May I call you Will?
Will, I bet you feel like expectations for Spore passed the unreasonable stage about a year ago—around the time you appeared on The Colbert Report, actually. And I’ll admit that probably no one outside your development team has had higher expectations for it than I have, except possibly your blood relatives and the guy who counts the money at EA.
Maybe it’s because Spore’s been years in the making. Maybe it’s because you’re the guy making it. Maybe it’s because everything you’ve said about it—its massive scope, its academic inspirations—has suggested a completely new direction for videogames. I mean, it was on the cover of PC Gamer’s Top Games of the Year predictions twice; even a delay didn’t dampen our anticipation.
I realize now that we may have helped contribute to some of those astronomical expectations, at least among the hardcore gaming community. We got caught up in the idea that Spore was going to be some sort of across-the-board gaming revolution—and as a result, I see now that we were probably expecting something different than what you were actually working on.
I doubt it will surprise you to hear that I don’t see Spore supplanting Half-Life or BioShock or StarCraft in hardcore gamers’ hearts. But, you know what, Will? That’s OK. Because if everyone can let go of what they’ve imagined the game to be and appreciate it for what it actually is—a gorgeous, whimsical, accessible diversion—then they’ll realize that it does indeed deliver on its years of promise.