Spore is a simulation computer game designed by Will Wright that is developed by Maxis and published by EA Games. Wright has a history of designing innovative, successful games like The Sims and SimCity, and Spore appears likely to continue that trend. It is remarkable both for the innovative technology of the game design, as well as the expansive range of sci-fi game play.
Spore is, at first glance, an evolution game: the player molds and guides a creature across many generations of evolution, until it becomes intelligent, at which point, the scope of the game expands to encompass a broader range of social evolution. This is achieved by first giving the player control over a lone creature (designed by the player him/herself) until the creature begins a tribe of his own, at which point a tribal real-time strategy aspect is incorporated into the game by war with other tribes. The player then begins molding and guiding his creature's society into a space-faring civilization, where the player and his creatures begin to colonize other planets and eventually control a galactic empire.
Spore's main innovation, the basis of its scope and customizability, is that Wright has moved into procedural generation of content.
At E3 2005, the game won the following Critics Awards: Best of Show, Best Original Game, Best PC Game, and Best Simulation Game.
Answering a question about game-play, Wright said that, "There are games that let their players feel like Luke Skywalker. I want players to feel like George Lucas." The game-play has been described to be a mixture of Pac-Man, Diablo, Mr. Potatohead, Erectorset, Clay, Populous, SimCity, Legos, Civilization, Destroy All Humans, and Kid Pix at various stages of game-play.
Maxis had approximately 70 developers working on Spore, most earning six-figure salaries. It took an estimated US$30 million to develop the game.
Spore can also be played without the CD after installing it.
EA Games has come under heavy criticism for its Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions with Spore as it may only be installed five (5) times on three (3) different machines (a reformatted machine counts as a different machine). After this limit is reached the game will no longer activate. Consumer groups have complained that this prevents people from really owning the game because they are effectively renting it from EA Games for a limited period of time. This decision is reflected in Spore's poor sales figures.