Will Wright was born in 1960 in Atlanta Georgia to his successful business-owning father and his mother, a musician/actress. He attended Montessori school until his father died of leukemia in 1969, at which point his family moved to Will's mother's native Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There, Will attended Episcopal High School, then Louisiana State University (for two years), then Louisiana Tech, and finally moved to New York for a year at The New School in Manhattan. After five years of college, Will moved back to Baton Rouge without a degree.
Maxis and the Sim Revolution
In 1984 Wright made his first game, Raid on Bungeling Bay, for the Commodore 64. Two years later in 1986 Wright teamed up with Jeff Braun and created Maxis, headquartered in Orinda, California (Wright's wife Joell lived in California when they met). The first release from Maxis was a game Wright had been working on for a couple years and was released in 1989. Right off the bat SimCity was a success, with multiple sequels, the latest being SimCity Societies, released in 2007. Until the release of The Sims in 2000, the SimCity franchise was the most profitable line for Maxis. Wright followed up the success of SimCity with SimEarth (1990), SimAnt (1991), SimCity 2000 (1993, co-designed), and SimCopter (1996).
Maxis reached $50 per share when the company went public in 1995 with $38 million in revenue. Two years later Electronic Arts bought it out.
In 2000 EA published a virtual dollhouse game Wright had long envisioned. The Sims became the best-selling PC game of all time and has since evolved with seven expansion packs, The Sims 2 (with eight expansion packs) and The Sims 3 (five expansion packs thus far). An entire division of EA is now devoted to the Sims-based titles.
Announced at the Game Developers Conference in March 2005 and finally released in North America on September 7, 2008, Spore allows the player to guide their creations from a single cell to a galactic civilization. The entire gaming community watched in excitement as the game was released. After release, however, the DRM scheme caused an uproar, and people were also disappointed as certain gameplay elements did not live up to expectations.
On April 8th, 2009, Will Wright revealed that he would be leaving EA Maxis to pursue work on the "Stupid Fun Club", a design think tank he founded back in 2001. On April 27th, Zootfly announced an as-yet-unnamed video game that will feature pop culture icon Mr. T battling Nazis in South America. Based on a Mr. T comic book, the game will also feature Will Wright, who in the universe of the comic and game is a brilliant geneticist. Dr. Wright is kidnapped by the Nazis and forced to work on their evil scheme, and then teams up with Mr. T after being rescued to stop the Nazi menace once and for all. It is as yet unknown whether Wright himself will voice the character based on him.
Will recently starred in some interview videos for the new Simcity.
- "Every now and then people find the bugs, and they interpret those as cool failures in the Sims terms. For them it's like a treasure hunt"
- "Because now it's the fans out there that are entertaining us, the developers, with their creations!"
- "Everybody has a different definition of the good side."
- "The console games, as they come out with this new generation, will have a temporary advantage in price performance, but there are still many things you can do on a PC, more conveniently than you can do on a console machine."
- "I think the best use of games isn't so much for education as it is for motivation."
- "I'm Will Wright, bitch!" - The Simpsons Game - Chapter 10: Bargain Bin