Molyneux getting lifetime achievement award at GDCAs

Fable maker to be honored at Game Developers Choice Awards; Tim Schafer returning to host event.


On Wednesday, March 2, the best and brightest members of the game development community will gather to honor their own at the 2011 Game Developers Choice Awards. In addition to the usual trophies handed out in such categories as Game of the Year, the ceremony will see a Lifetime Achievement Award given to British game designer Peter Molyneux.

Peter Molyneux.
Peter Molyneux.

Currently the head of Lionhead Studios, Molyneux has been developing games for more than 25 years. He founded Guildford, England-based Bullfrog Productions in 1987 and led development on such classic titles as Theme Park, Magic Carpet, and Dungeon Keeper. There, he also made the famed "god game" Populous, which he will be discussing at a session at the 2011 Game Developers Conference.

In 1997, Molyneux left Bullfrog--which had been bought by Electronic Arts in 1995--to found Lionhead Studios. That new studio would be responsible for another god game, Black & White, as well as the acclaimed Fable series of role-playing titles. In April 2006, the company was acquired by Microsoft, which named Molyneux as the creative director of Microsoft Game Studios, Europe.

Joining Molyneux on the GDCA stage will be Tim Schafer, who is reprising his duties as host of the ceremony after a one-year hiatus. One of the developers of such LucasArts classics as Grim Fandango and the Secret of Monkey Island 1 and 2, he also founded Double Fine Productions, the shop behind Pyschonauts and Brutal Legend. Schafer previously hosted the GDCA ceremony in 2007 and 2009.

Leading this year's GDCA nominees is indie sensation Limbo with seven nominations. To win Game of the Year, it will have to best such top-tier titles as Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption (six nominations), BioWare's Mass Effect 2 (five nominations), Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops (two nominations), and Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (two nominations). Another indie phenomenon, Minecraft, received three nominations. The ceremony will be streamed live on GameSpot.

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Avatar image for -HaloHitman-

What is the award for..., breaking promises he didnt keep :(

Avatar image for Lawrencevanrijn

Nice! I have known him since the release of Populous on the Atari ST. He stretched the world of gaming several times. Populous (2), Powermonger, Syndicate, Theme Park, Theme Hospital, Magic Carpet (2), Dungeon Keeper, Black & White, Fable (2/3). Yes, there are others and some are just as deserving (Sid Meijer and Richard Garriot for example). Of those three only Peter remains fully active. The amount of Game Makers from the 80's was small, very small. Companies outside of Europe refused to take gaming seriously. Only in the 90's would some come forward. Peter also reset the bar on game standards three times. Populous 2 (OK, there was hardly any standard then), Black & White (mouse move interface) and Fable. I agree 'Chickenchaser' was annoying to hear, but a game that shaped on choices to that effect was a new thing. And apart from that a decent RPG on the XBox was pretty much a no no. So, yes, Peter has deserved the award (IMHO).

Avatar image for scotwolf

i could think of many others deserving of recognition, as many others have said. but it has to be good for uk gaming. i played populous and black n white years ago but must admit i've not got into fable. hopefully his team will do something different next time and not fable 4. as a wolves fan anything with molyneux is fine by me.. i know stretching things a bit and spelt different, but never mind

Avatar image for Richardthe3rd

I just don't understand why people keep giving this guy's projects second chances. He fails to deliver on everything, probably because he's either a pathological liar, has no idea what's being created under his name, or both.

Avatar image for Scr00I

Well he's certainly done a lot in his lifetime. But to win an actual award for it? Nah.

Avatar image for The_Godfather_

does he really deserve it? I mean, there are better developers, like Tim Schafer, Gabe Newell, Hideo Kojima, Shinji Mikami, Shigeru Miyamoto,...

Avatar image for luckylogan

His words "The actual truth of the matter is I never know the game that I've truly made until the very end" It is obvious that he (or the rest of the management) never played Fable 3 before it was released. Giving him this award only stokes his ego and encourages him to live in his own fantasy. What a douche.

Avatar image for kvan33

I continue to be baffled at the praise this guy gets.

Avatar image for deltamirage

How could this man win an award for anything other than Hype Master? He promises the moon and give you a pebble.

Avatar image for Cloud-Zehro

@hyttenhoof They should hype him up with a reward and then not give it to him as promised last second, maybe something will click in his brain, lol.

Avatar image for deactivated-57fce817a4cf5

But In his younger days yes. But over the last few years his efforts have been mediocre. He doesn't deserve it in my opinion.

Avatar image for Frost259

@PerkJo I respect plenty of devoplers and voice actors. Bioware and their team have always delivered on what they say they will. Bungie, Rockstar, Naughty Dog, the list goes on for great development teams. However Peter M doesn't give half of what he says he does. Go back to the games he has made and read all the previews. More then half of the things the game gets hyped for never sees the light of day. Really it would be like if Halo 2 showed their single player and MP, and then cut the MP from the game. Thats what this guy does, over and over again.

Avatar image for hyttenhoof

Peter Molyneux. He isn't a dev, he's a creator of hype, and he's so good at it, he deserves a reward or two.

Avatar image for TheWarpLynx

I don't know much about him ... have heard/read his name here and there, and just got to know Fable 1 and 2 last year. At first, Fable looked weird to me, personally speaking, it looked like mature content with children's cartoon looking characters (big heads, small bodies), which really made me feel uncomfortable, but after a while I started to appreciate Fable and loved playing it to the end (especially after stopping NPCs from calling me "chicken chaser" haha). But once I played Fable 2, everything was good until one frustration led to another, and another, ... gosh, why hasn't this game's "frankenstein's Mansion little side quest" been fixed after 2 years of release, the glitch is still there, and I have to play from the start all over again, not that I don't like replaying it, but what guarantee do I have that I won't run into the very same glitch again, and be left out from a good portion of the game: the gargoyle's treasure? Now if he fixed those glitches, then I'd be happy and say yeah, give him the award :P (hope he reads this and fixes it, haha)

Avatar image for SemiMaster

I wonder if the voters realize that his games have gotten worse and worse over time?

Avatar image for Cloud-Zehro

@PerkJo Uhm, you sound like someone who has never even actually bought one of Molyneux's games, being a passionate game maker is one thing, being a fantastic game maker is something totally different, sure he dreams big and tries to deliver even bigger, but Molyneux's funding can only extend him so far on his projects and each time that's failed us all. Aside from anything that happened in Fable 3, I sorely dislike it when I pre-order someones Collection edition of a game (Fable 2) hoping for everything promised from the start, but once realizing that their mouth again was bigger than their funding, Instead of getting all these goodies.. Would you like to know what I got? Halo junk... I paid all that extra money, for Halo... Crap... Granted, this guys made plenty of amazing games, but I think he's still got a ways to go before he gets a lifetime achievement award, unless you just wanna look at how he's going about moving up in the ranks with Microsoft, then i'd totally agree.

Avatar image for PerkJo

Man, why is everybody hating on Molyneux? It's a good thing game developers are choosing and not all of the players. I have a feeling that game developers probably view each other in a different light than we gamers see them. Games shouldn't be rated based solely on the amount they sell. It's sad to be a gamer when they don't respect anybody else.

Avatar image for Frost259

Bleh...the only thing this guy should be given is a award for running his mouth and removing the best features from his games. I mean cmon he said black and white was going to be like a 7 part game, got two. Fable was supposed to change games forever... righhhhhhht. And lets not forget Milo, a Pedophiles dream game. Seriously nothing for the guys who make Mass Effect, God of War, Heavy Rain, Little Big Planet, Red Dead, Assassins Creed. REALLY??? This Doucher.

Avatar image for wwlettsome

Lifetime award for promising the best game ever and then publicly slamming the game as a pile of garbage a year after it ships? I will say the first half of his career was great, second half has been good on ideas and not so good on execution.

Avatar image for PurplePonyPants

I like that he always think outside the box with new ideas, unlike the people responsible for the large quantity of generic titles out there. Its just a shame a lot of those ideas never come to being. I mean did he really expect gamers would be able to feel "genuine love" for the dog in Fable 2? Got to love his eccentricities.

Avatar image for Malscyllis

When i think of this guy i think of the opposite of Bioware. Doesn't keep promises and hypes everything that's not even in a game. loved Fable, didn't really like the 2nd that much and didn't buy fable 3 for obvious reasons.

Avatar image for Dan21278

The Hype Beast is getting an award!

Avatar image for lithus

Why??!! For promising gamers something Revolutionary 3 times in a row and falling short everytime?! Fable was good, but they should have been called Fable, Fable 1.5 and Fable 2.0. Fable 2.0...err Fable 3 sucked btw. Most anti-climatic piece of rubbish to date. Not even John Cleese could save that mess. I mean come on! There isn't even a pause screen!!

Avatar image for redness19

Does he deserve it? Maybe. He's certainly an icon within the gaming industry...though most likely for his silver tongue. Here's hoping Fable 4 isn't a steaming pile of poo like Fable 3 was.

Avatar image for tachsniper

Lifetime achievement means throughout your career you have made significant contributions to your chosen field. Peter may have started strong but later in his career he is crashing and burning bad thus undeserving of this award.

Avatar image for Nodashi

He's winning this for Populous alone. I hate then the game industry does that, pretend someone is more than a 1 trick pony when they really aren't. Molyneux always talks a lot and fails to deliver. I stopped hearing him after my frustration with Fable 1.

Avatar image for Solamon

@DKant: I TOTALLY agree with you. The GDCAs are the closest thing to the Oscars the video game world has and it's always the awards I watch closest.

Avatar image for ChiefFreeman

Molyneux's games are always just about average. Why does he get such praise for making mediocre titles? Besides Fable (which sucks) what has he done in the last 6 years? Nothing.

Avatar image for DKant

I wonder how much coverage a 'legit' event like this would receive in mainstream media.... :/ The reason for my wonderment is not-so-fond memories of Spike and of TIME last year calling Modern Warfare 2 - what were those words? I forget, but basically implying that it was trying to raise the bar for games to get closer to art or something. I see news about an event like this and I think "THIS is what they should be talking about, THIS is what they should look at before even thinking of writing a story". Yet they yap on about whatever marketing departments and snazzy advertising campaigns feed them.....numbnuts. Anyway, unrelated rant. Let's just celebrate real achievers!

Avatar image for drangel_jam

Go here and watch Gamespot's video about Peter Molyneux' career. << LINK REMOVED >> He deserves it.

Avatar image for Warlord_Irochi

So much so-called gamers here that only remember this guy for "fable". Ehm.. hello? "Black & White", "Populous", "Syndicate" and "Dungeon Keeper" anyone??. First check on the internet what projects he is responsible (appart from "Fable") and you'll understand why he deserves this.

Avatar image for Femto513

He totally deserves one. A lifetime achievement for being the master of hype and delivering false promises. Fable 3 was such a silly mess.

Avatar image for xxLordDavidxx

imo: his games need more development time. If he had that then his games would go a lot further.

Avatar image for Slash_out

Not really sure Molyneux deserves this one. He did great games and he was rewarded, as he should have, many times for those. But since his last round of lifetime awards (I remember one being given to him in France) the only games he released were Fable 2 and Fable 3.They are "good games" that's all but certainly not deserving big awards.

Avatar image for drangel_jam

Peter Molyneux needs to get new developers...a staff that can add some substance in his visions. The premise in his games are awesome, but they lack depth, and they are often over before you know it. Here are some executive pointers: Hire a veteran fantasy writer or whatever. Make an actual encyclopedia and per say, bible for games like Fable. In fable, the writing is good, but the plot events, twists, conclusions, and consequences need much work, often feel empty and unfulfilling. Make the gameplay more precise, I don't care if it is harder to make polished, accurate, and responsive gameplay while making it "casual" --make it work! Play more Zelda, Ninja Gaiden, and other games with interesting boss fights, gameplay curve--learning new strategies and techniques as the game progresses, and immersive gameplay. If everything fails, get MSFT to pay for temporary contracts a few people who have worked on such games, so they can work on a project and leave after completion if there's such a need.

Avatar image for Nymphonomicon

Peter Molyneux receiving an award from someone with 500X more creative imagination and sense than himself. The gods of Irony must be working overtime...

Avatar image for revanknight

Not a big Molyneux fan, but he has been in the business for a long time. I think he deserves it.

Avatar image for isshiah

achievement unlocked haha

Avatar image for sambo342

Great congratulation ,but will this game going to be release for PC ? and when?

Avatar image for D3thN1gh7

I agree with the nay-sayers here. This guy really doesn't deserve this award.

Avatar image for Un4givingAsault

I just admire how Moly is committed to his ideas, he is not willing to pump out generic crap just to launch a game every year. He may make promises that are never fully realized but it still brings new ideas out in the open, broadens imaginations and impacts the industry.

Avatar image for RiKuToTheMiGhtY

Wow this guy doesn't deserve this, the Pokemon creators, Halo, or even Rockstar Games but not this guy. Fable 2 and Fable 3 were garbage and they kept taking more away and giving less back every sequel. Fable 1 and games before Fable 2 and 3 might be good but as it is now this guy should be given a "lifetime of failure to improve" as no game in the past years have been worth praise that he's had a hand in making. This is wrong and sadly Fable will be even worse the next game as its nearly barebones as it is currently.

Avatar image for Ripper_TV

Doesn't deserve it, F3 was total crap. He never delivers on his promises, that's a serious flaw.

Avatar image for pidow

Reward for a job well done. Maybe it more produce, more will be recognized for job accomplishments, better games will be made and we all will be happier.

Avatar image for Timmy_Gwar

Say what you will, Fable 2&3 had crazy amounts of consumer generated hype behind them and for what they where (a hack and slash in an RPG market) they did quite well. The guy has achieved a lot in his lifetime and I think that's the point of the award. Besides, maybe this award will encourage him to do more great work.

Avatar image for Captain-Leg


Avatar image for dj-lethal

He might've made some good games back before the last Fables, but I still believe there are many others in the game industry that deserve this award more then him.

Avatar image for BetardxFoosier

A lot of the posts on here aren't looking back past the Fable series. Although those games are a steaming pile of....this guy has still worked on some good games and paved the way for the gaming industry. Magic Carpet 2 paved the way (strangely) for FPS games and the spell interface used in games like WoW. Plus, it had amazing level design and a story that one can't forget. Either his devs were the real masterminds and he got off easy, or he knew his stuff back then and is losing it now. Nonetheless, I'd say it's...valid that he's receiving this.

Avatar image for BetardxFoosier

Magic Carpet 2 continues to be one of my favorite games. Too bad I can't pop in that old disc anymore.

Avatar image for lightwarrior179

He deserved it even before he began Fable series. His contribution with his Bullfrog team can't be ignored. Black & White, Dungeon Keeper and even Fable at times are wonderfully entertaining series.