After more than three years of anticipation, Spore is almost finished.
Electronic Arts' evolution game, from legendary designer Will Wright's Maxis studio, is about a week from going "gold," I was told Tuesday by Thomas Vu, a producer on the game who gave me a demo Tuesday morning. Going gold, of course, means the game is about to be sent to manufacturing. EA has said that Spore will launch September 7.
As you probably know, Spore is designed to task players with evolving through a series of stages, from the initial cell stage, to creature creation, to a tribal stage, then onto civilization, and then out into space.
Over the last few years, I've had a number of opportunities to see the game in its various stages of development, and let me tell you: It's looking good. What was a fairly rudimentary system back in 2005 when I first saw it at E3 in Los Angeles is now a polished, slick game that looks just about ready for prime time. Its interfaces all seem to work, there were no obvious bugs and it just seemed like a game that is doing what it's supposed to.
"Thank goodness," is what EA must be thinking. Spore has been the industry's most-anticipated title for at least a couple of years. When I first wrote about it, during E3 in 2005, in one of the very first extensive interviews with Wright about the game, I penned these words: "Next year, Electronic Arts will release Wright's next attempted masterpiece, Spore."
Clearly, Maxis didn't release the game in 2006, nor did it come out in 2007, when it was also planned for launch. There have been all kinds of reasons for the delays, but whatever happened in the past, the game is definitely looking good and I think I would be willing to put some money on EA making its September 7 deadline. … Read more