Peter Molyneux Interview

Eurogamer has a long interview with ex-Lionhead Peter Molyneux, and among the many subjects touched upon by the piece, including why he left Microsoft, the What Would Molydeux game jam, but what really interest us are the bits about the Fable franchise, and Fable III in particular:
What about games? Is there a game you created while at Lionhead you're most proud of, or is that too abstract a question to answer?

Peter Molyneux: It's not an abstract question but it is a difficult one to answer. I find making a game is like being a parent. You feel very protective about the games you do, you feel very proud about them, and you love them. Just like a parent, it's very hard to pick a favourite child.

I think I love features more. I loved the dog in Fable 2. That was a moment where we realised gaming experiences aren't just about the weapon you've got, that you can give something else to players. I loved the creature in Black & White. I loved the world in Black & White. I loved the theme of The Movies, but I think we made a terrible mistake with The Movies.


But the dog from Fable 2 stands out for you?

Peter Molyneux: Yeah. It was a great journey to implement that feature. The emotional link people had with their dog - I've still got letters from people who said, I love my dog and when it dies these terrible things happen. That's how you measure success.

Conversely then, looking back at your time at Lionhead, what is your deepest regret?

Peter Molyneux: I take this as a personal failure. And it is a personal failure. Not being persuasive enough that Fable 3 needed more time. That's purely and utterly my fault. It's me not being clear enough about it. The subject matter of Fable 3 was really good. Becoming a king was a good centre point for a game. It's a shame we didn't find more time.

Why weren't you afforded more time for Fable 3?

Peter Molyneux: It's probably better if I don't go into the details of that. As a creative director you always have to be clear about why you need time. Any publisher in my experience over the years, they don't want to give you more time. Of course they don't, because it means more money. But they equally don't want you to make a mistake with the product.

It's very difficult for publishers to actually appreciate why more time is needed and what the business case for more time is. That's the responsibility of the director who's in charge of that developer. That's me - to explain that and make that clear.

Hardly the first time Molyneux makes this type of comment afterwards, although it's certainly enlightening to see how one of his points of pride is the dog in Fable II.