Electronic Arts (EA) has announced that legendary game designer Will Wright (Sim City, The Sims, Spore) has left the company to focus on a venture called Stupid Fun Club. The company will owned by Wright, an unnamed investor, and...wait for it...EA. In today's press release, Wright said:
According to MTV Multiplayer, EA will have first option rights on any game developed by Stupid Fun Club. Essentially, Wright has more creative freedom and less publisher-imposed restraints while still retaining many of the benefits of a powerhouse like EA.
Wright's brilliant accomplishments certainly entitle him to such a sweet deal, but I have to wonder how big a role his agents played. Wright is represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA), whose gaming endeavors are led by ex-Microsoft executive and all-around excellent person Seamus Blackley. CAA has been instrumental in getting its game designers deals that are commensurate with their stature. In a business where the publisher (generally) wields much more power than the developer, this is an excellent thing. (On a side note, I'm still waiting for Seamus to return my calls in regards to signing with CAA. Gimme a shout Big Red!)
Even though it seems like Wright left EA to work with EA in another form, I'm excited by the potential of Stupid Fun Club. How about you? Do you think a smaller and more private setting will let Wright's imagination run wild? Or do you think big-company culture helped temper and restrain him in a good way? Leave a comment and let me know what you think (please)!