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Will Wright and his co-founder Jawad Ansari have resolved a lawsuit over control of startup Hive Mind. The move could free one of the industry’s greatest creative minds to start making games again based on his vision of “personal gaming.”
Wright, one of the most successful developers in history, and Ansari, a business man with a history in investments, started Hive Mind in the summer of 2011 to execute on some ideas created by Wright’s existing startup, the Stupid Fun Club. The Stupid Fun Club raised $10 million from Electronic Arts, Wright’s former employer, which (along with his previous company) has sold more than 100 million copies of Wright’s games, such as The Sims.
At Hive Mind, the business concept was to implement and monetize a “new cross-platform, cross-media social gaming experience that Wright had envisioned.” Wright’s idea was to include not only games but broadcast television shows. The platform would use location and situational awareness of an individual to enable entertainment, social, and lifestyle software applications. The game, app, and TV show would connect users who had the same goals in mind. One of the ideas was a Shadow Net game with a spy theme.
But Hive Mind ran aground trying to raise money, and Wright and another partner sought to remove Ansari from the company. Ansari sued Wright and co-founder Raj Parekh in February to stop the attempt. Now the trio appears to have patched things up.
In a statement, Wright said, “We are pleased to have reached a friendly and respectful resolution. Jawad’s entrepreneurial energy, passion for the expansion of the online game industry, and tenacious execution brought the necessary elements together to build Hive Mind to where the operating team can take the company forward.”
Ansari said in his own statement, “During my 18 years in the business, I have never met anyone who has the creativity and vision of Will Wright. Over the period of several months working with Will Wright, Will’s mentorship helped me develop a deep understanding of players’ psychology and thus the ability to see the world in dimensions that I did not know even existed. For this I would always be thankful to Will!”
Wright will continue to be affiliated with Stupid Fun Club, an incubator of online and media-related games in Berkeley, Calif. Ansari will devote himself to GCube Capital, which recently launched its GCube Special Situations Fund. The exact legal status of Hive Mind hasn’t been explained, but at least the litigation is over.