Will Wright: How This Incredible Man Brought The Sims to Life

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Author: Nicolas
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Will Wright is a prominent person in the game industry who brought The Sims franchise to the world. In this article, get to know everything about him and his early involvement in The Sims!

Will Wright

Who is Will Wright?

Will Wright is the brainchild behind our beloved The Sims franchise. Born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1960, he is a video game designer renowned for developing simulation games. During his college years, Will Wright dabbled in architecture and mechanical engineering. While he didn’t complete his college degree, he dedicated himself to self-learning about game creation and design, eventually becoming one of the most famous figures in the video game industry.

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How Will Wright Co-Founded Maxis

Will Wright’s journey in the gaming world took an exciting turn when he co-founded Maxis, a video game company known for creating groundbreaking simulation games. Alongside Jeff Braun, Wright established Maxis in 1987. Their collaboration led to a series of innovative games that challenged traditional gaming conventions.

He initially wanted to develop a war game for which he had to create cities, but while developing that game he found more joy in creating cities than destroying them, and that’s how he came up with a city-building simulation.

Among these, SimCity (1989) was one of the company’s early successes and a game that would pave the path for Wright’s career as a game designer. He went on to work on simulation games like SimEarth (1990), SimAnt (1991), and SimCopter (1996).

Will Wright’s Inspiration Behind The Sims

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In 1991, Will Wright lost his home and belongings in the Oakland Firestorm, forcing him to rebuild his life from scratch. During this process, as he reconstructed and furnished his new home, he had the idea of creating a virtual dollhouse with a focus on the people living inside it. Incorporating elements such as landscaping, carpentry, and construction, this idea then served as the foundation for The Sims. Yep, a tragic story that turned into something else!

Will Wright and the Development of The Sims Franchise

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It was with the development of The Sims franchise that Will Wright truly made an impact on the gaming industry. Electronic Arts acquired Maxis entirely in 1997, and in 2000, they published The Sims. It is precisely as we know it: a life simulation game that allows players to create and control simulated people and their households.

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The game’s open-ended gameplay and limitless creative possibilities attracted a lot of players worldwide, turning The Sims into a cultural phenomenon and a commercial success. This success led to numerous expansions and sequels, making it one of the best-selling video game franchises in history. While Will was not directly involved in The Sims 2 and the other Sims games that followed, he was still credited for his contributions to the franchise.

Why The Sims Games Made Will Wright Successful

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PC Gamer frequently featured Will Wright in its magazine, categorizing him as one of the “Game Gods.” In other publications like Time, Entertainment Weekly, and GameSpy, Wright was celebrated as one of the most influential figures in the tech and gaming industries. Many video game players admire Wright’s game designs, as he focuses on creating “Software Toys”—games where the goal is not to win or lose. Instead, like Sims City and The Sims, such games are designed to be played indefinitely.

For instance, in an interview with ABC News, Will Wright stated that when playing The Sims, “You never know what’s gonna happen. Every time you play it, it’s kind of a surprise.” Speaking about video game theories in general, Will expressed his commitment to player creativity, stating, “I think when I started doing games, I really wanted to carry that to the next step, to the player, so that you give the player a tool so that they can create things…To really put the player in the design role. And the actual world is reactive to their design.”

Where is Will Wright Now?

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Following his work on The Sims franchise, Wright continued to be a prominent figure in the gaming industry, contributing to projects such as Spore and Spore Creature Creator. Then in 2009, Will Wright departed from Maxis. But Wright’s innovative thinking and contributions have solidified his place among the most influential game designers of all time. Today, Wright remains actively involved in various game development and design projects. His latest project is an upcoming mobile game called Proxi.

SnootySims and Will Wright!

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On September 2, 2004, the Pre-Launch Party of The Sims 2 was held in Hamburg, Germany. This spectacular launch event featured numerous personalities, with over 300 media partners and retailers in attendance, and that included us, SnootySims! Since Will Wright was a VIP guest at the Pre-Launch Party, we had the opportunity to meet him. Our encounter with Mr. Wright was a remarkable experience, allowing us to know his vision for The Sims series and the evolution of gaming in general.

Will Wright’s Easter Eggs on The Sims Games

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  • There is a Will Wright doll house on The Sims and The Sims 2.
  • There are streets named “Wright Way” in The Sims, The Sims 2, and The Sims 3.
  • In The Sims: Makin’ Magic, you can climb the beanstalk and see a giant version of Wright on top, which your Sim can “view.”
  • There is a giant rock in the shape of Will Wright’s head that you can place in The Sims 2’s neighborhood for decoration.
  • In The Sims 2: University, there is a “Will Wright Genius Grant” scholarship for teens with a logic skill level of 8 or higher.
  • You can find a “Will Wright Replica” woodworking piece in The Sims Freeplay.

Wrapping It Up: Will Wright And The Gift of The Sims

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To wrap it up, Will Wright is not just a video game creator; he is the main reason we Simmers have the opportunity to play our Sims games today! Although Wright may no longer be involved in the current Sims franchise, we will always feel thankful that he gave birth to the idea of our most treasured game, which lets us play with life and have so much fun. Well, how about you? Let us know what you think of Will Wright! We are on FacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram, and TikTok, where you can follow and message us! Or, you can leave us a comment on this post! Happy simming, Simmers!


Your Author: Hi! I'm Nicolas

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Hi there! I’m Nicolas, your fellow Simmer who also happens to be the force simmering behind SNOOTYSIMS. I can’t believe it has been nearly 20 years since I created the very first Sims fan site. Time just flies by, doesn’t it? I’ve always loved writing about the Sims games and being part of its community has never ceased to be my personal thrill.

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