Will Wright spoke to GamesIndustry International after he gave a lecture at the University of California’s Santa Cruz. During the interview he said EA’s SimCity server problems were “inexcusable.”
When the discussion turned to the launch of Sim City Online, Wright was quick to declare his first thought. “I feel bad for the team,” Wright said. Beyond that, Wright had some definite opinions about the launch. “I could have predicted – I kind of did predict there’d be a big backlash about the DRM stuff. It’s a good game; I enjoy playing it a lot.” Still, Wright understands the audience response. “It was kind of like, ‘EA is the evil empire, there was a lot of ‘Let’s bash EA over it,'” Wright said. “That was basically inexcusable, that you charge somebody $60 for a game and they can’t play it. I can understand the outrage. If I was a consumer buying the game and that happened to me, I’d feel the same.”
Wright also talked about the state of EA and the general direction of the industry. He noted that Google’s recent hiring of veteran game designer Noah Falstein was probably related to their efforts to get better at understanding games.