Peter Molyneux Claims Video Game Controllers Are ‘Tedious And Boring’

Peter Molyneux, formerly of Lionhead studios, is renowned for his controversial comments. This time Molyneux has told online gaming publication Beefjack that video game controllers are not only tedious, but they’re boring. Here’s Peter Molyneux rant for your enjoyment.

“I am just sick to death of having my hand clamped to this controller – of having to be forced to use my thumb in a certain way, and having my other hand clamped to the other side of the controller, and having games say ‘No, you will do it this way, and if you don’t do it this way then we will punish you’.”

[Typical console control inputs make him feel] “like some laboratory rat running around a maze, being forced to experience games in that way.”

“Sure enough, controllers are great, they give us exactly what we want, but that is so tedious and boring now.”


90 thoughts on “Peter Molyneux Claims Video Game Controllers Are ‘Tedious And Boring’”

    1. +1. I would have said the same.

      Wii remote + nunchuck for a true controller experience.

      Wonder if I can get past that for a more classical style controller like the Wii U controller.

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      1. I don’t agree. It’s a good controller, but the positioning of the 1 and 2 buttons makes them impossible to reach while playing regularly.

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    2. Good point there. Wii remote control was a breath of fresh air, but surely there’s more innovation to be found in other areas.

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    3. He really has no excuse now. The wiiu pad lets him paint like a Wacom tablet you just aim the controller at what you want to paint. You could also use motion plus which has been perfected thanks to Zelda.

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      1. He fact of the matter is the wiiu could be used to creat and paint 3d models in real 3d because of these functions.

        Bring on the level editor apps!

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  1. I love when he says some of his odder things, but this seems a bit more of something he is saying to try and increase the sales of Fable: The Journey (which he has to finish before he can leave Lionhead). So unless he is saying the same thing about a year from now then I wouldn’t believe him.

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    1. Tell me about it. This whiny little cotton swab makes no sense. “A lab rat”? Seriously? Next thing he’ll be complaining about is how TV remotes have too many buttons and that he feels like a zombie when changing channels. wtf, this guy is a loser.

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  2. If he thinks a controller is tedious and boring, he should turn on the console first.
    All joking aside, I don’t understand what his point is.

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    1. His point is that the fact it has become a staple in the industry and so normal makes it boring.
      I think he is after things like what happened with new paint colours were created for artists in the renaissance or new editing techniques for movies appeared in the digital age (or heck just the change of 2D to 3D environments and gameplay)

      He wants a new shift, and maybe 20 years down the line after a controller-free time he will say controllers are no longer boring.

      His qualm is more with the stagnation it has brought, not necassarily the input mechanism.

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      1. Stagnation and unification around a time-tested method are completely different.

        This guy thinks he’s being really philosophical, when really he just sounds like a stoned jackass.

        “Man, what’s up with these ‘controllers?’ I hate when console manufacturers are all tellin’ me what to do and stuff.”

        Controllers are around, and will continue to be around, because they work. That doesn’t mean anything is stagnated.

        There’s a lot like him that thinks physical media is stagnating. Yeah, that’s a viewpoint that’s certainly founded in reality. Like controllers, discs and cartridges are useful, effective, and are not going anywhere for a long time.

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        1. People said that about Arcades, fightsticks, radio, physical books etc…
          All of these things were the massive norm. in general and now aren’t (even physical books are now starting to sell evenly with digital).

          All of them served a purpose and people didn’t think a better way could overcome them because of how normal they were and how lesser the other options were in terms of development – but eventually they lost out dispite the huge public psyche built up for them.

          I am not saying I with him (I am actually cynical about it being a publicity stung for the Fable game as I said in another comment). But his arguement is valid and honestly anyone who says they know how the future will be because of how it is now is either ignorant or a downright fool.

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  3. lolwut That sort of comment can be applied to anything.

    “I am sick and tired of having to hold my fork tines down, of having to drive using a steering wheel, of typing with my keys in the QWERTY format, etc etc” Ridiculous really. lol

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  4. wow…he says he hates using his thumb in a certain way. If your gonna be that lazy then don’t play and don’t complain. He also hates having his hand clamped around his controller,would you rather play with your feet?…

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  5. For someone like him to be satisfied, we need to establish consumer-level holo-controllers. It would appear when you turn on the system and configure to any form the developers desires.

    In our present world, however, things aren’t so flexible. Despite being “boring,” it’s a time-tested scheme that consistently works across the industry and offers the standard of tactile response. What makes it problematic is always using the same buttons for standardized purposes in established genres. A developer shouldn’t be a bunch of pretentious twats and make you jump with B instead of A, but they do need to keep in mind what scheme works best for their game and not necessarily what the player is familiar with.

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  6. Nah man. Controllers are awesome. THAT FEEL YOU GET when every SINGLE input at that chain combo was perfect. Dat feeling.

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  7. What exactly does he suggest, then? If he’s trying to say that Kinect is superior, then he would be incorrect in separating it from controllers. Kinect, like traditional controllers, has parameters to control your on-screen actions, and it tells you what to do. The only difference is that Kinect isn’t held in your hands.

    Does he think we should transcend reality and become the videogame? I mean, that’s the only way that you can escape the “restrictive” nature of videogame controls.

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  8. You know what I’m sick of, clamping my hands to a steering wheel every time I drive a car; it’s so tedious and boring. When will they invent a car that will drive itself to appease my complaining.

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    1. Using you hand is so tedious and boring. Here are some other things that shouldn’t require using your hands:

      Playing a musical instrument
      Performing surgery
      Shaking hands
      Typing

      Let’s hope Mr. Molyneux find flapping his gums as tedious and boring.

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  9. Wow. I don’t know who this guy is, but he sounds as if he is trying to sound all known and controversial deliberately. It seems like the kind of thing where he expects people to thing about it and then realise they agree with him, when infact it’s just a downright STUPID comment that barely makes sense. i know Kinect and everything are popular, but controllers have been staples for decades, and as long as people keep making interesting ones, there isn’t a problem.

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  10. I kinda agree with his statement in the sense that controllers really have gotten boring in terms of design (not so much for any alleged feeling-like-a-lab-rat syndromes). We haven’t had a really novel main controller design ever since the SNES’ controller, and we all know this, because every controller from that point on practically adopted that design in different ways. Nintendo is like the only company that actually bothers to put out widely different main controller designs. N64 controller was different, Gamecube controller was different, Wii remote was very different, and the Wii U touch controller is obviously different even if it also adopts the SNES design somewhat. It’s like, damn, when are we going to get a Playstation controller that isn’t the same damn thing all over again? (Even if it is so very convenient to use) And I’m not counting the Move, as that’s only a supplementary control scheme and not the main one, not to mention it’s not original either. At least Microsoft went out of their way to create the most novel controller ever, which is no controller at all. (Not that I would use it much)

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  11. LOL This coming from the guy who said Fable was going to be a game changer hah…..Fable 1 on xbox1 should get an award for the shortest RPG of all time with nearly no content. Yeah that sure is a game changer… /sarcasm

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  12. He’s just saying this to try advertise his new kinect game. If EVERY game was played without a controller, kinect style, then we’d all look like fucking idiots every time we play a game.

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  13. Maybe if he surgically removed his hands, he could laugh in the face of every game developer and say “You can’t punish me any more and make me use your controller! I win!”. Then we’d all be happy.

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  14. Ok then don use you thumbs use you index finger then you will c which is preferable dumb fuck try using a spoon with your feet to eat i bet you tired of using you hands for that too am i right? and fuck it lets all take showers upside down i’m sick of standing on my feet to take a decent shower i want to stand on my hands. and while were at it lets go inside of the T.V. and watch everything out side of it because looking at the screen from the couch is less fun than looking at the couch from the T.V.. . . . . . .. . . any more bright ideas OH GREAT ONE?

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  15. “Sure enough, controllers are great, they give us exactly what we want, but that is so tedious and boring now.” Soooo…he wants controllers to be badly designed and with gimmicky features that nobody wants, just so that they stay “new” or “interesting”? OK…

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      1. PS4/720 will be 1080P. Theres no way there putting 4K on it.

        4K is due to be released to buy fully by 2015, but yet it will be to expensive to buy so 1080P will be the future for the next gen consoles. After this generation, 4K will be available.

        4K is Movie theatre definition. 4K is ultra HD.

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  16. More lab-rat like than having to raise your right arm for fifteen seconds to pause the game? WOAH! That is lab-rat like! (sarcasm)

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    1. I want to affirm that I seriously don’t like Avatar. It’s important that you all know I’d much rather call it ridiculous.

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  17. So why doesn’t he just play the Wii, DS, or wait for the Wii U? They do not play like the way he mentioned irritated him. Anyways I don’t even care. He’s leaving the Fable team and I doubt we will get Fable on a Nintendo system so I really don’t care.

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  18. I believe he is trying to create controversy so his name can be mentioned in gaming sites. Here are my reasons: First, he exaggerates when he says that he is being punished by the games he plays for using the controllers in the manner he dislikes. In his logic, he might feel punished for many things he dislikes doing on a daily basis. For instance, driving his car and using both his hand on a steering wheel, we can argue that he is being punished to using his hands to drive his car. Pressing a button in an elevator, we can argue that he is being punished for using his finger to push the button to go to another floor. Use a keyboard for using his fingers. Essentially he can be punish for doing many things that he dislikes. Second, we are not lab rats in a maze. The “lab rat” process occurs during development and research in a laboratory. Research teams that work on game controllers use people and other resources to test their products before it goes out to the public sometimes with great success and others not so much. Third, to call this form of use to play a game as simply boring is foolish. To simply call it boring seems that he is not putting a lot of thought to what he is saying, thus we must ignore it as a rant. If he wishes or claims that he is sparking debate, he is not. He should write or speak of this topic in a more well thought, detailed, and thorough manner.

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