With the release of Spore looming, designer Will Wright says the tremendous amount of hype surrounding the game has him concerned that people's expectations will be way out of line with reality.
Wright talked with Game Informer about the pressure of developing and releasing a high-profile game like Spore, which was tagged as a can't-miss, flagship franchise long before a release date was even confirmed. "I think it's just too much hype," he said. "About a year ago, we were realizing how much hype we were getting and we decided we should start to say that it's going to suck just to de-hype it."
"There is a certain amount of pressure. When people don't know much about something, they tend to fill in the blanks the way you want them to be filled in. That's true of almost anything," he continued. "Then, when the actual thing comes out some people will be disappointed that it's not 'hardcore enough' or it's not 'easy enough' or that we didn't do this or that. We've got to the point any additional hype isn't serving us well. It's a concern."
He also addressed questions about whether or not Spore is a commentary on the debate surrounding the theory of evolution. "For most people, a million years is about the same as a billion years, but they are vastly different," he said. "Most people can't begin to comprehend those time scales. So, you look at something as complex as a human being and you wonder, 'How could this have possibly evolved?' But when you take into account how many generations it's been happening, it's pretty remarkable."
"If you look at the game, you're actually in the role of an intelligent designer - or not-so-intelligent, depending on the player," he continued, laughing. "I've seen people on the internet debating whether Spore was promoting intelligent design or evolution. Just getting people to have that discussion is worthwhile, but I personally fall very much on the evolution side of things."
Spore is set to be released on September 5 in Europe and September 7 in North America for Windows and OS X-based PCs. Game Informer's full interview with Will Wright can be read here.