Joystiq is the next website to produce an interview with Lionhead's Peter Molyneux, during which they talk about Peter's daily responsibilities, his love for Kinect, the success they've enjoyed with episodic Fable content, and more.
In the past, you've had a lot of freedom in developing your games. But as the years have progressed, you've toned down the hyperbole quite a bit. Is this a measure of working under Microsoft? How has it affected the way you develop games?
It was because of one particular moment. It was when Fable 1 was finished and suddenly there were all these people who were sending me emails, wrote on blogs, wrote on our community website, and they felt honestly cheated. They felt I had betrayed them. They felt I had made promises, and, you know what? I agreed with them. Because, the thing is, I am the worst PR person in the world. I'm not a PR person. All I am is a designer. I sit here, in front of journalists like yourself, and I just talk enthusiastically about stuff in the same way ... this is the way I talk when I talk to the team. And then expect you and people to filter that stuff out and say, "Oh he's talking about a game feature that's not yet implemented or talking about an idea which he hasn't really explored" is just not fair. So what I said to myself is this -- and this is really why I haven't gone into any real detail about Kinect, 'cause it's a perfect example of this -- "I will not talk about anything unless I can actually demo it." Unless I can physically show and prove to you that this is the feature and then you, the journalist, can interpret my words by what you've seen on screen. And that has worked much better. I still have this police force behind me, stopping me from saying the wrong thing as you just saw [PR woman laughs], but, you know, it's just not fair to get people excited about features that aren't going to appear in the game. And I completely agree with it. I think the fans and the people were right to call me out on that stuff.
With Fable 2, the game was released episodically on Xbox Live Marketplace after the initial retail release. Do you foresee that happening with Fable 3, or other Lionhead titles for that matter? Is it possible for other studios to publish games like that on Xbox -- Remedy with Alan Wake, for instance?
That episodic content was really successful. 1.6 million downloads and that was incredibly successful. It's gotten Fable up to one of the top selling games on the 360, you just don't see it 'cause it doesn't appear in any charts. I love that approach, we still have the power to do that in Fable 3 -- to split things up episodically, absolutely. Although we're certainly not gonna be there on the date of release, we can do it at any time afterward.
It was definitely a success. For me, if I'm someone who can't save up $50 or $60 or whatever it costs in this country, then it's a way for me to kind of break up and enjoy it segmented. Especially if the first episode is free. I really believe you should give away the first bit of it free and then charge for the rest.