Even though I'm not much of a fan of EA, I have been watching the development of Spore with keen interest. Particularly since the Spore Creature Creator was released, an entire community has already been spawned before this eagerly-anticipated game is even released. According to recent information, the game will soon leave development and go gold. If all goes well it should be finished within a week. As a finished product it'll be that much closer to being on shelves and available online, and EA has already set a release date for the first week of September.
The game was initially demoed over three years ago, and though a long development time can sometimes hurt sales, in this case Maxis and EA were able to capitalize on it. The release of the “user-friendly SDK” in the form of the Creature Creator has not only spawned a lot more interest in the game, but made it much more attractive to would-be buyers with the sheer amount of custom made content already available. Who would have guessed that offloading your development onto your players would be a good idea?