Spore Creature Comforts on June 17th

You put the sexual in asexual reproduction, baby.

Exciting news for fans of exciting news: EA have announced they’re releasing a creature creator for the forthcoming Will-Wright-Is-Clever-’em-up Spore. It’ll be available on June 17th, which strikes me as a very specific sort of date that’s simultaneously a long way away. Perhaps EA have some manner of secret plan they need a distraction for? Pah. Who cares. They can march robotic death legions into our capitals as long as we get hands on with the evolutionary-putty of Spore. The freely-available demo gives you 25% of the parts of the full game, while if you pay $9.99 you get the full version. The results of both can be inputted into the final game. While the $9.99 thing strikes me as a somewhat embarrassingly flagrant attempt to secure extra monies from the Spore-hungry masses, the facts they’re importable means that the even before the game comes out the user-created-content machine is running, meaning the universe is going to be pre-populated with all manner of penis-with-eight-legs creatures. Shame the pack can’t be a pre-order incentive or something.

30 Comments

  1. Lightbulb says:

    Theres a free version so i don’t see why so many people complain.

    It would have been no surprise if it had been part of a $5 or even $10 pre-order. Infact i believe that if it was only available as a $5 pre-release pre-order i am sure they would have made more money.

  2. Carey says:

    DANGER! Danger Will Robinson! Paying for demos precedent!!!

    /wanders off to weep.

  3. cliffski says:

    its not a demo as such, but it does indeed suck that they aren’t making it a money-off voucher thingy.

  4. cyrenic says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the $10 version attached to pre-orders at some point. After they’ve gotten all the suckers, ahem, I mean customers that will buy the $10 version to buy it.

    Personally I think I’ll just play around with the “demo” of the demo and that’ll be about all I’ll do with spore. The full game just doesn’t sound that compelling to me.

  5. Alex says:

    It would’ve been nice if you would get $10 off the full game when it’s released.

    There is a free version yes, but you know that’s just there to make you think “this is lovely, but I do wonder what the extras are in the full version, oh I’ll get it anyway..”.

    I’ll just wait for the full game.

  6. James says:

    As someone who spent a month on nothing but the creature creator in Impossible Creatures, I think this should prove to be quite the time-sink.

    Roll on, June, EA machinations or no.

  7. Theory says:

    I started writing a comment defending the “£2.50 extended demo” idea, but screw it:

    Woot!
    Woot!
    Woot!
    Woot!

  8. Jon says:

    I’ll buy the demo and love it.

  9. garry says:

    Buy a mustache for your creature! Only $2.50!

  10. Darius K. says:

    Actually, I think the $10 full Creature Creator is brilliant. Specifically, a friend of mine, when she learned about Spore, said: “I’m not interested in the game. I just want to create creatures all day.”

    Why not package up the full creator for the price of a casual game and sell it to folks who are interested in only that? I think it’s brilliant.

  11. Monkfish says:

    So, the Spore Creature Generator is kinda like a prologue to the full game? And the full game itself will contain the creature generator anyway, so this just satiates the need of those that just can’t wait to start making/sharing creatures?

    Interesting. Looks like we’re on to a new trend here – payable demos.

  12. Alex says:

    Which would make the free version the demo of the demo.

  13. a-scale says:

    I do believe Mr. Wright’s pay for play demo will cause a great deal more piracy as a matter of principle.

  14. Optimaximal says:

    The thing is, anyone else remember how the powers that be managed to get people to effectively pay for open beta testing by limiting them to paid fileplanet accounts?

    At least you’re paying for functionally credible software this time around!

  15. Rook says:

    So, if someone had just released a functional creature editor and *gasp* charged money for it, would people bitch as much?

  16. Kieron Gillen says:

    The point, as I suspect you know Rook, is that this is a small part of a game which they’re releasing, knowing that their most core fans will buy it, then buy it again when the full version comes out. This is about them knowingly getting extra money from the people who most love them.

    KG

  17. cliffski says:

    they are indeed recognising the differences in individuals indifference curves and exploiting the differentials in our marginal utility.

  18. Monkfish says:

    So, if someone had just released a functional creature editor and *gasp* charged money for it, would people bitch as much?

    Not really bitching, as such, but seeing as the Spore FAQ states that the standalone Creature Creator will work exactly as the Creature Creator will in the full game, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to scrutinise EA’s admittedly shrewd decision to encourage punters to pay for something that’s included in the full product, just to get it a bit early.

    Fair play to them if the demand is there, really. I’m just a little cynical about this kind of thing, as it all feels a bit like an attempt to cash in on the seemingly strong appeal of Spore.

  19. Iain says:

    Putting my cynical hat on, I think this is probably a tacit admission by EA that the creature creator is the most fun part of the game…

    I did get a hands-on with Spore’s creature creator at the Leipzig GC in 2006, and I did think at the time that I’d probably spend more time pissing about creating freakish monsters than playing the game itself. There was an amazing amount of customisation available in the version I got to tinker with – I don’t know if they’ve added stuff since then.

    So $10 for a fully-featured version of the bit of Spore I’d use most sounds like a bit of a bargain, particularly if it turns out that the game itself isn’t as good as I hope it will be…

  20. Will Tomas says:

    The fact that they’re charging for this is the very reason people get all cynical. If ever something should be released free, it would be this. It would both get more people interested and generate a user base who would then pay for the main game, which EA could do without being all soulless corporate scum milking the people who you want on your side for extra pocket change.

  21. Jochen Scheisse says:

    EA will use the creative input into these freely handed out designers to tear the consense reality a new space hole and allow the great old ones to enslave humanity. It’s just the kind of guys they are.

  22. a-scale says:

    I would also like to add that this appears unsound in marketing terms. If Spore really is as cool as they say, it would be entirely in their interest to give away the creature creator for free in order to hook players into buying the full game. By charging for creature creator and game they are limiting their market to those would would buy the full game anyway, and even then making only a few extra dollars out of the impetuous ones.

  23. Geoff says:

    I totally understand all those who are complaining about EA tricking us into paying for this piece of the game twice. I mean, $10 now then $50 when the game comes out? What dastardly trickery.

    Fortunately, because I am so crafty, I’ve devised a method for avoiding this double-pay, which I’ll divulge here on these Intertubes, at great personal risk:
    Don’t buy this $10 thing. Wait for the game. Buy the game.

    What’s that? You’re so anxious you have to have it now now now? Can’t wait for the real game release? Hmmm. I have a plan that will work for you too! Pay the $10.

    There’s nothing dastardly here. Turns out that if you’re patient, you can get game/movies/hardware cheaper than the people who are impatient. Companies are willing to satisfy your need for instant gratification, if you’ll satisfy their need for cash money.

    And it’s not a demo. This is not the historic and terrible “charging money for a demo” precedent. It’s not a demo. If someone released a version of Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, which only included the RTS part, not the planetary campaign part, but allowed for full-featured indefinite play, we would not call that a demo.

  24. Rook says:

    Honestly, EA could have been a lot worse. Imagine if the $9.99 had included a bunch of arms and eyes not in the retail version and no free demo, then I could understand the bitching. (although I’ll assume the special edition probably has something like that in it).

  25. RichPowers says:

    Of all the wacky ways of (BUZZWORD ALERT) monetizing content beyond the game itself, this is one of the better ideas.

  26. Mike says:

    Ah, being cynical about Spore. I’d missed it. Wright even had me going for a few weeks with those good-looking screenshots.

  27. jph wacheski says:

    Gota agree with Geoff here,. quit your bitchin and just dont buy it, if that is too much for your unevloved little pea-brain then spore will not help you,. Who says they will not offer an upgrade path? They are likely only doing this as they are missing some mile stone,. again, and had to release something,. plus they now get all this ‘user generated content’ and make you pay for the privlage,. just prooves you are suckers! Why not just be happy with the 25 percent of eye stocks and webed feet? if you can not be satasfied, then don’t you think that prooves there is value in the rest of the content and you should therefor have to pay for it?!? It is not scummy to make money selling art that people are willing to pay for.
    It is indeed an extream luxury item; you should just count yourself lucky to be worring about wether to pay for imaginary creature parts or wait for the full ver.,. while others on this same planet are currently contemplating weather to pay for food or rent,. . or leave their home to avoid war or starvation,.

  28. josh g. says:

    Lame. I’ll take the free version and wait for the full game, thanks.

  29. KingMob says:

    I think they’ll reduce the price for this tool once the game has been released. At present it’s a good lead-in for already interested consumers. Once the game has been released and the marketing has inundated the mass market as well as early adopters the tool will be a nice way to get mass market people excited about the game.

    On a completely different subject, this tool will allow them to start testing whatever system they have in place or planned to detect unacceptable user content. I can only hope they have such a system planned… call it a “Penile Recognition System.” Hopefully once they have it set up for Spore they’ll be able to use it to screen content in many other places!

  30. Umm..... says:

    hello all, although this original post is quite old by now… just to let you know spore creature editor is owned by tens of thousands of people, and many agree that they would rather play the creature editor game than Spore, and think Spore to be too “hardcore” even with all of it’s huggable cartoonish-ness. furthermore, HUGE improvements have been made to spore since CE has been realeased. have you seen any new screenshots lately? heres why:
    Maxis 400,000,000$=Awsome game
    Maxis EA(GreedyBastard) LowBudget=Paid-fordemo=Lotsofannoyingbloggers Lotsofmoney=
    Awsomegame. if you dont get the picture go ahead and [Admin-o-snip].
    _________________________________
    And thats the way democracy is run, dammit!