EA not Spore-ing until late '07

Designer Will Wright is aiming for the "second half of next year" to ship his much-anticipated PC evolution-civilization-space-exploration sim.

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Since it first wowed audiences at the 2005 Game Developers Conference, Spore has seen the buzz around it grow. Its expansive gameplay spans the entire history of life on a planet, from primordial prehistory to modern civilization. While it ends with the technological wonder of space travel, it also focuses heavily on biology, letting players create their own race of creatures and watch them evolve.

Like Spore's subject creatures, its release date has undergone several stages of evolution. Initially, the game had no release date, and then it was tagged for a late-2006 launch. But when Electronic Arts, Spore's publisher, released its E3 roster this past May, the date had reverted to "TBD." At the event, GameSpot editors were then told that the game had a broad "2007" release date.

As 2006 progressed, the belief became widespread that Spore might buck the fall release window traditionally favored for major title launches. Online listings on game retailers like GameStop.com EBgames.com had the game shipping in either February or mid-2007, which contributed to the confusion.

However, Spore creator Will Wright today revealed that the game will almost certainly not make it to market before July 2007. "We're saying the second half of next year [2007] for now," said Wright, leaving the possibility of still more changes. For more of Wright's thoughts on Spore, check out GameSpot's extensive interview with the legendary game designer.

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