Peter Molyneux resigns – “Now is the time to be crazy, man.”
Peter Molyneux is leaving Lionhead Studios and Microsoft and talks to games™ about his future as a creative.
“Now is the time to be crazy, man,” Peter Molyneux told games™ just a few days ago. “You’ve got to be crazy. The world is changing and it’s changing fast.” It’s a rather appropriate statement from the creative mind behind the Fable series, as earlier today the Lionhead Studios head, Microsoft Studios Europe creative director and OBE, Molyneux has announced his resignation from his current post at the company.
Last week, Molyneux spoke candidly about the creative constraints, in what could be his last interview while working at Microsoft. “The toughest job of a designer is to persuade and convince people that an idea is a good idea,” he said. “I have lots of ideas and lots of those ideas don’t get anywhere because they’re not convincing enough. I would love to wake up in the morning and think why don’t we do this but if I cant form not only the idea but can’t form the explanation of the idea not only to myself and my team but to the managers at Microsoft then it’s not going to get anywhere.”
His passion for emerging technology and other industry figures is clear, but also discloses the challenges faced in expressing creative freedom. “The world is coming along with Smart glass and Kinect, motion tracking and face tracking and cloud and multiple device gaming and now is the time to be crazy. It’s not the time to be conservative; a few years ago we could be conservative when we had our nice comfortable safe controllers, our safe consoles that was it there was no more than that.
“Well now we’re in a whole new era and that era is about exploring, creating and playing with ideas because our consumers – our gamers, our core gamers, our social gamers the entire world – are looking to this industry and are saying excite us. Innovate. Please innovate and excite us and games like Minecraft show that if you just break those rules, those solid foundation stones that have become millstones round our neck then wonderful things happen. I love Marcus Pearson because he broke the rules, he had a game without tutorials, he had a game where you can just walk off into the sunset for forever and ever and he had a game where every block can change and that shouldn’t work. I can remember talking to people in all sorts of organisations where they said that’s rubbish it’s never going to work. Where is his tutorial? Now they’re laughing on the other side of their face.”
Molyneux, 52, has been making video games since the late Eighties, with the god-game Populous an early hit for the ambitious developer, following with Theme Park, Black & White and the Fable series. He released the following statement earlier today alongside the announcement: “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 will remain a creative consultant on Fable: The Journey, which is due for release in October. “I remain extremely passionate and proud of the people, products and experiences that we created,” Molyneux said, “from Black & White toFable to our pioneering work with Milo and Katefor the Kinect platform. However, I felt the time was right to pursue a new independent venture. I’d like to thank the team at Lionhead, as well as our partners at Microsoft Studios for their support, dedication and incredible work over the years.”
Where his new studio 22 Cans will take him is unclear, but knowing the notoriously candid industry luminary, it won’t be long before we find out.
Read our full interview in games™ issue 121.