Fable creator Peter Molyneux says that despite EA once again being nominated for “Worst Company in America“, the company has done a great deal” for the video game industry.
“EA is not an evil empire. They’re a company that have done a great deal for this industry. [But] when corporates buy companies, several things change.”
“When EA bought Bullfrog, they just wanted to make it nicer. They moved us to a nice office, where we couldn’t shoot each other [with BB guns] in the corridors,” Molyneux said. “We had an HR department because that was a nice proper professional thing to do. And that changes the flavor of the company.”
“When any company is acquired, it’s gonna change the company,” Molyneux added. “Sometimes, that change can possibly make the company better. Lots of times it can make it worse.”
Acclaimed video game developer Peter Molyneux has revealed that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is one of his top five favourite games of all-time. Molyneux thought the well-received Gamecube and Wii title was jaw dropping when he first played it and he also thought the use of the hardware was brilliant. He confessed that he has played though The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess a couple of times. Here’s his top five games.
World of Warcraft
“It was one of my first experiences with mass multiplayer games. Although I felt slightly dirty playing it and throwing so much of my life away, I still think it was a brilliant title.
“Some of the little things that go unnoticed in World of Warcraft – expanding your motivation and putting things out there which incentivise you over months rather than hours – were so inspired.”
Clash of Clans
“What they’ve done is genius, really. It’s the first I’ve played where I’ve actually wanted to spend money. I know a lot of the industry turn their noses up at things like Clash of Clans but it’s a brilliantly balanced title.
“And just the very fact that when I go to the school and pick up my son, I see all the parents in cars and they’re all Clash fans. And that was an impossible thought a few years ago.”
“There’s been a lot of talk about The Last of Us and the thing about The Last of Us is that it shows you can use charactetrs to make a game feel ten times better.
“But I would choose the Half-Life series. I’d go Half-Life 2 on PC over that. I think that was the real birth of character-led gaming. And even though it’s years old now, it hasn’t aged at all.”
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
“I just feel it’s jaw-dropping and its use of the hardware was brilliant. And I’ve played that game through several times.”
“It wasn’t a hugely successful title but it was another brilliant artistic, beautiful game. I still don’t think that’s been surpassed for the all-encompassing atmosphere of the game. It was one of the first games where you didn’t run around shooting things but you had to care for this little girl, Yorda
“If you can make someone care about something, that is going to be so much more of an experience.”
Outspoken game developer Peter Molyneux agrees that Nintendo would fare a lot better if they left the hardware business and just relied purely on quality software. Molyneux doesn’t agree with Shigeru Miyamoto’s opinion that Nintendo must create hardware to cater to the needs of its own development talent. Here’s what Mr Molyneux had to say.
“What Miyamoto says defines things in this industry. What I say just upsets people,” he cautioned, before continuing. “When Nintendo is making truly world-changing hardware, I totally see his point. But I do wonder about the Wii U – it seemed to be a kind of reaction to SmartGlass. And it’s very chunky, doesn’t really feel like it’s cutting edge. That’s when we start saying, ‘Why not spend some of your unbelievable talent on these devices?’ Because there’s a billion people out there,” Molyneux said, pointing to his iPad.
“You know what Nintendo did – this is a fascinating thing – Nintendo created gamers by the software they made. They created millions of gamers with Donkey Kong and Mario – they were the birth of gamers. That exact same thing is happening on this platform today. Millions of new gamers are being created almost every month, and they’re being created with titles not from Nintendo, not from Microsoft, not from Sony, not even necessarily from Activision or EA. They’re being created by companies like Supercell and Rovio. They’re the ones that are bringing and creating new gamers. And now there are millions of people interacting with franchises, which Nintendo won’t even touch, which seems a shame to me because Nintendo are brilliant about bringing people into the industry, and I think their hardware is starting to get in the way of that,” he said. “But I caveat all of this by saying that they are a factor more intelligent than I am, and they’ve probably got a plan, and you should never underestimate Nintendo. We’ll probably be sitting here in a couple years saying, ‘Oh that’s what they were doing’.”
Will Wright – the designer behind The Sims, SimCity, and Spore – has named Shigeru Miyamoto as one of his personal developer heroes. Wright praises Miyamoto’s ability to focus a game around the player. This inspiration will be seen in Wright’s latest unannounced project. Wright stated that his development company Syntertainment is focusing on “how we build a game around the player’s life – the places they know, the people they hang out with”. Wright also cited developers Peter Molyneux and Sid Meier as current developer inspirations.
What I admire most about [Miyamoto] is he always puts the player first. [Molyneux] takes a lot of risks. [Meier’s] games are just playable.
Peter Molyneux, formerly of Lionhead and co-founder of 22 Cans, believes that the industry needs the Wii U, but admits that he thinks the device is simply good, but not great. Molyneux says that he finds the device a little confusing as a consumer, due to the fact that you’re looking at two separate screens. Here’s Molyneux thoughts on the device which launches throughout Europe tomorrow.
“I think the Wii U is good, but I don’t feel it’s great. I’ve played the experience, I’ve played Nintendo Land, I’ve played ZombiU, and they’re good. I find holding the device in my hand–looking up at the screen and looking down at the device–slightly confusing as a consumer. It’s good, but it’s not great. And we really need these new pieces of hardware to be great in today’s world, because the competition is not just consoles anymore. The competition is everything, all the technology. When you’re holding a Kindle Fire or an iPad in your hand, it’s just amazing technology. It really is. It’s expensive, but it’s amazing technology. And people like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft need to match that. They need to match that in my mind, and exceed it. And I’m not sure the Wii U really did that.”
“I’ve got unvelievable respect for Nintendo. They created our industry in a very real sense. I can remember everybody in the industry laughing and giggling about how stupid the Wii was, what a stupid name it was, and who would want motion control. And then it went on to sell what, 60, 70 million copies? It got people who never considered computer games to play them.”
Acclaimed developer Peter Molyneux has confessed to IGN that he struggles to see anything amazing come out of Nintendo and its forthcoming Wii U console. Molyneux says there’s glimmers of greatness, but there’s nothing that makes him say I have to go out and purchase the device. He went on to commend Nintendo for its immensely popular Wii console, but admits he fails to see the mass market appeal of Wii U.
IGN: What are your thoughts on what Nintendo is doing with the Wii U overall?
Peter Molyneux: I struggle to see anything amazing coming out of Nintendo. There are a few, “Oh, that’s smart,” but there’s nothing that makes me rush out as a consumer to buy the new device. I’ll give you a great example of how tech should be used. It’s what Nintendo did with the Wii when it first came out. They introduced motion control. They were one of the first companies to introduce motion control and they had a fantastic Wii Sports Game. As soon as I picked up the controller and started waving it around, I got it. I already understood it. But I’m not sure there’s a same sort of application out there for Wii U. I think to myself, “Well, what’s the reason to get it?” Do you see what I mean?
IGN: I do. I’ve tried out a lot of the launch games and outside of the Nintendo games like NintendoLand and Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends and ZombiU, there’s not a lot of innovations. And I did find it challenging, even while standing at the kiosk, focusing on both screens.
Peter Molyneux: There you go. I had exactly the same experience. I played those games and I thought, “That’s cute.” But the psychology of making a game is hard enough because plasma screens are so big now. It’s hard enough to get the player to move their eyes from the center of the screen to the borders. When you’re designing a game for a plasma screen you’ve got to really flash the corners of the screen. You’ve got to get movement in, otherwise people don’t notice anything in the corners. Getting people to move their eyes from the screen down to their laps is incredibly hard. There has to be some huge motivational thing like the words coming up, “Look at your GamePad now.” If you’re going to do that, from a design perspective that sounds a bit clumsy and complex.
Kotaku has announced that their team of writers will be joining Geoff Keighley and acclaimed developer Peter Molyneux for unrivalled coverage of E3 on SpikeTV next month. Former Microsoft and Lionhead developer Molyneux will be joining Spike TV’s All Access Live marathon coverage of the first two days of E3, will begin which on Monday, June 4 at 11:30 AM. Here’s what Peter Molyneux has told Kotaku he’s most excited about:
- Sony and Msft are holding their breath on next gen interesting to see how they pad out another year. Price cuts, form factors?
- Nintendo’s slightly lack lustre Wii U is going to have to blow us away with better specs and great 1st party line up.
- The real challenge is how the players are going to adapt to the mounting pressure of Facebook, Apple, Social, Cloud, Multi-Gaming.
- Is the biggest news that E3 itself runs the risk of being outdated, or perhaps it already is?
- I guess I am excited about GTA V, but only in a mildly curious way.
- I am excited, as always, to hear from Valve.
- I would expect some announcement from Bungie
- God only knows what COD will have to destroy in the Press briefing demo, after last year’s destruction of NY.