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Peter Molyneux leaving Lionhead, Microsoft for new games studio 22 Cans
Peter Molyneux leaving Lionhead, Microsoft for new games studio 22 Cans
March 7, 2012 | By Mike Rose

March 7, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Bullfrog and Lionhead Studios co-founder Peter Molyneux today revealed that he will leave Microsoft and Lionhead once development of Fable: The Journey is complete.

The industry veteran first rose to games industry fame from his work on a string of successful Bullfrog titles such as Dungeon Keeper and Populous. He then left Bullfrog in 1997 to co-found Lionhead, and went on to create the iconic Black & White and Fable franchises.

Lionhead was acquired by Microsoft in 2006, at which point it focused on development of games for the Xbox 360. Molyneux is currently the head at Lionhead, and creative head at Microsoft Studios Europe.

However, in a statement to Kotaku today, he explained, "It is with mixed emotions that I made the decision to leave Microsoft and Lionhead Studios, the company that I co-founded in 1997, at the conclusion of development of Fable: The Journey."

He continued, "I remain extremely passionate and proud of the people, products and experiences that we created, from lack & White to Fable to our pioneering work with Milo and Kate for the Kinect platform. However, I felt the time was right to pursue a new independent venture."

Microsoft said in a statement that it wishes Molyneux "the best of luck in his future endeavors," and called him "one of our most passionate and influential developers for the Xbox 360 platform."

Molyneux revealed via Twitter that his next venture is a new games company called 22 Cans, which was recently established by former Lionhead chief technical officer Tim Rance. "Now for something really amazing, scary and brave, a new company called 22 Cans," he tweeted.

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Sean Davis
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Miguel Castarde
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Fiore Iantosca
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David Marcum
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I see you're new here. I always find it best to hold my tongue when I enter a new situation and just listen to others. I do this so I don't enter into a relationship on the wrong foot.

You will find that the majority of us don't flame or just state our emotional opinion. We tend to have a dialog here, like professionals. Recently there seems to be a flood of fanboy types that act inappropriately. Please don't follow their example.

Bob Johnson
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Except he ain't going anywhere. Just chAnging the name of the sign over his shop. Lol.I suppose he could be switching platforms if that is what you are hoping.

Or maybe you glad someone else will be making Fable?

Nitin Venugopal
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The man is responsible for some of the best games i have ever played. Populous , Dungeon Keeper and Black and white were revolutionary games. Its just sad that Molynuex gets so much hate because he is passionate about what he does.

Nitin Venugopal
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I agree about Fable not delivering what it had initially promised but is it really something only Molynuex and Lionhead did ? I remember Bethesda and Todd Howard talking about how Radiant AI in Oblivion will do amazing things but they had to tone it down because it was simply too ambitious for the time. A lot of games lose features mid-development. I just feel some of the hate is unwarranted. Infact i think any hate is unwarranted. Blame the game but looking down upon one of the greatest game designers we have in the industry because he couldn't deliver on some promises is just too much in my opinion.

Eric McQuiggan
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@Nintin And Christian

Peter Molyneux also admitted to coming up with gameplay ideas on the fly during presentations, jokingly stating that his team will take care of it.

I think in some circles, like Romero, it's just cool to hate on him.

I think a lot of what he talks about is right and important.

Marcos Garcia-Geymonat
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I hope he starts making god games like "black and white" again!

Freek Hoekstra
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I think he felt like a part of a machine , like bungie did with halo, making fable untill eternity.
in that sense I can understand his move, also being tied with the Xbox platform might feel constrained.
he was responsible for some of my favorite games of all time and I wish him the best,
the same to Lionhead, that they may make some great products.

k s
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I wish you the best of luck in your next venture Mr Molyneux, you're one of the reasons I got into video game development.

Johnathon Swift
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Good luck Molyneux, and I don't blame him in the least.

Microsoft Game Studios has really gone downhill after Ed Fries left. By all accounts the shop is run much like Activision under Kotick, but with less efficiency and business know how.For those interested, it was the Microsoft Execs that got Molyneux's experimental "Mylo" game cancelled, that forced Fable 3 out ahead of any reasonably scheduled game.

Halo 4's creative director also left, and MS barely has a decent first party studio to its name anymore. Lionhead has been gutted, Bungie quit, Rare has been forced into kiddie games, I wouldn't doubt 343 studios is going to make Halo 4 yet another game only Halo fan boys care about.Microsoft's first party stuff has crashed and burned in comparison to Sony's efforts with Uncharted, stuff like Journey, Infamous and etc.

Duong Nguyen
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It seemed odd that Molyneux even took a job at Microsoft, they're corporate culture really isn't a good match for his creative style, imo. Microsoft doesn't manage their creative teams well, seems like every game company they acquire bleeds talent and ultimately gets shelved.. The list of PC/Console companies they've bought and consumed is a testament to that..

Llaura Mcgee
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Fantastic news!

Rob B
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Look at things like The Room and there is _massive_ potential. It had portals that are still more mechanically advanced than valves despite being coded long before that game existed, moulding of shapes that become objects, time manipulation far beyond most games Ive ever seen, its a tool box full of some of the most fantastic game mechanics Ive seen in years. There have been other examples of this kinect tech demos and ideas that have so much promise. It just never seems to come to fruition.

I hope Molyneux finds a team that can really bring out those concepts and turn them in to some great games, perhaps with more focus, a little more grounding. Let the guy pull out these fantastic ideas but reign it in to a truly great product as he used to and occasionally still does.

Denis Nickoleff
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I think this is great. Lion Head has top notch talent, but no real freedom, it will be great to see what Peter can output with the shackles removed.