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'Spore' fans, don't fret: It's still coming next spring

Video games mastermind Will Wright confirms Electronic Arts is planning on a spring 2008 release for the much-awaited "Spore."

Thanks to my good friends over at GameSpot, I can now finally let out my breath: Spore is going to come out next spring.

For nearly two years, Spore, the next title from The Sims mastermind Will Wright, was all people in the video games industry could talk about. Well, OK, maybe not the only thing, but one of the major ones.

Then, suddenly, people stopped talking about it as its launch date slipped and slipped and no one knew when, or even if, it would come out.

But according to GameSpot, Wright went on BBC Radio Five Live yesterday and issued the kind of proclamation that, to video game fans, is matched only by major news events like the end of World War II and the Apollo 11 going to the moon.

'Spore' has one of the most imaginative and intuitive character-generation systems in video game history. Alice Taylor/

So, perhaps I exaggerate a little bit. But maybe only a little. Spore represents a new generation of games, the so-called massively single-player game, and countless people have been very eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get their hands on its incredible character generator, to play in its exponentially evolving levels, as your sporelike character joins a colony and then a village and then a city and then a whole planet and then leaps into space and so on and so on.

I've played with Spore a little bit and I love it. Who knows what the game will end up being like, but what I've seen so far, I've been blown away.

Accuse me of being a cheerleader, but I say Wright and his team get the benefit of the doubt.

However, it was troubling that Electronic Arts kept delaying and delaying the game's launch. It was originally supposed to be released this year, but the date kept slipping.

So, it was reassuring that EA is finally willing to let Wright talk about a release date.

According to GameSpot, the BBC quoted Wright as saying Spore would be "roughly available in six months' time."

And as for why the game was delayed in the first place, Wright seemed to indicate that he had been putting it through some pretty rigorous testing, all in the hopes of reaching a mainstream audience with it.

"I'd like the people who played The Sims to be able to play Spore," Wright told the BBC. "I don't want it to be just (for) hard-core gamers."