Will Wright is leaving Electronic Arts.
However Wright, the creator of The Sims, Sim City and Spore, will still work with the firm on his venture called Stupid Fun Club – originally founded in 2001 – which EA has an equity investment in, the two have announced.
Stupid Fun Club is described as ‘an entertainment think tank developing new Intellectual Properties to be deployed across multiple fronts including video games, movies, television, the internet, and toys’.
‘EA and Wright will own shares of Stupid Fun Club and are the principal shareholders. In addition, EA has the right to develop game concepts that spring from Stupid Fun Club projects,’ the two announced in a statement.
"The entertainment industry is moving rapidly into an era of revolutionary change," said Will.
"Stupid Fun Club will explore new possibilities that are emerging from this sublime chaos and create new forms of entertainment on a variety of platforms. In my twelve years at EA, I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside some of the brightest and most talented game developers in the industry and I look forward to working with them again in the near future."
EA CEO John Riccitiello added: "We believe in Will’s vision for Stupid Fun Club and we’re looking forward to partnering with Will and his team long into the future.
"Will is a great designer and he’s been part of a great legacy of globally recognized game franchises like The Sims, SimCity and Spore. The teams that have been leading those franchises in recent years have a lot of exciting content coming."
Wright joined EA when in 1997 it acquired his studio Maxis, which he founded with Jeff Braun in 1989. In that time he created The Sims and Spore for the company.
Lucy Bradshaw, VP and GM of Maxis, will continue to run Maxis and the Spore franchise following his departure while Rod Humble, head of the EA Play Label, will oversee the launch The Sims 3 in June of this year.
"Will has been an inspiration to our teams, and it’s been rewarding for us to bring his ideas to life," said Bradshaw.
"In addition to legendary games, Will’s legacy at EA will be the many talented people who worked with him and will now continue to contribute their own vision to the art of game development."
Wright is represented by Creative Artists Agency – this is just the latest deal the agency has brokered with the publisher and its creative talent. It also represents Tim Schafer, whose Double Fine recently signed new gam Brutal Legend to the publisher’s EA Partners division.