'Sims' patriarch Wright leaves EA for new game


"The Sims" creator Will Wright is leaving game publisher Electronic Arts to run an entertainment think tank focused on creating original content for games, movies, toys, TV and the Internet.

EA will be a backer of the new venture, called Stupid Fun Club, with Wright and the gamemaker owning equal shares. In a first for the gaming industry, EA also has a five-year first-look option on Stupid Fun Club content. CAA, which represents Wright, brokered the deal.

"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," Wright said Wednesday.

One of the best-known developers in the game industry for his creation of the "Sims" franchise, Wright spent much of the past few years on "Spore," an ambitious PC game that encourages user-generated content and has sold 2 million copies since its 2008 release.

Wright has been with EA since it acquired Maxis Software, the company Wright co-founded, in 1997. Sources said Stupid Fun Club will enable Wright to spread his wings creatively, with EA, through its investment, getting a chance to participate and profit from ideas and content targeted at mediums and platforms outside of gaming. (partialdiff)