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Celebrities Take a Spin on Spore Creature Creator

By Walaika Haskins TechNewsWorld ECT News Network
Sep 3, 2008 11:40 AM PT

Just days before the release of the much delayed and long-anticipated "Spore" -- the latest endeavor of "The Sims" creator Will Wright -- gaming publisher Electronic Arts has enlisted the help of some Hollywood and technology heavyweights.

Celebrities Take a Spin on Spore Creature Creator

EA will add the celebrity critters to the Sporepedia, a catalog of all the creatures users have created and published on the game's Web site, which will be available for download. "Spore" fans can also vote for their favorite celebrity monster.

After a more than three-year wait, "Spore" will make its bow on Sept. 5 in the UK and on Sept. 7 in the U.S.

Sowing Seeds

"Spore" puts the power of evolution and the universe in the hands of its players. Developed for PCs and Macs, the game follows a species as it evolves from a single-cell organism bathed in primordial ooze into a sentient race with intelligence and a social culture that ultimately develops into a society of intergalactic explorers who interact with alien life forms.

"Creature Creator," released in June, serves as an introduction to the open-ended game Wright created. Its users -- in this instance, celebrities -- mix and match up to 228 drag-and-drop flexible parts; shape them and then add a splash of color to create a singularly unique customized creature.

"The 'Spore' celebrity campaign is pretty interesting," said Mark DeLoura, a gaming technology consultant.

"I found it really fun to hit that Web site and look at the creatures that celebrities created. Gives you a bit of insight into them, I think. Great stuff!" he told TechNewsWorld.

Who's Who of Critters

Celebrities such as "Heroes'" Masi Oka and Greg Grunberg, Stan Lee, Mario Lopez, Margaret Cho, Adam West and even Will Wright himself have signed up to craft their own Spore creatures using the "Spore Creature Creator," released in June.

Leading the vote, as of 4:30 pm on Tuesday, was Philip DeFranco's "DeFranco." The host of the online "Philip DeFranco Show" has racked up more than 135,000 views and received nearly 113,000 "like" votes for his horned creation. Advertising executive Alex Bogusky has the fewest "likes," 35, for his "Gluto Geminus," a biped with a long neck and spines running down its back, with just 221 views.

Although not inspired by the list of celebrities pegged to put up their creature creations, Michael Goodman, an independent gaming and digital media analyst, said SporeVote is a "nice marketing thing."

"It's not groundbreaking. What would be interesting is to see what [Stan Lee] creates and compare it to what other [celebrities] have created. How creative is he going to be versus others?" wondered Goodman.

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