Moving The Industry Forward: Peter Molyneux Speaks
April 7, 2008 Page 5 of 5
Right now I'd say that a lot of the games, like, SCE games -- Sony's own games -- some of them are clearly not selling enough copies at present to be successful. I mean, everyone loves Uncharted, but I don't think performing adequately.
PM: Strange one, that. I haven't played it -- I've messed around with it, but I haven't played it. But it doesn't seem wrong; it doesn't seem bad -- I just didn't find it particularly inspiring. Although I've been very busy recently, of course, with Fable.
Recently Lionhead became part of Microsoft Game Studios, and you went through this before, with Bullfrog and EA. I recently saw John Riccitiello speak at DICE, saying, "Bullfrog was one of our disasters, in the sense that we choked the life out of it."
PM: John was very nice, there. He's actually right, and I think that's a very interesting comment that he made, when he said you've got to give your creative flowers room to grow. And I think that was a really interesting, and very insightful thing to say.
But... There were lots of faults. Lots of faults on my behalf; lots of immaturities on my behalf, which meant that, you know, that relationship didn't work. So it wasn't all EA's fault, it was a lot of mine as well.
I was a rather young mid-thirty-year-old at that time, and the deal that was done, all this money came in, and suddenly the studio went from -- this was kind of where the real problem for me was -- the studio went from being thirty-five really close friends that went down the pub every night together, into 150 people who, 115 of which I had never met before, in the space of, like, six months.
And that was just insane for a little while. You had this core group of people that really work well together, and then suddenly you get like that. And it all, everything impacted each other, and it was really very, very messy.
And I think instead, if at the time -- this is hindsight, this is very easy to say -- but if at the time somebody had come to me and said, "What do you want to do, Peter? What do you really want to do? What's important to you?" I think we could've sat down and worked it out -- but at that time, it was more, "Oh my God, Peter's gone creative on this! We've got to do something!" There's panic!
But it's different this time with Microsoft.
PM: With Microsoft it's different. I mean, I think it's different, because one, I'm in a very, very different place, and two, I think I can define my role a lot more. Because back in the Bullfrog days, there was a very important, enormous difference -- I was programming a lot of these games. I was the lead programmer, and the lead designer in a lot of these games.
And when EA acquired us, I stopped being a programmer the day they acquired us. And that is a huge withdrawal problem... I'm not a very good programmer; I'm not fast enough...
So it's very, very different with Microsoft. Microsoft's a fantastic company to work for. And, currently, it's enormously exciting working on Fable 2; I'm also working on another title, which is unannounced, but it's an enormous, incredible challenge, which has taken [what's] almost my life's work, of A.I., to its ultimate end. And that's a pretty exciting place to be.
Definitely. And my last quick question is, what's inside of Peter Molyneux's DS? What game is there?
PM: It's the obvious one. It's Phantom Hourglass, which is, well, genius. You know, fantastic. I think it's the best handheld game yet.
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