Molyneux Says Microsoft Had Him In A Creative Cell

By William Usher 2012-04-12 14:45:46 discussion comments
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We've heard a lot from Peter Molyneux, the former lead at Lionhead Studios that brought us one of those game-changing experiences with the original Fable on the first Xbox. He's no longer with Microsoft, but instead following his dreams at an indie studio called 22Cans.

Molyneux recently had an interview with Develop where he expresses how creatively perturbed he had become due to Microsoft basically keeping his creative juices jailed up in a "padded cell".

Develop asked some general outlining questions and Molyneux just kind of let the rest fly from there, one of his more interesting tidbits was as follows...
I was in a creative padded cell. Microsoft was so safe. Microsoft was so nice. Youíre so supported. Everything I did couldnít hurt me, both creatively and physically. The danger was long gone. I had this huge desire to make something truly special, and I felt like I was being suffocated creatively a little bit.

The reason he mentions not being hurt "physically" is because Microsoft actually had someone come over to make sure that his chair was posturepedically correct. That's right, they had to make sure that Molyneux was comfortable enough to churn out money-making ideas for them. Awesome, right?

This helped push Mr. Fable over the edge, and that's the moment where he realized he "had to go". Develop basically described it as being a "punk rocker" in a "brass band". I couldn't have worded it better myself, except for maybe saying it was like having a neutered lion in a petting zoo, but I think you get the drift.

Anyways, the real meat and potatoes of the interview kicks into high gear when they start talking about Milo, a game that was cancelled because Microsoft didn't know how to market it. The Game Effect has a very interesting take on why Milo didn't make it to the market and how it was such a vastly missed opportunity to help shape the gaming industry in a completely different direction, as opposed to where it currently stands with tons of mind-numbing AAA blockbusters filling up store shelves.

What's more is that according to Molyneux, Milo was nearly finished when Microsoft decided to pull the plug on the project, saying...
Itís just that... what was so hard for some people to imagine is what Milo would look like on the shelves, sitting alongside these murderous shooter games.

ďI canít imagine what it would look like in GAME or Gamestop,Ē is what people told me.

Of course, now that we live in this digital world, maybe things will be different. I know it was only axed a couple of years ago, but thatís a long time in the industry.

I always thought Peter Molyneux blew a lot of smoke up the creative chimney with ideas that were bigger than what they could execute. However, I'll honestly say that I was thoroughly excited about Milo regarding the possibilities of what that could open up for video game creativity and interactivity. I know a few years is a long time in this industry but I really hope Molyneux can find a way to get the game out, even as a digital title, especially now that Windows has fully integrated support for Kinect.

The interview with Molyneux is nothing short of amazing and a very engaging read, nonetheless. He also discusses the concept of truly being an "indie developer" as well as the hurdles of financing and creativity that comes along with it. You can check out the full interview with former frontrunner for Bullfrog and Lionhead by paying a visit to Develop.
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