FAQ: Peter Molyneux (round two)

FAQ: Peter Molyneux (round two)
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

April 14th 2011 at 8:00AM

The BAFTA Fellow gets the rapid-fire question treatment... properly this time

[Develop’s archive of FAQ interviewees can be found here, which shows that, yes, we've done this interview with Peter before. However, the first one we did was a bit rubbish. Next month: brenda brathwaite]


Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Peter Molyneux. I’m creative director at Lionhead Studios, and I inspire and work with game designers and artists who hopefully create games.

What are you working on right now?
I am working on an undisclosed project.

What was the first video game or product that you ever worked on in the industry?
The very first game I ever worked on that was actually published was a game called The Entrepreneur, released in 1984, and that sold only two copies, as far as I know.

What was the first video game you ever played, and did you enjoy it?
It was Pong. Before that there were so many board games. I’ve played games all my life. I could go back to Snakes and Ladders and Monopoly, and I was obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve played so many; I’ve probably played a good proportion of all the board games that have been released, and I still play them now.

What is your favourite game ever, and for what reason?
That’s a very subjective question, and every time somebody gets asked the question it changes. I love the Half-Life series. I adored that and it was to my mind the best first person shooter ever. It had a wonderful blend of story and action. I also loved Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and at the moment I’m obsessed with Minecraft. Any of those are my favourites.

What do you enjoy about the video games industry today?
It’s an ever-changing monster of an industry. It’s like a petulant adolescent child that can’t quite work out who he is yet.

That’s what the industry is, and what I find so exciting is to be seeing how we’re growing up and we’re coming out of puberty now and we’ve got social games and mobile games and core games and triple-A and handheld.
The industry is growing into being this fast and crazy world, and possibly at this very second in time something like 100 million people in the world are probably playing some sort of game. It’s amazing for me to think that when I started it was about selling games on a trestle table in a hall, and back then at any one time there were probably something like 100 people playing a game worldwide. It’s just amazing.

What disappoints you about the video games industry today?
The video games industry, and your career in the industry, is like a roller coaster, and sometimes we’re going downhill and it feels so fantastic and exciting.

But there’s always the real struggle to get back to the top of the hill. There is real feeling sometimes that the doomsayers who say things like ‘console gaming is dead’ can get too loud a voice.

I do get frustrated sometimes that we can lose that ability to be passionate and motivational and original because we get a bit too scared. Saying that, there’s so many wonderful things happening across the industry today.

What hobbies, collections or interests do you have that are completely unrelated to video games?

I mean there is my family and my son, and my son plays a lot of computer games, but that doesn’t really count. It all appears to be related to games. Perhaps I’m a very one-dimensional human being.

There is my herb garden. That’s my escape. It’s caressing and fondling my herbs.