Gaming industry faces: William W. Wright

Jan 23 2019 4 min read
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Will Wright was born in Atlanta, the USA on January 20, 1960. Yes, he recently celebrated his 59th birthday. He lost his father at a rather early age (9 years old), and his family was forced to change the city of residence. And then Hideo comes to mind. 

Wright changed 3 educational institutions after school graduation, but he never received a diploma after 5 years of study. The games took a lot of time. He became interested in the topic of cyborgs and robots during his studies.

The first computer game created by William, called Raid on Bungeling Bay was the helicopter action and was released in 1984.

Mr Wright, along with Jeff Brown, founded a computer games development company Maxis in 1987. Will was different from many of his fellow developers in that he was particularly drawn to everything that could “be created and developed.” And in 1989, they released the hit game The SimCity, which marked the beginning of the universe of games from the line of The Sims. Later he participated in the development of such games as SimEarth (1990), SimAnt (1991) and SimCopter (1996), but they were never so successful as The Sims.

EA Games bought Maxis in 1997. They give the go-ahead to the development of the Will Wright's new idea, which was previously rejected by the board of directors of Maxis, a game resembling an interactive Dollhouse. The Sims was released in 2000, becoming the best-selling game and generating a lot of add-ons and new games. EA Games allocated a small budget for its development because they didn’t place the high hopes of the game. The company believed that the audience of the game would be children of primary and secondary school age and the number of copies could be no more than 150 thousand. How wrong they were. The Sims has become a phenomenon that has changed the game industry. The life simulator topped the list of best-selling games in 2001 and was also in the ranking in 2002. The Sims game has created the basis for a series of games that are still very popular.

The easter eggs in The Sims games associated with Will Wright:

  • There are streets named after him (Wright Way) in the towns of Pleasantview and Downtown in The Sims: Hot Date; 
  • The big stone head of Will Wright is among the decorations for the cities in The Sims 2 (it is already installed in Strangetown);
  • The applicants with advanced logic skills are given scholarships by Will Wright Genius Grant in The Sims 2: University; 
  • The sims, walking up a beanstalk, can see the giant Will Wright in The Sims: Makin' Magic.

Will Wright put his hand to the creation of The Sims 2 (2004) and then switched to a new project - Spore (2008). How does it feel to be the creator of a new direction in the gaming industry, which has gained a multi-million army of fans around the world? William does not consider himself as a game developer, rather the creator of toys. His approach to the development of games and the choice of the plot for them was influenced by studying at the Montessori school, which he attended up to the 6th grade. According to the method of Maria Montessori, children are much more interested in the things they learn during the game themselves. As well as the fact that children learn from their mistakes, and if they discover something themselves, they are more imbued with this - all this is the basis of the games that Will develops. They are the modern Montessori toys, as he told during the TED conference. He thoroughly and with the facts said about how he came to the idea of the Spore game.

Will was forced to leave EA Games because of disagreements over the project. The company wanted to increase prices, thereby increasing profitability, but Wright wanted a different quality and a creative approach to project development.

Will are inactive on his social networks, his Twitter and Facebook accounts look abandoned.

Mr Wright is working on a new project now: the Proxi game.

“Proxi is a game, an experiment for the player to create and tune their own personal AI, their own proxi. The player controls the concepts and memories which are the building blocks of their proxi. In the game world, they can sculpt these memories into a fantastic world of experience and exploration.”

The mobile version of the Proxi game will be released in late 2019.

Who else wanted to remember the old days after reading the article and play The Sims or Spore, except me?


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