Game design may have suffered from stagnation in the recent past, but it is now in the midst of far-reaching innovation, argues Lionhead Studios creative director Peter Molyneux, who believes "new genres" will emerge out of the intersection of social spaces, motion control, and emotional intent.
"There's a lot of forces all coming together at once," says Molyneux, as part of an extensive Gamasutra interview to be published in the coming days.
"The hardware manufacturers have really realized, 'Look, if we really want to revolutionize things, it's not about faster processors and more memory. It is actually about things that are being held in the player's hands," he said.
"And then you've got the side where, at last, we're starting to get what online really means," he added, pointing to the importance of social spaces and the extensive "digital relationship" cooperative features in his own upcoming Fable III.
"Thirdly, you've got us as software engineers and designers and creators actually saying, 'Hey, we can make emotional experiences," Molyneux said. "Games like Heavy Rain give you a true emotional roller coaster ride."
Those three main areas of innovation are a far cry from "only a few years ago," claims the designer, who oversees Lionhead as well as the rest of Microsoft Game Studios Europe.
"You put all of that stuff together, and you start to realize that, in two to three years' time, when we all get used to all of this new stuff, all these new colors and the paint palette of design -- it really is going to make new genres happen."