Will Wright, the influential creator of games like SimCity and The Sims, is leaving *Electronic Arts* to head up a new entertainment incubator called Stupid Fun Club. But it’s not the end of his 12-year relationship with the company; EA is taking a stake in Stupid Fun Club, and will get first dibs on developing games that arise from any of the projects the startup works on.
His departure comes amid massive reorganization at EA: the company has laid off about 1,100 staff and plans to focus on publishing fewer games (but of better quality) than in previous years; it also shuffled leadership of its casual games division (which The Sims franchise is part of), and was forced to push back the release date of upcoming title The Sims 3.
Wright most recently served as chief designer at Maxis, the studio behind a long line of simulator games; EA acquired Maxis in 1997, and Wright has worked on developing monster franchises like The Sims (which holds the title of best-selling PC game in the world) since then. Most recently he worked on Spore, a game that simulated “creature” development and evolution; its success was marred by negative reactions to the DRM restrictions EA placed on it. Release.
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