It’s an oft repeated sentiment among certain circles that there is a decided lack of new experiences to be found in gaming, as developers stick to what they know has success potential. To be sure, there are always developers trying to push players and inject freshness into their games, be it through the mechanics, narratives or visuals, but most do tend to play it safe. This is an appalling state of affairs that Peter Molyneux, creator of Fable, has spoken against in an interview with Eurogamer at Microsoft’s Spring Showcase. He was specifically asked whether there was a need for a core game on the Kinect platform, and segued into the topic from there:

Of course there is. Those are the people that need new experiences more than anyone else. I get crazy passionate about this – if we’re not careful, we’re going to bore our core gamers to death. How much bigger can our explosions get to entertain them?”

“We’re doing the same thing that Hollywood’s doing with action movies. We’re inventing a formula, and we’re repeating it over and over again, and we’re grabbing every penny from our consumers and not bothering to think about something different. And they’re the people that need something different.

“They’re our fans, and this is their hobby, man! We can’t be lazy! We can’t back away from creative inventiveness now, just because it costs a bit more money. Now’s the time to double down on that.

“Is Call of Duty really it? Is that all this industry really is? If it is, then you should just shift me off to the mental asylum now.”

Disregarding the shot against Call of Duty, he’s right. There is a drive towards the predictable in this industry, affecting every element of the games we play. This is the reason that indie developers are doing so well; they are unafraid to go out on a limb and actively try to create something new, and this is a mentality that needs to be brought over to the bigger developers, rather than trying to mutate and fuse genres where they simply do not belong. Let’s hope that Molyneux can back up these words when it comes to his next project, though with Fable: The Journey and Fable: Heroes in the works, as well as murmurings of a fourth entry in the main series and an MMO making the rounds, it may be a while before we see anything fresh from him.

Damien Lawardorn
Damien Lawardorn is an aspiring novelist, journalist, and essayist. His goal in writing is to inspire readers to engage and think, rather than simply consume and enjoy. With broad interests ranging from literature and video games to fringe science and social movements, his work tends to touch on the unexpected. Damien is the former Editor-in-Chief of OnlySP. More of his work can be found at https://open.abc.net.au/people/21767

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2 Comments

  1. IT's good to be reminded there is ONE sane, real person working in the industry. Thank you Peter. I only wish you could make your colleagues see the truth.

  2. so peter molyneux's strategy is to continually mess with the good things in his games and ruin them for the sake of being "new and innovative". Call of Duty needs to be praised because the consumer knows exactly what they are getting, unlike millions who bought fable 3 thinking it would be a great game.

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