"The trouble is, I'm a terrible PR person. I'm just this person that absolutely loves what they do, I just love what I do, and when you get someone who loves what they do so much, you get them to talk about what they're doing, of course I'm gonna come across as enthusiastic.
"Does Peter Molyneux have kids? That's a frightening thought. You can bet he really talked them up before coming out of the womb. 'This one's basically gonna be Peter Molyneux
the greatest child in the world. The innovation going in this child, you just can't believe it! This child—get this—this child will
eat things, and the matter it eats will be converted into matter that processes the body! It's never been seen before!'"
(last name pronounced like "moly-new" in case you were wondering) is a British game developer that help found three different game studios; Bullfrog Productions
, Lionhead Studios
and 22 Cans.
Peter Molyneux's first game was a self published text based simulation game about running a fledgling company called The Entrepreneur
released 1982. Peter was sure it was going to be an instant classic and after publishing an advert in a magazine cut a "bigger letterbox" for all the orders that would surely flood in; the game sold two copies. Disparaged Peter joined with Les Edgar to start up a company to ship baked beans to The Middle East
called "Taurus Impex Limited". Commodore International (same company behind the Amiga
and Commodore 64
) mistook the company for TORUS, a networking software company, and gave the fledgling company ten free Amigas. After clearing up the confusion (yet after taking the free hardware) Taurus designed a database system for the Amiga called Acquisition
Using the money gained from Acquisition
Les Edgar and Peter founded Bullfrog Productions in 1987. Creating the "God Sim" genre with the game Populous
. The game realized Peter's dream of creating an instant classic with over four million sold. In 1994 Peter became an Electronic Arts
vice-president and consultant; in 1995 EA bought Bullfrog. Peter left the company in 1997, with his last title being Dungeon Keeper
, to found a new studio; Lionhead.
Following up on the God Sim Lionhead's first game was Black & White
, Peter personally funded $6 million to develop the game, the game released in 2001. In 2004 the company started the Fable
series exclusively on the Xbox
. In 2006, Lionhead was bought by Microsoft Studios
. In 2010, Molyneux demoed, the then new, Kinect with Project Milo
. Project Milo
was stated to be a whole new virtual experience with the eponymous character learning complex social mannerisms and developing the more you played with him. There was some confusion over if this was just a demo or an actual game; Molyneux said it was while Microsoft said it wasn't. Project Milo
disappeared and it was later revealed that elements of it was used in Fable The Journey
In 2012, Molyneux left the company to start a third company 22 Cans. 22 Cans released the "video game" Curiosity – What's Inside the Cube?
an experimental title that promised a life changing prize for the player that opened the cube. The prize turned out to have part of the profits, some creative control and god-like powers in their next game, Godus
once again saw Peter returning to the God Sim, but this time using money raised via Kickstarter
Molyneux himself is a polarizing figure in the industry; this is in no small part due to the passionate speeches he gives about each of this games. In short he often over sells what the games can actually do, leaving players to feel cheated
when they finally play the game; both the Black & White
franchises suffered from this. Jim Sterling
even came up with the "Molyneux Cycle"◊
to describe his habit of overhyping the game, then when it comes time for the sequel, feigns Creator Backlash
over it's predecesor and over-sells the sequel. However, he also won many notable awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Game Developers Choice Awards, a BAFTA Fellowship at the 2011 British Academy Video Games Awards and has an OBE.