Will Wright leaves EA, founds Stupid Fun Club

[UPDATE] Sims and Spore designer leaves longtime home to establish "entertainment think tank" bankrolled by Electronic Arts.

Celebrated designer Will Wright is no longer an employee of Electronic Arts. Instead, he's now partnering with the company that his Sims series helped build into a publishing powerhouse.

Will Wright

The publisher announced today that it is a principal shareholder in Wright's new venture, Stupid Fun Club. The other principal shareholder is Wright himself, with the developer and EA owning equal percentages of the company.

Described as an "entertainment think tank," Stupid Fun Club will develop new intellectual properties across a variety of media. Games, films, TV shows, Web sites, and toys were listed as specific areas of interest for the company.

Last summer, after EA signed with a top Hollywood talent agency, Wright told Reuters that he was in discussions to bring Spore to television and film. "We're basically planting the seeds to spread Spore out to a much wider group of people than would ever play a computer game," he said.

"The entertainment industry is moving rapidly into an era of revolutionary change," Wright said in a statement. "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."

"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," EA CEO John Riccitiello said in a statement. Riccitiello added that the EA series most often associated with Wright--The Sims, Sim City, and Spore--will continue to be worked on in the future.

Stupid Fun Club is not Wright's first entrepreneurial endeavor. He founded Maxis with Jeff Braun in 1989, achieving success with the original Sim City. Maxis was acquired by EA in 1997, and Wright has spent the dozen years since working for the publisher.

[UPDATE] To learn more about Stupid Fun Club, read GameSpot's in-depth interview with Will Wright .

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