An action-RPG version of Spore is expected to be revealed at Comic-Con 2010 later this month.
Even though E3 2010 took place back in the beginning of June, apparently Electronic Arts and Maxis have decided to reveal a new Spore title at Comic-Con 2010 instead. Held this year at San Diego, California, the convention schedule lists the game as a "brand new Sci-Fi Action-RPG based on the DNA of Spore," and will be presented by Thomas Vu, Paul Sottosanti, and Lauren McHugh.
Unfortunately, no other details were given. However, it's speculated that the new title could possibly be the rumored Dark Spore, a trademark recently filed by EA. As Gamesatura pointed out, the Spore franchise was created to include a "universe" of games surrounding the central Spore ideal. We've already seen various titles outside the original Spore PC game including Spore Hero, Spore: Galactic Adventures and a few others. There's even a Facebook spinoff.
So what will the action-RPG genre bring to the Spore franchise? Would it be something like--dare we say--Pokemon? Although that might work on the Nintendo DS, PC gamers may puke on something of that magnitude. I reviewed the original PC game for Tom's Games a few years ago, and probably gave it one of the lowest scores available. While the game really showed promise in the initial stages, Spore grew terribly dull and annoying by the time the creatures ventured out into space.
But an action-RPG game? This might totally work for Spore. Players could create their initial beast and upgrade its components as it matures and gains experience. The creatures could take on quests and perform side-jobs to bring in resources for its tribe. It could have online multiplayer capabilities where players battle each other in a Pokemon-style battle, or group together in a co-op mode to "dungeon-crawl" on alien worlds.