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After flirting with retirement, Peter Molyneux doubles down on making games

After flirting with retirement, Peter Molyneux doubles down on making games

February 3, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

February 3, 2016 | By Alex Wawro
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"I came up with this simple strategy: I would just be a coder and a designer, and I would talk to the press perhaps about something I had done and had released, but not talk to the press about what I am doing, because that is clearly not working."

- Peter Molyneux reflects on his plan to reshape his career.

By all accounts, veteran game designer Peter Molyneux's career hit a bit of a rough patch in 2015.

Early on he found himself in the hotseat over unfulfilled promises about his studio 22cans' crowdfunded god game Godus. Later, he engaged in a contentious interview with Rock Paper Shotgun that inspired him to withdraw from speaking to the press and, as he claims in an interview published today by Eurogamer, to consider retiring from game development outright.

"When I put that phone down I felt like giving up. Whenever you have one of those big reactions to anything in life, it is always that child inside of you who comes up and says, well, fuck it then," Molyneux told Eurogamer, noting that "it was tempting to retire" but that he ultimately decided against it.

"The only thing I can do is hunker down and strip myself back to what I really am, which is someone who just loves what he does with a passion that is often misinterpreted by people," he continued. "And to stop being a spokesman, stop being a person journalists phone up when there's a new piece of hardware out, or when there's a new monetization technique out, and just be a programmer and a designer. That happened within that 24 hour period after that interview."

This is well in line with a talk Molyneux gave at a game development conference last year, months after the RPS interview was published, in which he advised developers that talking to the press too early can be your undoing.

And indeed, as Eurogamer notes today, the longtime designer mostly avoided press attention in the latter half of 2015, as 22cans experienced significant staff turnover and was "rebooted" with a new CEO.

But now Molyneux is back, and talking to the press about how he intends to not talk to the press unless he has something to show. For Eurogamer it's Godus Wars, 22cans' new real-time stragey game that launched today on Steam's Early Access service. 

You can read more about the design process of the game, and how it reflects Molyneux's game development career goals for the foreseeable future, in the full Eurogamer feature.



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