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Moving The Industry Forward: Peter Molyneux Speaks
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Moving The Industry Forward: Peter Molyneux Speaks

April 7, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 5 Next

Well it's funny -- and the reason I was thinking about this is, you were just talking about us as an industry. With Pogo, Club Pogo is their subscription service. They're telling me the demographic is like 75% women... And I seriously doubt that 75% women are making the games. Not to say that men can't make games for women -- but you know what I mean? Sometimes I think about the demographic. Are we limited in our creative palette because of our talent pool?

PM: Yes. Absolutely. I think you're right. You know, the head of the Fable 2 team is Louise Copley, who's a woman. And I think her perspective -- and Louise and I work very closely together, and her perspective is really, really useful. It's really useful to get -- I think you're right. To a great extent, boys make toys for boys, and I think that's absolutely true.

I see the other thing, which is fascinating -- someone's got to do some analysis, comparing the average age and social position of your average games developer, ten years ago versus now, and look at the type of games that are made.

Because a lot of the game developers, myself included, who were footloose and fancy-free, and single blokes who went home and played computer games incessantly all the time, now are married with kids. And that is going to change the type of games that they make. Absolutely, it will change the type of games.

Because it changes your perspective, and also changes the type of games that you have time to consume. So you become influenced by things that surround you.

PM: Yes, that's right. I mean, that is one of the very big features on I thought about for co-op -- I think it's fantastic that I can play with my son now, and it's great, to get on the couch.

I feel like right now a lot of ways, we're at a crossroads in this industry, where -- you know, I was talking to David Jaffe about how he's making a first-party game for Sony in his new development studio, and he looks at the --

PM: What sort of games has he made [in his new studio]?

The game isn't announced yet. I just know that we were talking about how it's going to be a high budget, $60, first-party game -- a blockbuster attempt. He looks at the numbers that they have to crunch -- you know, how many copies do they have to sell? And it's a little bit scary now. Whereas, back in the PlayStation 1 era, when he was getting started with Twisted Metal 1, they'd spend, I don't know, half a million dollars, and sell a million copies, and everyone would have a party.

PM: I've got a better example than that. When you look at Populous, that I made back in 1989, it cost... £5,900 to make. Which was me -- my food consumption for nine months. Just about. That was it. I suppose maybe that was $9,000 in total. And it sold three and a half million copies.

And we compare that with the fortune -- I don't like to think of it! -- the loads of money that Fable 2 costs. Populous 1, back 20 years ago, versus Fable 2. In fact, Populous versus Fable, they both sold the same number of units. One cost ten thousand dollars; I don't know what Fable 1 cost, but...

I imagine that there's an increase between Fable 1 and Fable 2...

PM: Oh, God yes. (laughs) I mean, there is, actually, there's a lot of things that we could talk about, and one of the things that you talk about is the sustainability of these huge, huge titles, and how close this model is, at the moment, with what happened in the movie studios when they stumbled upon the Cecil B. DeMille blockbuster -- Quo Vadis, Cleopatra, all that.

And they suddenly turned from making films that cost five million dollars, into making films that cost a hundred million dollars. And that caused all the small studios to just completely shutter, for a long time, until they found a new way of working. You know, where everyone came together.

And I think you could look at this industry and say, "How much longer can we sustain this model?" We only need to have a couple of big, big losses -- we've probably already had a couple already, under the radar. I can think of a couple off the top of my head. When someone turns around and says "I think there's got to be a better way of doing this." I do wonder about that.

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