Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Entertainment Games

Spore Delayed Until Q2 2008 107

Posted by Zonk
from the no-terraforming-until-next-year-go-home dept.
georgewilliamherbert writes "CNet has the news that EA is reporting a slight loss for the quarter. It expects profits for the year to fall short about ten cents, hitting a high of $1.20 as opposed to the expected $1.31. The company's share price was down 3% in extended trading yesterday. The reason for these adjustments? EA reluctantly announced that Spore has been delayed until Q2 2008. ' Redwood City, Calif.-based Electronic Arts said it taken out Spore, a game where players build organisms from scratch, from its financial projections for the fiscal year ending in March 2008, adding that the game could be delayed until fiscal 2009. In the fourth quarter ended March 31, the company said its net loss widened to $25 million, or 8 cents per share, from $16 million, or 5 cents, in the year-earlier period. Excluding items, the company earned 6 cents per share versus 14 cents in the year-earlier period.'" From a technology perspective, this thing seems at least as complicated as some Massive games; makes perfect sense it would take about as long to build this title as a game in that genre.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Spore Delayed Until Q2 2008

Comments Filter:
  • by AmIAnAi (975049) * on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @08:49AM (#19050415)
    The main Spore code is on schedule and almost complete, its just that they wanted to include Duke Nukem Forever as a side mission.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Hey, they'll release Spore and Duke Nuke 'Em Forever WHEN THEY'RE READY. And by "when they're ready" the developers, of course, mean "As soon as we can get to Tahiti with the suitcases full of investors' cash."
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Shark (78448)
      Nah, they're too busy *playing* it internally and pretending to be working.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sammy baby (14909)
      Unfortunately for the developers, they didn't actually develop the DNF side-mission code themselves - they're letting it evolve directly within the game. Unfortunately, the element of chance involved means that they'll have to play it an infinite number of times before DNF-evolution appears in the game...
    • Although seriously, why is it taking so long to complete Spore development? The preview movies showcased what looked like a near-complete experience. Surely, beyond a few bugs and a bit of extra media, it can't have been too far away from being a playable game. Are they being perfectionists or maybe all was not what it seemed with those demonstrations. I'm guessing that more than a few cheap hacks were made to present the illusion of a grandiose game of evolution when it was probably a few not-so-impres
      • by Bobartig (61456)
        The preview movies and demos are scripted and designed to look good. You can take a pre-alpha build, polish up one part of it, implement everything 1/100 as well as it needs to be to actually ship, and give a demo that looks like a complete game. Then, you go back, actually write the engines for all the effects you were faking, and it takes months/years/whatever to actually make the game.

        Maybe they used scripted events instead of actual AI. Maybe the objects only interact correctly on that particular level.
      • I thought two thoughts whaen I saw that demo; 1) I must buy this game. (I haven't thought that since Quake.) 2. The promise is fabulous, but tuning the gameplay is going to be a big challenge.

        From the state of the demos, we know what is being worked on; gameplay. And I, for one, am willing to wait untill Will is happy with it.

      • by LKM (227954)
        As somebody who has to sometimes demo in-development software to potential customers, I can tell you that what you see often has no correlation to what is there. You can have 10% of the software and demo it in a way that the viewer thinks you have 100%, simply by going through the parts that are there and doing it in a way that looks as if you could go to other parts.
    • by rishistar (662278) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @01:01PM (#19053589) Homepage
      I think they just want to see how many years they can keep winning Games Critics Awards Best Original Game at E3 [gamecriticsawards.com].
  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @08:51AM (#19050437)
    Man, this game is great! Wow! ... Ok, it's delayed. Ok, another delay. Hm, ok, that preview doesn't look as impressive as it once did. Man, this game isn't really all that good.
    • by paeanblack (191171) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @10:11AM (#19051189)
      Man, this game is great! Wow! ... Ok, it's delayed. Ok, another delay. Hm, ok, that preview doesn't look as impressive as it once did. Man, this game isn't really all that good.

      If a game can stop being "all that good" with the passage of time, then it was never great to begin with.
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        Duh. That's the point of my comment.

        Black and White had years of hype-machine following it, proclaiming it the best game ever with the best AI, most creative premise, best writing, etc. All the magazines and websites had previews. Then as the months dragged on and it was delayed, the hype started to dissolve. Then when people actually played the game, the hype disappeared... turns out the game was never that great to begin with.

        Same thing could happen to Spore. Look at how much hype "The Movies" got before
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Chyeld (713439)

          Black and White had years of hype-machine following it, proclaiming it the best game ever with the best AI, most creative premise, best writing, etc. All the magazines and websites had previews. Then as the months dragged on and it was delayed, the hype started to dissolve. Then when people actually played the game, the hype disappeared... turns out the game was never that great to begin with. Same thing could happen to Spore. Look at how much hype "The Movies" got before it came out, and what impact has it had on the industry? Next to none.

          There is a trend that you are missing in the examples you are providing, one that is far more telling as to why those games were well hyped flops and why few people fear the same about Spore.

          Hint: The initials P.M. come into play.

          I'm not saying Sid's games don't have their faults, and I'm especially starting to feel burned by the combo of "publish and forget" and "one million and one expansion packs!" business strategies that Maxis has adopted under EA. But publishing games while failing to deliver

          • by Chyeld (713439)
            And given we were talking about names, I have absolutely no idea why I typed Sid when I was thinking Will. Though both Sid Meier and Will Wright have a "I'm willing to give alot of leeway due to past results" flag next to their name in my brain.
            • by mqduck (232646)
              Don't beat yourself up. I make that same mistake all the time, and I have about as much ability to explain it as you do. Sid Meier himself has admitted many times that Civilization was his taking Sim City to a grander scale. So... yeah.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        If a game can stop being "all that good" with the passage of time, then it was never great to begin with.

        True. It can just get identified as vaporware over time.

        I honestly thought that was a released game since I seem to remember hearing about it quite some time ago.

        Going from "almost ready in 2007" to "possibly as late as 2009" puts it into the category of more hype than substance. Then you really have to doubt the validity of any previews you saw of it. Did we see actual game components, or something w

      • I must point out that all the hype about spore has been generated by people excited about the concept. They've only released one demo reel, and a GDC presentation, meant for developer consumption.
    • by sinner6 (884407)
      It's more like, wow this is the greatest game ever. Oh my god black and white is the greatest.

      ...after 3 hours of play...

      Ok that was fun whats on TV?
    • The title of the article was wrong, it was supposed to read "Spore delayed until Q2 next evolutionary cycle."
  • by illeism (953119) * on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @08:54AM (#19050455)
    By the time this comes out it will have become a full-fledged fern...
    Also - insert DNF joke
  • Mac Support (Score:5, Funny)

    by vertigoCiel (1070374) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @08:55AM (#19050467)
    Hopefully this extra time will allow them to release Spore on more than just the PC at launch. Will Wright has said he wants to port this game to as many platforms as possible, and I'm praying for a simultaneous OS X release.
    • by Kimos (859729) <kimos.slashdot@g ... SD.com minus bsd> on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @10:20AM (#19051305) Homepage
      It's a sad state of affairs when hoping for a Mac release of a game that's a year and a half away gets you modded +5 Funny.
      • Especially at a time when Apple is supposed to be experiencing a Renaissance in market share. *sigh* I suppose there's still Alpha Centauri...
        • by Draconix (653959)
          Which doesn't have a supported OS X version. (It does have an OS X version of sorts, but from what I've gathered, it barely works.)
          • There is a Carbon version developed by Westwood Interactive, and it works almost flawlessly - some unit animations don't work, and sometimes the base screen locks up, but it works well enough for me. The problem is finding a Mac copy of the game to use.
    • by TwoBit (515585)
      Much of the underlying code for Spore runs on any platform. It is developed and tested for Windows, XBox 360, PS3, Wii, OS X, and Linux. This is not to say that Spore is targeted at all these platforms, it is merely to say that the underlying code supports those platforms.
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by shaitand (626655)
      I wouldn't hold my breath for an OS X release after buying a mac nobody can afford spore. I am hoping a Linux release is around the corner.

  • At least this gives me another year to find a throw-away laptop capable of running the thing... Somehow I don't think a RagePro Mobile would cut it.
    • by rbarreira (836272)
      No, in the meantime the code will get bloated enough to warrant the need for a better computer...
  • by zyl0x (987342) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @09:06AM (#19050559)
    Will Wright is dead. They're just delaying the game because they don't want to upset anyone. It's like Weekend At Bernie's, but not funny anymore.

    ..I guess that makes it more like Weekend At Bernie's 2.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      I *KNEW* he smelled slightly worse than normal at the last developers' conference! That explains it!
      • Was there music constantly playing whenever he appeared in public?
        • by elrous0 (869638) *
          No, but several people did think it was strange when he didn't float in on a cloud of his own ego, the way he has at past conferences.
    • by Odin's Raven (145278) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @01:20PM (#19054007)

      Will Wright is dead. They're just delaying the game because they don't want to upset anyone.

      I thought the delay was due to them using the game to re-evolve a replacement Will Wright. Last I'd heard they've achieved a coder with three brains and six eyes, but only one foot and no hands. They've been trying to teach it to code by hopping up and down on a large keyboard, but it's not working out very well. (I believe they've nicknamed the creature "Won't Write".)

  • by CJSlim2001 (988471) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @09:10AM (#19050591) Homepage
    is the programmers got a DMCA take down notice for code within the game. Seem that someone emailed the MPAA, letting them know that all species in Spore are created in hex. Guess they took offense to highly aggressive baboons and HD-DVD sharing 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0.
  • I hate EA, why must they torture me so! now i have to find something to suck up my life until next year ...maybe i should take up WoW...
  • Perhaps someone should design a game where the object is to successfully produce a game. You would have to manage artists, programmers, marketers, and get it finished before your stock price drops, your bussiness fails, and you become the next Duke Nuken Forever joke.

    Spore seems fairly entertaining when you have a comedian play it. Robbin Willians [youtube.com]
    • Re:Game or Metagame (Score:4, Informative)

      by denominateur (194939) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @09:43AM (#19050869) Homepage
      That has actually been done and is called GameTycoon http://www.gametycoon.de/ [gametycoon.de] (site is in german) A review can be found here: http://www.strategyinformer.com/pc/gametycoon/revi ew.html [strategyinformer.com]
      • I love how the game is titled "Game Tycoon" but the website is hosted in Germany and is all in German.
        • by LKM (227954)
          Probably because the name is supposed to fit in with all the other "* Tycoon" games.
      • by Zeussy (868062)
        Don't forget Segagaga. Quote from good ol wikipedia:

        Set in the year 2025, the story depicts Sega with only a 3% share of the market. In Oota City, Tokyo (where Sega was first set up in Japan 1951), the company forms 'Project Segagaga': a plan to save SEGA from its main competitor, the evil DOGMA. As part of Project Segagaga, Sega takes two teenagers Taro Sega (the player's character) and Yayoi Haneda, and employ them to guide Sega to the top of the market.

        Was one of Sega's final games from the Dreamcast
      • by shaitand (626655)
        Come now, if the game is in German it doesn't really count. Only things released and published natively in English have a chance of breaking the quality barrier.

        Why do we still have all these backwoods languages anyway?
  • I don't understand why everyone is so hyped for Spore. It seems like it's just the sims but you can make creatures. Maybe I just don't buy the marketing about evolurionary traits or whatever, but spore looks like another person/animal raising sim which will have set paths no matter wgat they claim.
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      If you always assume they are lying, no games would look appealing before launch. 'They say MMO X is going to have free-roam. They always lie, so it won't have that.'

      Why do you assume they are lying about the evolution aspect of this game? They put out videos like a year ago that showed how you can choose where the body parts go, how many there are, what they are, etc, and the computer will calculate how the animal moves.

      I'm a little fuzzy on why it's taking so long, though, since there's no 'plot' and n
      • See the way it's implied is you can do 'any thing' which to me personally seems more marketing than truth. Maybe I'm wrong and this will be some huge amazing thing, but I just have the feeling it will have like 3 types of animals with just different parts you can attach to them like so many other games.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          It's been shown that you can shape the main body of your creature however you want, only the mouth, feet, hands, etc. are pre-made pieces, and you can place them wherever you like. And there's 30+ of each to choose from, not to mention the whole automatic animation and texturing system.

          If you don't believe me just go look on youtube for the videos from the various E3 and GDC demos.
          • by shaitand (626655)
            Thats cool but if you are picking everything, then how is it evolution?
            • It's more that the game forces you to slowly improve your own creature, in a sort of cross between creationism and evolution :)
            • by LKM (227954)
              I think it's actually more of a god game than an evolution game. There is evolution (the creature does not stay the same for the whole game), but the gamer is controlling it.
              • by shaitand (626655)
                Whats so revolutionary about that? It wouldn't have the sweet 3d graphics but I could make a game that works on that concept in a couple weeks.

                I thought the whole point was that the game uses advanced AI to simulate evolution. This sounds more like a digital Barbie dress up game.
                • by LKM (227954)

                  Whats so revolutionary about that? It wouldn't have the sweet 3d graphics but I could make a game that works on that concept in a couple weeks.

                  I like your proposal and I'm looking forward to the game. Please send me your homepage and I'll check it out in a couple of weeks.

                  I thought the whole point was that the game uses advanced AI to simulate evolution. This sounds more like a digital Barbie dress up game.

                  I'm not sure where you got that idea. Advanced AI? Like a neuronal net? I've never heard anything like this when people talked about the game. The most advanced thing in the game seems to be the character editor, which figures out how the character moves and fights based on how you create it.

                  It's somewhat unfair the judge the game based on your own unfounded expectations :-

                  • by shaitand (626655)
                    'm not sure where you got that idea. Advanced AI? Like a neuronal net? I've never heard anything like this when people talked about the game. The most advanced thing in the game seems to be the character editor, which figures out how the character moves and fights based on how you create it.'

                    The homepage where it talks about the creators evolving through the various stages.

                    'It's somewhat unfair the judge the game based on your own unfounded expectations :-)'

                    Maybe I've misunderstood but there is nothing revo
                    • by LKM (227954)

                      The homepage where it talks about the creators evolving through the various stages.

                      Actually, these are like different kinds of games inside Spore. You start out as a cell inside some slimy goo (I think), which is kind of an arcade game. Then you progress to the next "evolutionary" stage, but as far as I can tell (I haven't played the game, of course), but this is like a new game and not really based on the first gam.

                      I think we should all just wait until the game is finished before judging its revolutionary character.

      • by MeanderingMind (884641) * on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @10:22AM (#19051317) Homepage Journal
        I'm guessing they're having trouble with the following things.

        1. Inappropriate content management. How are they going to filter for crass people who make walking embodiments of MA material?

        2. Transitions. Moving from an amoeba to a fish isn't a boolean moment. If you watch the videos, you see them constantly skip the transitions and go from clearly an amoeboid to clearly a sea dweller to clearly a tribal society etc. Transitioning is obviously difficult to get right.

        3. Choices. There's a huge amount of fervor and expectation centered around this game, and I think they want to avoid "obvious" criticisms. Things such as "Why can't I have a creature with no legs?" "Can my creature have two brains?" "Why does my civilization have to be on land?"
        • by Falladir (1026636)
          ..."Why can't I have a flying creature?" "Why does my creature have to be symmetrical?" "How come it's attacking by biting when it could swing those mace-like appendages [youtube.com]?"

          I think what we'll find is that the engineering component of this game is lacking. In the demos, there are meters on the right-hand side of the screen when you build the creature, indicating various properties (they mentioned running speed. I imagine others include hit points and attack damage). I suspect that apart from looks, any
        • by carlfish (7229)
          I suspect that it's a bastard of a game to balance. There shouldn't be one particular race that's going to automatically have the best survival potential. If I want to make a race of peacenik herbivores, the game should make that both possible, and fun. If I hate the arcade sections at the front and want to get through them as quickly as I can to get to the strategic bits, the game shouldn't penalise me. If I love the arcade sections and get really good at them, the game shouldn't make me feel like I've was
      • Why do you assume they are lying about the evolution aspect of this game? They put out videos like a year ago that showed how you can choose where the body parts go, how many there are, what they are, etc, and the computer will calculate how the animal moves.

        This sounds more like Intelligent Design than evolution. Actually, now that I think about it, ID and evolution aren't mutually exclusive. ID and natural selection, however, are definitely mutex. I suppose a game in which your creatures evolved by natural selection would be more of a movie since it would require no participation (except the tweaking of universal constants, perhaps). And it would take forever.

        • by Aladrin (926209)
          Very true. I meant evolution as 'change in living species' rather than the theory that we all evolved through natural selection. It kind of saddens me that we have caused that word to have specific connotations that it shouldn't really have.

          Evolution through Intelligent Design and Evolution through Natural Selection are both theories and neither has been proven or disproven. It's especially hard since if God only made 1 small change right at the very beginning, it makes the whole thing ID and is nearly i
          • by 7Prime (871679)
            Definitely, I'm going to be interested to see if there's some major backlash. This game is basically saying, "okay, you want intelligent design? I'll GIVE YOU intelligent design!"

            It'll have a bunch of fundies yelling, "Hey... wait a minute... we don't mean THAT kind of intelligent design, we mean... ummm, like... creationism... uhhhh... fuck"

            And then we will all point our fingers and laugh because they used the taboo word that we've all come to shun, and they've used "intelligent design" as a euphemism for.
          • by ultranova (717540)

            This is hardly the first game where you 'play God', but I think it's probably the most complicated so far, and will probably be quite a bit more controversial than Black & White once the extremists find out.

            Actually, this sounds like Simlife [wikipedia.org] with 3D graphics. Which, IMHO, is the best God game this far, and deserves a new expanded version.

    • by rylin (688457)
      Remember Mega Lo Mania on the MegaDrive?
      Send cavemen, send armies, send nukes - kill off other "sectors".
      You need to send armies off to other sectors in order to figure out if they're occupied and what not.

      Spore is bigger than this.

      Some planets will have life, others won't.
      The ones that do have life will have it in different stages of development.

      If you do end up getting the technology to visit other planets, and for some reason don't like the hairstyle on the inhabitants (fucking hippies!) - don't just nuk
      • I remember mega lo mania and similar games and I see Spore as an evoluton of them but it's being sold as a universe simulator with infinity possibilities (they probably count each part 12 times for each colour knowing EA) which I just don't buy. The marketing hype is just too much for me to believe Spore will stand on it's own feet.

        Much like Doom 3, major ass hype and it lost out to HL2 because it wasn't just dark tunnels over and over. Not to mention Digimon world 3 on the PSX had hundreds of evolutions an
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by flargleblarg (685368)

        > Then again, I have fond memories of Mega Lo Mania, the early days of
        > Civ, Risk and what not to at least retain some modicum of hope for Spore.
        > I mean, YOU GET TO OBLITERATE PLANETS! :P

        The ability to obliterate a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

  • by polarbeer (809243) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @09:32AM (#19050773)
    Perhaps if Will Wright stopped appearing at every single games/computers/electronics conference, he would have more time to finish the game.

    Seriously, though: EA seems to think that Spore is such a unique game that it will sell no matter when it is released. I'm not sure about this. Plenty of companies are working on creating more dynamic and procedural content for games, such as the NaturalMotion software for simulating the human body. If EA/Wright keep postponing it, Spore will not feel like the quantum leap it was supposed to be.

     
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      At this point, he HAS to go to every conference. Getting back into his office would mean having to fight his way through EA investors with torches and pitchforks.
    • by Kuvter (882697)

      Plenty of companies are working on creating more dynamic and procedural content for games
      Which companies? What games?
      I think Spore is amazing because of the procedural modeling, texturing, animation, and sound. Please inform me of others to look into that compare to this.
  • phew (Score:4, Funny)

    by ObiWanStevobi (1030352) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @09:34AM (#19050799) Journal
    I was wondering how I was going to get the wife to allow another computer purchase this year. It's much more likely that I can convince her in Q2 2008.

    BTW, what is the record on longest development time for a game? In Q2 08, Spore will be just shy of a decade. IMO, anything Will Wright has spent nearly a decade on has to be truly awesome.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      That record goes to Duke Nukem Forever, which as its name indicates will be in development FOREVER!
    • by Mr.Madsen (986004)

      I was wondering how I was going to get the wife to allow another computer purchase this year. It's much more likely that I can convince her in Q2 2008.

      You're married to your mum?

      Glad I'm not the only one.
      ...We should hook up and share some stories.
  • Good (Score:2, Informative)

    by ALeavitt (636946) *
    They can delay the game as long as they want. I have always had good experiences with Wil Wright games, and I trust that when Spore finally does release it will be as polished and tested as possible. They're delaying it in order to release the best game possible. If they didn't, we'd be complaining about an incomplete, buggy game, and we would finally see a patch to instate full functionality... oh, around Q2 2008. Either that, or they're all just playing Spore so much that they can't get any work done.
  • by Coucho (1039182)
    You can't cut back on funding! YOU WILL REGRET THIS!!!
  • Does anyone actually care? I have seen dozens of interviews and previews about Spore but have yet to meet one person who is actually excited about the game. From everything I have gathered its just another twist on the digital sandbox idea. This reminds me of the Hype when Maxis was creating Sim Life and Sim Earth, they pushed the crap out of it but in the end they were scientifically brilliant but just werent fun to play.
    • by kazilin (802304)
      Well, you clearly don't know the right people. At least half of my friends are hyped about it, myself included. Honestly - it's far better to have a good, well-made game, either with a phenomenal story or phenomenal gameplay; preferably both. Games are best when able to play them repeatedly for years to come - like an entertainment investment or something along those lines. If it's done right, I'd wait another 5 years for the blasted thing - make a game replayable, and I for one will be willing to wait howe
  • I see all these people saying that the developers are playing Spore instead of working on it. Since Spore is supposed to transmit your successful creature designs into a grand central database to seed other people's games with, does that mean that they could fly under the radar by playing the game to build the release content?

    PHB: "You're way behind. What have you been spending you're time on the last X weeks?"

    Developer: "I've...uh...been busily creating end user content! In fact, added another 12
  • At what point do we start demanding that game companies keep their mouths shut about games until they are X % done? Like say 95%. Or Beta or something. I've been disappointed by delays in this game one too many times. That's it Spore, you're off my "Games to Watch For" list.

    So sad.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Half-Life was two years late. Half-Life 2 was 18 months late. World of Warcraft was two years late. E.T. shipped on time. Any questions?
  • It expects profits for the year to fall short about ten cents, hitting a high of $1.20 as opposed to the expected $1.31.

    Even I manage to make more than $1.31 profit in a year. They're clearly just not trying. On the positive side, perhaps they can make up the difference with a quick hoover down the back of the sofa.
  • I don't know why it isn't being released in stages. I'm sure the idea has been floated once a month, or maybe once an afternoon. I've always had trouble accepting that a game this large and ill-defined can be completed in one fell swoop. If nothing else, maybe they could release one or two "preview" games as a kind of public beta test.
  • One can only hope EA dies a brutal death at the hands of the stock market. I take this as a sign of things to come. I'm also waiting for Spore, it is the one game I am actually looking forward to. I knew the usual EA shenanigans would get in the way.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

Working...