If Maxis intended Spore to satisfy hardcore gamers with its unique construction and challenging gameplay, then they have failed. But if they intended it to entice casual gamers (or non-gamers), to inspire a new wave of innovative, cross-genre games, or to create a showcase for user-created content, then their success will be measured by players, not critics. Just as certain films have become classics because of their powerful impact on the movie industry, the games industry has its own classics and innovators, many of which have come from Maxis itself.
Whether Spore will be to games what The Godfather was to film remains to be seen. Regardless, it appears that it will succeed by at least one common industry standard: by selling lots and lots of copies, and making EA gobs and gobs of cold, hard cash.