Will Wright prefers high sales to high scores

Written by Joe Martin

September 8, 2008 | 10:10

Tags: #casual #half-life-2 #spore #will-wright #wil-wright

Companies: #ea

Will Wright's Spore came out late last week and players were finally given a chance to sample the full game, which has taken more than eight years to develop and suffered from being classified as vapourware again and again.

And what did most people think of Spore? While initial opinions seem good, there does seem to be a growing opinion among hardcore gamers that the game is perhaps a tiny bit shallow and casual for their tastes. That's certainly part of the conclusion we came to in our nine-page Spore review.

You know what though? Will Wright is fine with that, saying in a recent interview with MTV that Spore was envisioned from the outset to be a more casual game than people might expect. The reason? He wanted the game to have huge sales, not just huge critical acclaim.

"We were very focused, if anything, on making a game for more casual players. Spore has more depth than, let’s say, The Sims did. But we looked at the Metacritic scores for Sims 2, which was around 90, and something like Half-Life, which was 97, and we decided — quite a while back —- that we would rather have the Metacritic and sales of “Sims 2″ than the Metacritic and sales of Half-Life," said Will.

It's an opinion we can certainly understand. The world has a good number of excellent games which have been hailed by games reviewers such as ourselves, but which have struggled to sell well because of a percieved too-hardcore appeal. Just look at Psychonauts or Beyond Good and Evil.

What's your opinion on the casual / hardcore divide? What do you think of Spore? Let us know what you reckon in the forums.
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