I think I’m over the shock from what Will has announced earlier today. That came out of nowhere. Right after his statement was released, everybody started throwing up questions. What is the Stupid Fun Club? How much control will EA have? Why did Will leave Maxis/EA, was it due to Spore’s failure? Was Spore overhyped to begin with?
Will steps up to the plate and takes a swing at these questions asked by Gamespot.
GS: Why choose now to leave EA and strike out on your own venture?
WW: It’s something that we’ve been in talks with EA for almost a year now, so for me it’s kind of a long-term plan and I was just in no hurry to do it. We’d been developing a lot of these concepts within the Stupid Fun Club and people would come by over the years and say, “That’s great, I would buy that.” It got to the point where venture capitalists were offering us real money to fund these projects.
With Maxis, I’d already been down the whole take VC money, do the IPO, do the acquisition thing.. I saw a lot of dysfunction in that model that was interesting to experience once but I didn’t want to go through it again.
As I started talking to EA about this, we started realizing they were very interested in the game properties coming out of this. We started exploring the idea of them funding the Stupid Fun Club as a VC would, but because their interest is in the game properties coming out, they have no interest in us becoming liquid and doing the IPO and all that. So we basically got EA to come in as our VC without committing to a path to liquidity. So we can keep the group very small and very focused and not deal with that whole business path.