MTV caught up with Spore creator Will Wright, and asked him whether the game was designed primarily with the casual player in mind.
Said Wright in response:
I'd say that's quite accurate. We were very focused, if anything, on making a game for more casual players. Spore has more depth than, let's say, The Sims did. But we looked at the Metacritic scores for Sims 2, which was around 90, and something like Half-Life, which was 97, and we decided--quite a while back--that we would rather have the Metacritic and sales of Sims 2 than the Metacritic and sales of Half-Life.Wright went on to explain that even though Maxis had the casual group in mind, he still enjoys finding complex ways of playing the game, providing the example of starting a war between two saved species in the Space stage--one Klingon, one Romulan--as a sign that the game's depth is partially determined by the player's creativity.
..Part of this, in some sense was: can we teach a Sims player to play an RTS? ..I think the complexity we ended up with was toward that group.