At a time when the celebrity developer (see Chuck’s man-love for Tim Schafer) seems to be a dying breed, one of the most known is leaving his gig to start his own entertainment company. According to USA Today, Will Wright (creator of the Sims and Spore) will be leaving
EA to create a new entertainment venture called Stupid Fun Club
with the intention of creating the ideas that will eventually be turned into games, TV shows internet properties and toys. EA will be investing in the company, so there is a good shot they will get first dibs on many of the ideas that come from within its walls. This seems like the way I would want to go out. Create a mega hit and then retire to the simple pleasures of cranking out ideas and collecting residual checks without the hassle of implementation. Good stuff.
[EDIT: DAN] Added the orginal press release that was shuffled down in my inbox...
Will Wright and EA Partner on Stupid Fun Club
Legendary Game Designer to Explore New Projects
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- Apr 08, 2009 Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) announced today that EA is making an equity investment in Stupid Fun Club, Will Wright's new adventure. Stupid Fun Club is an entertainment think tank developing new Intellectual Properties to be deployed across multiple fronts including video games, movies, television, the internet, and toys. Will Wright is leaving EA to run Stupid Fun Club.
EA and Will each own equal percentages of Stupid Fun Club and are the principal shareholders. In addition, EA has the right to develop game concepts that spring from Stupid Fun Club projects. Will Wright is represented by Creative Artists Agency.
“The entertainment industry is moving rapidly into an era of revolutionary change,” said Will Wright. “Stupid Fun Club will explore new possibilities that are emerging from this sublime chaos and create new forms of entertainment on a variety of platforms. In my twelve years at EA, I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside some of the brightest and most talented game developers in the industry and I look forward to working with them again in the near future.”
“We believe in Will’s vision for Stupid Fun Club and we’re looking forward to partnering with Will and his team long into the future,” said John Riccitiello, EA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Will is a great designer and he’s been part of a great legacy of globally recognized game franchises like The Sims, SimCity and Spore. The teams that have been leading those franchises in recent years have a lot of exciting content coming.”
“Will has been an inspiration to our teams, and it’s been rewarding for us to bring his ideas to life,” said Lucy Bradshaw, VP and General Manager at Maxis. “In addition to legendary games, Will’s legacy at EA will be the many talented people who worked with him and will now continue to contribute their own vision to the art of game development.”
Will Wright created Maxis with Jeff Braun in 1989, which was acquired by EA in 1997. Will is the visionary designer of blockbuster game concepts like Spore™, The Sims™ and SimCity™. Lucy Bradshaw, VP and General Manager at Maxis™, will continue to run Maxis and the Spore franchise. Lucy’s team is working on the upcoming expansion pack, Spore Galactic Adventures, as well as other game concepts including Spore Hero, Spore Hero Arena and Spore Creature Keeper. Rod Humble is head of the EA™ Play Label and his team will launch The Sims 3 in June of this year.