New game genre taps into players' creativity

Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:57pm EST
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By John Gaudiosi

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters Life!) - Enabling videogame players to help make games as well as play them is becoming more than just a fad due to Electronic Arts' "Spore" and Sony Computer Entertainment's "LittleBigPlanet."

New expansions of "Spore" from Electronic Arts' Maxis studio continue to put creativity in the hands of gamers, and a sequel is in the works for "LittleBigPlanet," both of which stand out with their user-generated content.

"Spore" is essentially a collection of editing tools that allows players to create creatures and then guide them through evolution with over 65 million player-made creatures, spaceships, and buildings so far posted on

After unleashing "Spore" on the PC, "Spore Creatures" on Nintendo DS and "Spore Origins" on mobile phones last September, EA has a quartet of new games planned for this year.

"Spore Galactic Creatures," the first expansion pack for the PC game, will ship this spring while "Spore Creature Keeper," a stand-alone PC game aimed at younger gamers, is set for summer.

Nintendo gamers will get a pair of more action-oriented titles this fall, including "Spore Hero" for Wii and "Spore Hero Arena" for Nintendo DS.

While the popular franchise "The Sims" and its many expansion packs and cross-platform extensions have sold over 100 million units worldwide, Lucy Bradshaw, vice president in charge of production at EA Maxis, said "Spore" is EA's number one new game launch in history and the fastest-selling EA game ever.

Bradshaw said global sales of all "Spore" games have topped 3 million units with an additional 6 million free downloads of the basic "Creature Creator" editing tool.   Continued...

<p>An EA representative demonstrates the game's mechanics of the title "Spore" to journalists at a demonstration in New York February 13, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>