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Will Wright's Stupid Fun Club Pursuing Three 'Play Industry' Projects

Spore and The Sims creator Will Wright left EA in April for Stupid Fun Club, where he is working with a small team on three mysterious, broadly defined projects made for the "play industry."
When Spore and The Sims creator Will Wright left Electronic Arts and Maxis to focus on his "entertainment think tank" called Stupid Fun Club, there were a lot of questions about what exactly he was up to -- would he be building robots full-time? And there are still questions about what Stupid Fun Club is doing. But in an interview this week with Venture Beat, Wright explained further the breadth of his new endeavor. Asked if the games industry is in his past, Wright replied, "I feel we are still in [the games industry], because a couple of projects [Stupid Fun Club is working on] are games." He added, "We are taking the games industry into other areas. We are expanding what we call the 'play industry.' Games are limited in some ways. Play can be applied to so many different kinds of experiences." The "think tank" is "pursuing three [projects] pretty aggressively," Wright said. "We might get up to four or five. I want to stay pretty focused. We have a lot of ideas that we want to do. But it’s just three now." Wright and his team of about a dozen people are incorporating the web into all of Stupid Fun Club's current projects. "The web is like the connective tissue in entertainment today," he said. When Wright announced his departure from EA in April this year, the publisher also revealed that from that point forward, it will co-own Stupid Fun Club, which broadly works on developing new cross-media IP for games, movies, TV and toys. EA has the right to develop game concepts that emerge from the think tank, and both the company and Wright have an equal stake. But for Wright and his team, which is primarily made up of people he's worked with for at least 10 years, there's more room to approach the idea of "play" from multiple angles, as compared with his old job at EA. "It’s fun. I’m able to work on projects that are much broader than I could at Electronic Arts," Wright said.

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