Rickety rochelledde,
John Riccitiello said:
"Change if you must, Will, but
Don't go away!"

Ace game designer Will
Wright took appraisal, then --
Shig'u Mi-YA-moto! --
Said: "I (Will) stay."
-- Double dactyl by Anders Bylund, ten seconds ago

Would you bank on a team that just lost the star player on its roster? The Miami Heat are nothing if you eliminate Dwayne Wade. Michael Jordan had an all-star cast around him in the '90s Chicago Bulls -- but His Airness was still unarguably the difference-maker. Nobody would bet on a leaderless team.

So this week, as legendary video game designer Will Wright leaves the payroll of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS), the sky must be caving in over Redwood City, Calif. (EA's headquarters). After all, his Spore was a homemade hit for EA last year, sure to spawn sequels and add-ons. Everybody knows SimCity, right? And The Sims with its plethora of sequels and add-on packs, has sold more than 100 million copies for EA over the years. Sims 3 hits store shelves this summer, and it'll surely continue the franchise's winning streak.

Electronic Arts, formerly known as the #1 video game publisher in the world, has lost its crown to Activision-Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI). The company has been struggling to grow, both organically and inorganically. An attempt to bolster EA's development pipeline and sales with an opportunistic buyout bid for Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) fizzled into thin air last year. Any and every potential hit matters to EA right now.

Well, the sky would normally be crashing down on EA's heads. Except that Will didn't exactly move a million miles away. Wright's new project -- named after his prize-winning Robot Wars team, the Stupid Fun Club -- is actually a joint venture. EA and Will Wright each hold a 50% stake in the company, and EA has right of first refusal to "develop game concepts that spring from Stupid Fun Club projects." 

This means greater creative freedom for Wright -- if EA doesn't like his ideas, he can take them elsewhere. And a 50% stake in the business gives Wright a massive say on pretty much everything. Also, he leaves many of his former employees behind at EA, where he spent more than a decade building awesome games -- and networking. Expect EA to snap up the majority of Wright's forthcoming ideas. 

Will Wright stands shoulder to shoulder with true legends of video gaming, such as Nintendo's (OTC BB: NTDOY.PK) Shigeru Miyamoto (the man behind Super Mario, Zelda, Wii Fit, and more) and Sid Meier (Pirates!, the Civilization series, and others), who now works for Take-Two. 

The JV looks like a brainiac move for all parties involved. EA gets a guaranteed flow of fresh game seeds, Wright strikes it rich -- and if everything works out to plan, so will shareholders when those seeds bloom and bear fruit. With sequels.

It might be time to buy EA.

Further stupid fun Foolishness:

Take-Two Interactive Software is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Nintendo are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletter service free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Take-Two, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. He is a huge fan (6'5") of all the great game developers mentioned, though. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.