'Spore,' the movie?

If Electronic Arts has its way, the long-awaited evolution game could one day be a movie or a TV show, says the game's designer.

Electronic Arts may be hoping that it can someday license the movie rights to its much-anticipated evolution game, 'Spore.' Daniel Terdiman/CNET News

After several years of waiting, video game fans will soon be able to get their hands on the long-awaited new title from legendary designer Will Wright, Spore.

But if the game's publisher, Electronic Arts, has its way, a much wider audience of fans may someday be exposed to the game. Or at least a version of the game.

That's because, according to a Reuters report Wednesday, EA is hoping that it may one day be able to license the film and/or TV rights to Spore.

Speaking to Reuters in Singapore, where he is in the middle of an ambitious publicity tour prior to the game's September 7 release, Wright addressed the issue of EA's long-term goals for its newest major franchise.

"With Spore, we're looking way outside the game space, such as TV, movies, etc." Reuters quoted Wright as saying. "We're basically planting the seeds to spread Spore out to a much wider group of people than would ever play a computer game...We're going to be much more intelligent about harvesting other market opportunities for Spore than we were with The Sims, which, as big as it was in the game space, pretty much remains in the game space."

It's certainly not clear what the story behind a Spore movie would be. To be sure, the game provides a clear story arc, since it tasks players with evolving from primordial ooze all the way out into space. But one wonders what kind of emotional growth a Spore protagonist might go through in a film.

On the other hand, there are multiple examples of video games inspiring Hollywood to do what it does, such as Tomb Raider, BioShock and others.

And such a branching out of the Spore universe, so to speak, would be in keeping with EA's desire to extend the game into the kind of open-ended brand that The Sims has become.

But, from this corner, Spore needs to be a commercial and critical success before anyone thinks about how far it can go outside the traditional game space. It may well be able to achieve that goal , but until it does, this is all just idle talk.

 

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