'Whole world becoming gamers,' says Peter Molyneux

Former Lionhead designer believes world's population inclined to play games, claims video games are only form of entertainment that can still surprise people.

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Peter Molyneux, who left his post at Microsoft in March to form independent company 22 Cans, believes that gaming is becoming a truly global phenomenon. Speaking at the Unite 2012 conference in Amsterdam this week (attended by Videogamer), the developer said, "The amazing thing about where we are today is that the whole world is becoming gamers."

From Australia to Zimbabwe, gamers are everywhere, says Molyneux.

Also during his talk, Molyneux explained that he is tired of other forms of entertainment. He claimed that video games are the only entertainment medium that is capable of surprising people, and called on developers to push the boundaries of what gamers expect.

"I'm bored with movies, I'm bored with TV programs. We're in the industry, the last entertainment industry that really, truly can surprise people," he claimed. "We are in the industry where surprise has to be at the center of everything that we do."

Molyneux also took time to explain one of the reasons he left Microsoft, saying he quit his job at the firm to work on just one game at a time.

"For me, having one idea that I and my team utterly, completely, obsessively focus on is the reason that I left," he said.

Molyneux was appointed creative director of Microsoft Game Studios in Europe in 2009, where he oversaw Microsoft-owned British developers Rare and Lionhead. He is currently at work on September's iOS game Curiosity, which is currently searching for a new name.

Discussion

167 comments
theKSMM
theKSMM

More people are becoming gamers in the most technical sense of the word, but they're not avid (i.e. hardcore) gamers like the people who frequent this site.  As such, their contributions to our ranks aren't always positive or easy to quantify.  The growing legions of casual gamers often threaten to divert attention and resources from the high-quality long-form gaming that we appreciate.  Sure, I'm happy to have an entertaining diversion like "Where's My Water?" or even an "Infinity Blade," but I wouldn't want it to come at the expense of my "Uncharted" or "Mass Effect."

Hurvl
Hurvl

The games industry sure can surprise people, but it's not always a pleasant surprise. Peter Molyneux surprised me by making the game Curiosity (the Mars probe is much cooler), but that was more of a "Oh, his new game looks boring" kind of surprise. I don't want to be surprised by entertainment products, I want to be entertained. In one way, movies can entertain me a lot more than games do, because of lower cost and length, but mostly it's all the stuff that makes up gameplay that makes me more picky with games. I enjoyed "Dude, where's my car" and "Plan 9 from Outer Space", but I doubt that any game equivalent would entertain me that much.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

wait he quit cuz he only wants to make one game at a time? then he shouldve just demoted himself lol

C2N2
C2N2

"We need to surprise people"

*leaves a multi-billion dollar publisher capable of being on the forefront of innovation to make iPhone games*

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

if the whole world is going gamer, then why does no one know how to play them? lol

darksiED70
darksiED70

Yeah his games never fails to surprise me how crappy they are. Thank God for used games with a 30 day return policy. It only takes me a few minutes to return his surprisingly sheety games though.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Didn't mention books then? Which I would say is closer to the entertainment of games than films since you can tell a story that lasts more than a couple of hours... Other than that I disagree, everything has been washed out to about the same degree, only all the expensive games seem to have the same crap rehashed more than anything in the other industries at the moment.

tightwad34
tightwad34

I agree with some of what he said. I too have started to grow tired of movies, but they aren't dead and they can still surprise. Music just doesn't really do much for me. I actually just watched The Hunger Games last night and really liked it. It surprised me by how good it was. Sure it may have been somewhat predictable, but it was different from what I thought  it was going to be and  was better than I expected. If  other forms of entertainment didn't surprise us anymore, then I would only play video games and occasionally watch T.V.

JulyAeon
JulyAeon

"We are in the industry where surprise has to be at the center of everything that we do.">>>>>>well, so far all i got lately were surprises for all the wrong reasons. This industry has disappointed too many times, most noticeably the single player mode in me3. Trailers that promise all, games that are half cooked, yeah...things need to change.

EggEmperor
EggEmperor

"We are in the industry where surprise has to be at the center of everything that we do."

'Surprise' my ass. Zombies in Black Ops 2? Saw that coming. Stampede of DLC for MW3? Typical of Activision. New EA sports title this year? DOOD. NAO WAY.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

"All gamers could care less what Peter Molyneux has to say", says all gamers.

Zulu1Tango
Zulu1Tango

Don't know too much about him, but he seems like a tool. Visual media and entertainment (i.e. movies, tv, games, etc.) is all this world is about. How can he sit there, with that stupid look on his face, and say he's "tired of movies and tv.?" So now he's basically calling out the ENTIRE movie industry and ALL of the Television Studious and saying "You guys are crap and I'm not." What a delusional, pathetic, self-ego stroking( if thats a word LOL) kind of guy is he!? I don't really know who he is AND NOW I could definitely care less about anything this man ever has to say in the future. To think I clicked on this article thinking I was going to read something positive about gamers.

RCBreaker
RCBreaker

What is it that this guy so famous for?

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

You can't honestly be saying that Doctor Who is boring and predictable. Same with Fringe.

Sumna87
Sumna87

Considering all of the disappointments this guy dished out while with Microsoft, those 22 cans are full of garbage.  I take this guys opinions and statements with a grain of salt and a gram of coke.

SwiftusMaximus
SwiftusMaximus

Stop flapping your lips and make Dungeon Keeper 3 already for goodness sake.

God i miss Bullfrog.

Mellowcow
Mellowcow

"I'm bored with movies, I'm bored with TV programs."

 

Yeah, and I'm bored of you. Tough luck!

calvinsora
calvinsora

What movies has he been watching? I'm consistently in trouble choosing what movie I should see next, it's become something of a problem even, albeit a nice one. I saw A Separation yesterday, absolutely mesmerizing. Then I saw Four Lions a few days earlier, one of the funnier movies I've seen in a long time. These are all very recent releases as well, then there's the entire history of film that many haven't even bothered to scour. Being "bored" by movies is more a sign that movies were never something that interested him in the first place. Because if Moonlight Kingdom, Chronicle, Cabin in the Woods and Killer Joe don't surprise you, then I don't know what will.

Dr_Corndog
Dr_Corndog

Molyneux's still saying silly things, I see.

franzito
franzito

I agree with this guy from head to toe but, with the gaming dev going assemby-line for some years now, maybe the "whole world becoming gamers" mean the "whole world too much interested in casual gaming", which for me it's consequence of globalization and Capitalism. It doesn't mean "everybody is playing Nintendo or Sony games".

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

Aye, I feel like that too, movies and TV bore the heck outta me, games on the other hand are always surprising me and making me have a good time.

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

"For me, having one idea that I and my team utterly, completely, obsessively focus on is the reason that I left,"

 

Its called development. Spin too many plates and they'll all come crashing too the floor.

catsimboy
catsimboy

Molyneux: More people for me to disappoint with overhyped games! Mwhahahaha!

getondees
getondees

he is right though.He just left out a few words."The whole world will be playing alot of crappy games made by me soon.As ususal..I promise not to do half the shit I say." 

getondees
getondees

What happened to 75% of all the other shit that we was suppose to be able to do with the Fable series??

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

Shutup Molyneux. Go make up some cr@ about some amazing new features in an upcoming game then disappoint us. You know it's kinda your thing.

 

He hasn't surprised me since Black & White.... unless you count ommission of promises as a surprise... then again, it's no longer a surprise with him, it's the norm.

v3rtigoh
v3rtigoh

it's funny because whenever peter m opens his mouth i can't take him seriously.

 

 

carlisledavid79
carlisledavid79

A new name for Curiosity? You could call it "That game with the expensive in game item that we completely don't expect anyone to buy and we assure you it isn't about making money at all... Honestly guv"

BetaVulgaris
BetaVulgaris

First of all the world consists of more than just the Western societies. Second, cinema has existed for over 100 years and doesn't seem to be dying right now. Who is this short-sighted guy anyway?

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

Peter Molyneux hasn't surprised anyone in years.

Shredwolf
Shredwolf

In a way the whole world becoming gamers is not a good thing at all. Just more suckers to pull in for Activision and EA. What we need are gamers with little awareness.

Evilnator
Evilnator

He's soon going to announce Peter Molyneux's Pro Gardening Simulator..

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

What exactly is Pete basing his comments on? His vast knowledge and experience of film and television? Well according to his Godly words, these media cannot surprise us any more... oh wait a moment. That comment in itself is so vague as to be completely senseless. What exactly do you mean by surprise us, Peter? Based on David Cage's recent comments and those by Pete, it is no wonder the world doesn't regard gaming as a mature entertainment medium, not with these frankly laughable representatives.

DeusExNerd
DeusExNerd

Peter Molyneux - made one good game then fucked the series where is his sorry ass now ?

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

Really ? "Theeee whoooouuuleee wooouuurlddd" ? (I imagined this in his voice)

 

Well, if this man says so, it must be true. (being so successful and trustworthy and everything)

Then again, I somewhat understand him - How do you make people talk about you and pay attention ? It's simple, make a stupid / false announcement in public. (Best example is EA and UbiSoft lately)

 

His social experiment "curiosity" or whatever it will be called now will surely be a surprise, but not in a way he may think of.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

 @Bozanimal I'd love to know just how factual these viewing figures are, since almost everyone I know doesn't give a s*** about these kinds of programs... Just seems like TV stations could be paying off someone to up the viewing figures just to get the advertisers on board and a few people who want to keep up with whats popular will end up tuning into a show that costs near nothing to make and brings in extra money from the few people that waste money voting.

Seems possible, or I could just be hoping that the world isn't as screwed as it really is, lol.

tightwad34
tightwad34

 @Zulu1Tango

 He is a gigantic tool. But you do know we all are tools. Just think for a minute and it will register. Some are more so than others like him.

SwiftusMaximus
SwiftusMaximus

 @RCBreaker He was part of bullfrog studios who made some of the best games of our time  ,sadly he's a bit of a muppet.

Banefire76
Banefire76

 @chilly-chill

 Yep, he unfortunately wandered off the asylum. If he says something, just nod, dont make eye contact and walk away.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

 @calvinsora Just saw Chronicle, good film. Bought the same time I bought series one of Moomins... good times. Molyneux needs to see Brave and Avengers, best films I've seen this year.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

 @Evilnator That sounds better than most of the things he's made. If it were anything like harvest moon then count me one happy Seal.

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

 @Evilnator Pssst, don't spoil social experiment #13 and the "pro seeds" DLC content (grow plants tiwce as fast, for only 4,99 EUR you receive this 100 seeds bag) ...

calvinsora
calvinsora

 @RCBreaker  @The-Neon-Seal Please don't confuse Pixar with Disney. They (usually) make films that are better than almost anything else out there on the market.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

@RCBreaker @calvinsora Pixar, theres a diffrence. I don't really like modern disney either, just there older stuff.