Spore creator Will Wright says he’s not too surprised by the varied critical reaction to the game, adding that he’d rather have low review scores and high sales than the other way around.
Speaking to MTV Multiplayer, Wright said the development team was aware early on that the game’s use of different genres in various stages of gameplay would result in mixed feedback, as players “clicked” with different parts of the game.
“The feedback we’re getting from people is that everyone has some level they like and some level they don’t like,” he said. “A lot of the reviews I’ve read have said that the Space Stage was far and away the best and they were disappointed by the earlier stages because they were too simple. Other people have said the Creature Stage is their favorite and that the Space Stage seems too complicated. We knew, since we were using different genres with every level, that everyone would have ones they really clicked with and ones they didn’t.”
“We were very focused, if anything, on making a game for more casual players,” he continued, addressing complaints that the game was “dumbed down” in order to appeal to a wider audience. “Spore has more depth than, let’s say, The Sims did. But we looked at the Metacritic scores for Sims 2, which was around 90, and something like Half-Life, which was 97, and we decided – quite awhile back – that we would rather have the Metacritic and sales of Sims 2 than the Metacritic and sales of Half-Life.”
“Part of this, in some sense, was: Can we teach a Sims player to play an RTS?” he said. “I think the complexity we ended up with was toward that group.”
Of course, it’s not as though Spore has crashed and burned. The game is currently sitting with a more-than-respectable 87 score at Metacritic – although admittedly, in light of the game’s pre-release hype, that mark may be a bit lower than EA had hoped for.