Maxis is the company behind some of the most successful games on the PC, and Will Wright was the most recognizable face behind Maxis. From the studio’s inception in 1987 to his departure from Maxis in 2009, he was the creative mind driving development of titles like The Sims, SimCity, and Spore. I spoke to Wright for an upcoming feature (appearing in our next issue) about the 25th anniversary of Maxis, but couldn’t fit the entire interview into the magazine. These questions cover a wide range of topics, including Maxis’ history, inspirations, and the need for a developer to be the public face of a game. Keep reading to learn more about the man responsible for the ideas that turned Maxis into the biggest name in simulation.

What was Maxis’ first project?

The very first product was this vector-based flight sim multiplayer called Sky Chase…Sky Chase was some game that some guy that I never even met wrote. [Maxis co-founder] Jeff [Braun] decided to publish it basically to iron out the wrinkles, and get it into the box, get it to shelves. We sold about ten or twenty-thousand copies of it. It didn’t cost us anything to produce because we were paying royalties and he did it all on his own time. It got us used to the idea of going from soup to nuts and getting something on the shelf…

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