The concept was simple: A virtual dollhouse. Will Wright was coming off of SimAnt, and he was looking to do more. Wright at his team at Maxis began working on what would become The Sims, a game that play-tested so poorly that there were doubts it would be released. The game was and of course went on to spawn two sequels and countless expansions, creating a hundred million selling franchise in the process. It's must be very satisfying to be part of The Sims casual gaming juggernaut! Some people play The Sims and only The Sims. While the game's studio head Rod Humble says the best thing about working on The Sims is the "total freedom," he does offer us insight:
Another big challenge, from the development point of view, is that sometimes you think you've come up with a great idea. In my core gamer heart of hearts, I think I've created something amazing! But then we show it to focus groups and it's not as well received as I would've hoped.
Man, I would so pay money for an expansion pack of rejected Sims ideas. Good money, too.