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Playtesting and making the game accessible to casual gamers key, says Sims creator

Will Wright explains Spore’s protracted production

In an interview with Radio 5 Live yesterday, EA’s Will Wright discussed the protracted development of his upcoming game Spore, explaining that the near-finished game is currently undergoing a rigorous period of playtesting.

Unveiled at GDC 2005, Spore – the latest game from the man who created The Sims – has been hotly watched by other developers and awaited by retail although the game hasn’t been given a firm release.

However, Wright quashed any fears over development troubles, explaining:

"It’s a very ambitious game, as you might imagine. The players are creating all of the content.

"We have the game fully playable at this point and it’s in final testing. We’ve had to do a lot of testing to make sure that the game is accessible by a wide group of people. I want the people who have played The Sims to be able to play Spore – I don’t want it to be some thing just hardcore gamers play.

Wright explained the strategy includes inviting casual gamers into the studio to "watch them play, see where they get stuck, what’s too hard, too easy".

"It’s in the homestretch right now," he added, but refused to confirm a date when quizzed by host Phil Williams, only conceding that the game was "roughly" six months away from release.

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