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Maxis' Johnson: Spore A 'Long-Term Franchise'

Talking as part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview, Spore designer and former Civ IV lead Soren Johnson has been discussing the franchise's path, s
Talking as part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview, Spore designer and former Civ IV lead Soren Johnson has been discussing the franchise's path, suggesting "there are definitely long, long-term plans for Spore" beyond its initial September release. Discussing the state of the project as it gets closer to its release date, after a long and high-profile development cycle, Johnson explained: "The high-level decision-makers on the project are really casting a really wide net. I think they assembled a wide variety of people to try and hit on this. It's a big challenge. I definitely know what the break-even number is, but there are definitely long, long-term plans for Spore. So I think that EA is giving this, not in terms initially of what this project is going to do, but as something that's going to become a long-term franchise for EA and be one of the big things that EA is known for. For the first product, I think it's important to just put our best foot forward. I don't think they're obsessed with the profit margins off the first one. We'd love to have a million people buy it, but we'll see." Elsewhere in this section of the interview, former Firaxis veteran Johnson explains what his relatively public role on the project currently is, noting: "I'm kind of there as an advocate for the gamers, but I'm not doing it dogmatically. I'm not saying, 'It's got to be this way.' I'm just reminding people, 'Hey, here are a few things about group select that you might want to consider doing. Double-clicking on these items will select all units, or all of the same type on-screen,' or whatever. I'm just reminding people these things that gamers may expect... and trying to balance it for the gamer, including obvious things like difficulty level." You can now read the full Gamasutra interview with Maxis' Johnson, including lots more fascinating detail on the evolution of the game, its different sublevels, and comments on the state of the Civilization franchise.

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