According to Will Wright, the creator of the Sim City series, the phrase "reticulating spline" is meaningless. In an interview, the game's creator admitted that the phrase was used because it "sounded cool".
The phrase "reticulating spline" appears in many games created by Maxis, the company behind Sim City. The phrase features in The Sims, The Sims 2 and The Sims 3. Other program developers have also adopted the phrase; it appears in Minecraft, the Khan Academy website, and in the data backup program Mozy. In Sim City 2000, a female voice speaks the words "reticulating spline" while a new landscape is loading.