


By The0ne on 4/9/2009 9:04:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Keep in mind there's not much similarity between Warcraft, 2, and 3 and World of Warcraft, other than their shared universe.


You've lost me on your last paragraph. Mind explaining why you think they're not similar? Granted of course you do take into account the difference in years for areas such as sound, graphics and to some extent gameplay. I could have sworn 1,2,3 were RTS games. You? And I take it what you mean by "Shared universe" is the storyline?

Please explain because I'm a fan of the Warcraft series and find your comments very baffling.


By lexluthermiester on 4/9/2009 12:33:11 PM , Rating: 2
Are we forgetting the very good Command & Conquer titles[PC only]? Granted, the DRM/activation schemes on Red Alert 3 pissed me off beyond all reason, but a "patch" download later, I was playing to my heart's content. And the digital only release of the RA3 expansion pack is the a very good reason to avoid publishers like EA.

But we can not pigeon-hole the entire company.


By aguilpa1 on 4/9/2009 1:26:57 PM , Rating: 2
Original NFS series, those were the only NFS series I actually paid for. The NFS should be put in a pile in the middle of a parking lot and burned.


By glennpratt on 4/9/2009 1:46:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Rock Band - Rock band was fun, sure, but to show the real ego of EA, they compared the "creativity" of the game to Guitar Hero and World of Warcraft. Seriously, what the hell... all the game is was an amalgamation of other games that have already been created (GH, Sing Star, and I believe Nintendo had a drum game).


Let's not forget that Harmonix (currently owned by MTV) created Guitar Hero and Rock Band. I don't know what your referring to, but if EA pats Harmonix on the back occasionally, it's fine by me.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By callmeroy on 4/9/2009 2:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Burnout - you serious? only the most mindless racing game of the decade. Each sequel is the same game with different cars and tracks ... let the series die for crying out loud.


Now am I the only one who read that line and had to chuckle?

Please please don't tell me I have to play Captain Obvious and point out the irony for you....


By bighairycamel on 4/9/2009 2:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
The game doesn't fit in the same category as other racers.

The problem with the series is that the original appeal was not just racing... it was somewhat unique the way it used crash physics. They just take the same game with no new gameplay and add different cars and different tracks. The whole series is lazy. It's only fun so many times to crash into traffic... we don't need a new game every year.


By The0ne on 4/9/2009 4:12:13 PM , Rating: 2
Good knowledge for some of the games and I agree with most of them. Sports, however, is different as someone already mentioned. Just having updated stats and roster is a thrill.

I like racing games and I feel the pain you are having with NFS. Battlefield really was managed horribly wrong. I'm pretty sure there are many players that left the brand for good :)


By Totally on 4/9/2009 8:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
Left 4 Dead isn't EA. It's distributed on the consoles by EA only.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By Devilboy1313 on 4/9/2009 9:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Need for Speed - This hits a particular sore spot with me, because I grew up playing the original NFS series. They bastardized the game into an urban hip-hop suckfest of crappy storylines and highly unrealistic driving simulations.


The single most accurate statement ever posted.


RE: EA games even LESS desirable now
By Parhel on 4/10/2009 1:49:07 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, I didn't know there were so many NFS haters. That's funny, because I always felt that before NFS: Most Wanted, the series was just an average contender in a overcrowded genre. NFS: Most Wanted is one of my favorite games.

I have two racing games for my Xbox - NFS: Most Wanted and PGR4. I'll admit that PGR4 was a superior game in every technical respect. But I played NFS: Most Wanted at least ten times as much. Sure, it was cheesy and derivative, but it was fun.

Carbon was a slight turn for the worse. Not awful, but just missing the flavor I guess. Haven't tried ProStreet or Undercover


By danrien on 4/13/2009 11:49:19 AM , Rating: 2
Left 4 Dead wasn't developed by EA, it was merely published by them. Valve has the full creative copyright to that game and they are not owned by any publisher or larger developer (they split ways with Vivendi about the time that Half Life 2 came out). It shouldn't be in your list.

Also, the 3 other games you never played have actually somewhat resurrected EA's reputation, thus your opinion of EA may be a little dated.


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