You’re Ancient: Will Wright Has Made An iOS App

Guy-Who-Shaped-Your-Childhood Will Wright has made an iOS app, reminding gamers of the 90s they’re all now middle-age and that time will constantly progress, onward and forever, rolling endlessly until the eventual heatdeath of the universe.

Thred [official site] is a free photo app that lets you make slideshows from photos on your mobile. The idea is to give people the tools to make photo journals, web comics, memes, etc. Users can add captions or stickers and filters to the images then share them out on Facebook and the like.

The makers of Thred, Will Wright’s startup Syntertainment, Inc., offers slightly loftier prose here: “Thred lets you create, discover, and interact with visual ideas in a new format exclusively designed for mobile,” reads its official website.

Is this the future of pidgen-esque Internet communication? Will this tech be adopted almost entirely by a demographic of Great Aunts who want to show you a great picture of a heron they saw out their window the other day? Well, we’re less than a week in. But you can download Thred right here if you’re got the right sort of telephone thinger.


  1. Pich says:


  2. GameCat says:


    The last thing we need is an app to make slideshows of shitty memes.

    • Tukuturi says:

      Best thing since Spore!

      • GameCat says:

        *picture of Darwin alongside a bunch of animals sitting on top of the planet*
        Caption: “We excepted this”

        *picture of Spore dickcreature*
        Caption: “Instead we got this”

        *picture of poorly drawn angry face, there’s a sticker with sad emoji in the corner*
        Caption: “we will rekt u Will Wright”

    • airmikee says:

      There’s probably a few million things that I would push further down the list of what I need than a meme generator app, and I have no interest in the app.

  3. Crafter says:

    Seriously ?
    And iOS only ? How does that make sense for a social app ?

    • Nasarius says:

      It makes some sense if your intended audience is primarily American. Besides, to make a decent app with a good UI, you basically have to develop it from scratch for each platform. Apple gives you some especially nice tools like Core Animation so that developing for iOS first gives you better results, faster.

      Still, this looks even less interesting than the crap Brian Reynolds (Civ II, SMAC, etc) wasted his time with at Zynga.

      • melancholicthug says:

        I still can’t believe BR wont ever be back to PC gaming. He was the succesor of Sid Meier. I cri evritiem D:

      • Crafter says:

        >Apple gives you some especially nice tools like Core Animation so that developing for iOS first gives you better results, faster.
        I make my living as a 3rd party mobile engineer.
        iOS, Android & WP offer comparable dev platforms (although nobody generally cares about WP due to its marketshare). Roughly, the same amount of time is spent on each version of our app. You gain 1% somewhere because platform A already handles something very well and lose it somewhere else because this is where platform B shines.
        In regard to camera apps, the disparity of android phones is a real issue (or more accurately the fact that you can’t yet rely on the Camera2 API).
        For a camera app, I would understand to focus fist on iOS, Android later on. For a social + camera app, it sounds like a mistake.

  4. kalakukko says:

    What the hell does an iOS exclusive application that’s basically going to be a shitty meme generator have to do with PC Gaming? Is there really so little to write about that RPS stoops as low as this?

    • Premium User Badge

      keithzg says:

      I’m on board with going “what’s the point of this app?” but it’s Will Wright. I actually entirely endorse RPS covering this, because I find it fascinating that while 13 Finnish developers have essentially made the best new Sim City game in over a decade, Will Wright himself is making an iOS-only photo editing app. It says a lot about the weird current state of the industry.

      • rabbit says:


      • rabbit says:

        am hoping that kalakukko was just being glib for the sake of it as it seems fairly obvious why PC gamers might take (disappointed) interest in what Will Wright is up to now.

        • kalakukko says:

          I’m surprised why anyone would care what Will Write is up to nowadays as he ceased being relevant to the PC Gaming scene after the fiasco of Spore.

          • kalakukko says:

            Where’s the edit button when you need it.

          • airmikee says:

            So he hasn’t released a game in seven years, and you expect some of us to ignore the fact that he provided us with 20+ years of great gaming before that?

            Move along, kid, the adults are talking here.

          • JimThePea says:

            I’m not sure badness has ever equalled irrelevance in the world of games news.Watching old dev-stars fade is kind of like watching a car crash in super slo-mo, painful, but you just can’t look away.

          • turbothump says:

            Petty 4chan-esque insults in response to an entirely valid argument. I guess we shouldn’t expect anything better from RPS comments these days.

            And I agree completely, kalakukko. Regardless of how many awesome things Will Wright did back in the day, he’s a shadow of what he used to be and covering a trash iOS app just for a reason to put his name in an article is hilariously bad.

          • Caiman says:

            Will Wright hasn’t produced a game I’ve been interested in since 1993 (Sim City 2000). He has a great legacy, but I agree it’s been an eon in gaming time.

      • Text_Fish says:

        Not a lot of people know this, but Will Wright doesn’t cease to exist when he’s not working on a PC project. Some reports suggest he’s been witnessed driving vehicles, eating lunch, sitting on seats and even entering shops, presumably to purchase goods (nobody really knows what, perhaps RPS should investigate).

      • ButteringSundays says:

        And if this were an article exploring that shift it would be interesting. But it’s not, it’s a press release for an iOS app on a PC gaming site.

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      This seemed relevant to a PC gaming audience: hey, look at what this famous designer you maybe loved is doing now. I am a PC gamer and a SimCity fan and I was interested to hear about it.

      If you don’t like it, no worries. We write lots of other stories every day. You can just scroll by this one.

      • rabbit says:

        I think people would rather feel hard done by

      • ButteringSundays says:

        Which is cool, but some if your readers are letting you know they don’t really care about app news, even if the app was made by a PC developer (many of them are!)

        • ButteringSundays says:

          To clarify:

          I guess some folks (myself included) come here for PC gaming* news and reviews (since 1873), not news tangentially related to a PC dev from last decade.

          * Operative word.

          But yea, keep posting that wish you wish to post (as if you need our permission).

        • rabbit says:

          Some of his readers are saying that. Some – probably more – readers are saying or thinking that this is relevant and interesting. So maybe the some readers who don’t find it interesting should accept that others do rather than attacking the professionalism of the writers of the best pc gaming news website on the web (in my opinion)

          When I have no interest in an article , which happens more often than not these days (part time gamer at best nowadays), I just don’t click on it. That’s been working out fine for me.

          Will Wright is responsible for a lot of people’s enthusiasm for PC gaming these days. I’d argue or assume that this article was posted in part / largely to draw attention to it in a ‘how the mighty have fallen’ sort of way. I doubt Graham would argue that this app will be as ‘important’ as civ was. And in that respect I’d say that the article is completely relevant and its being posted very understandable.

  5. airmikee says:

    The opening paragraph reminded me of: link to

    Which is funny because I’d barely started watching that episode when I pulled up RPS to find this article on top.

  6. Spacewalk says:

    This will bomb, wright?

  7. Clavus says:

    It’s weird. Mobile dev has absorbed a lot of people from the industry, including those that used to make games that defined childhoods. But in mobile, they just seem lost in the noise.

    • LogicalDash says:

      It’s a pattern? I’d be interested to hear who else you have in mind.

      • Nasarius says:

        Just off the top of my head: Brian Reynolds, John Romero, and Raph Koster.

        Koster in particular wrote a lot of nonsense about “social” being the future, before slightly climbing down from that in the past couple years.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Sid Meier?

        His name hasn’t been attached to anything most PC gamers would care about in a while. Civ Beyond Earth didn’t get a good reception, at least here on RPS. His latest “Starships” game is doing better on iOS than PC (according to Metacritic, for what that’s worth), although still not hugely successful from what I can tell.

        • JFS says:

          I hear Ace Patrol was quite well received, wasn’t it?

          • DragonOfTime says:

            But again, that was a port of a mobile game, wasn’t it?

        • Frank says:

          XCOM and Civs 2-5 weren’t so long ago. Meier’s been the spirit guide for the developers of all those games.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      It’s a very different market – primarily because it’s so much more casual. Even people like me who span both markets have very different requirements from both, and perhaps ironically I’m normally turned off by big-brand iOS ware – because it’s normally high-polish cow-clicking bullshit.

      The big names have worked out how to effectively monetise their IP on iOS, but not necessarily provide a meaningful experience. You have to turn to indies for that.

  8. sventoby says:

    Reynolds and now Wright. Who will be the next casualty?

  9. Morcane says:

    Moar cat pictures.

    Anyways, you know it, this is it, the end of the line, middle-aged boredom awaits.

    • Morcane says:

      As a proper middle-aged person does, I clicked a button by accident.

      Additionally, all of these guys going mobile at 40, 50+ just lost it. Just move on, you created genres back in the day, but nowadays …. pretty much zip, zilch, nada. That magic once was and is now gone. Accept your fate like the rest of us and embrace enterprise software and big paychecks for configuring bean containers.

  10. Text_Fish says:

    Good PC newsing.

  11. byjimini says:

    Presumably this’ll be bought out by EA, who’ll insist you need to be online for the app to work, only to bow down later and let it work offline, before disbanding the original developer.

    Oh yes, I went there.

  12. Dawngreeter says:

    At least it’s better than Spore.