Taking the developer reins on this one is – predictably – EA Maxis, creators of the original Spore, and home of The Sims (as well as other similar simulation titles). They’ve got a pretty hefty pedigree in making amazingly popular games, but, crucially, not much history in RPGs.
But! Parent company EA do have a handy team on-side who have plenty of RPG experience – a little outfit known as BioWare. (Not familiar with them? They’ve created, among other things, the Mass Effect universe – which could pretty easily be described as a “sci-fi action-RPG”.)
…unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the true nature of that “help” to be revealed, thanks to a handy “Meet the Devs” document sent out by EA. Turns out that the lead writer for Darkspore, Malcom Azania, happens to also be a member of the BioWare writing team. He contributed to Mass Effect 2 and the downloadable Kasumi mission, and has published a bunch of his own novels under a pseudonym).
The team also includes developers who’ve worked on The Godfather, Call of Duty: Finest Hour, Star Wars: Force Unleashed, The Simpsons, Warhammer and, um, Diablo 3 (“back when it was in space, but after it was a pirate game”). There’s also a programmer who helped launch PayPal.com!