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Spore Creature Creator lets gamers play God

June 17, 2008 |  2:18 pm
Spore creatures

Will Wright figured out the power of user-created content long before YouTube.

The creator of The Sims, a game franchise that has sold more than 100 million copies since 2000, set off a tidal wave of fan-submitted short movies, all told using footage from The Sims. At first, the stories were uploaded to the company's website. Today, a YouTube search for "The Sims" yielded about 121,000 videos. One of our favorites: A video uploaded by Sims publisher Electronic Arts of Lily Allen singing "Smile" -- in Simlish.

Spore logoNow Wright and the developers at his EA-owned game studio, Maxis, are giving players a sneak peek at their next big game, Spore. The studio today launched its Spore Creature Creator, a program that lets players make their own organisms, kinda like Mr. Potato Head on steroids. The full version costs $9.99, but Maxis is offering a smaller version for free.

So what can people do with the three-legged bunnies they create? On Sept. 5, Maxis will release Spore, the playground where these creatures can romp and rule the galaxy -- if they can survive. The idea is to grow beasties that can evolve, form tribes, build cities, conquer distant galaxies and fulfill every megalomaniac's dreams.

-- Alex Pham

Image of Spore creatures and game logo courtesy of Electronic Arts.