MTV Multiplayer is reporting that Will Wright--famed designer behind such popular and influential franchises such as SimCity, The Sims, and Spore--has left EA, the company that has published the lion's share of Wright's games, effective today. He'll now be focusing his energies full time on Stupid Fun Club, a Berkeley-based venture that Wright has been involved with for several years now. Part of what makes this move particularly interesting is that Stupid Fun Club is not a game-development house in a traditional sense, having produced bizarre robot-based short films and hidden-camera experiments in the past. Stupid Fun Club describes itself as “an entertainment development studio” whose ideas may manifest in “video games, online environments, storytelling media and fine home care products.” Considering the interest that Wright has openly expressed in exploring non-traditional entertainment formats, the Stupid Fun Club manifesto seems fairly indistinguishable from his own vision.
This, however, doesn't mean that Will Wright will be cutting his ties with his former publisher completely. EA and Wright both have equal financial stakes in Stupid Fun Club, and EA will have first-look publishing rights for any games it might produce. Personally I hope Wright's newfound autonomy will allow him to chase some of the smaller, stranger ideas he might have bouncing around inside his curious brain.
UPDATE: If you want to see some of the awesomely incomprehensible stuff that Stupid Fun Club has gotten up to in the past, check out its YouTube channel.