Exclusive: Molyneux on Fable 2

And more cagey about how much cash Microsoft gave him.

Posted by Staff
Exclusive: Molyneux on Fable 2
We told you back in late July all about our recent pow-wow with game development legend Peter Molyneux. Or, as we now like to refer to him in the SPOnG office, ‘our new favourite millionaire developer friend, Peter Molyneux’.

Peter dropped some strong hints in the interview about Lionhead’s next major project informing us that he, “...got the idea for the game… last year - I think it was September 23. If you look in the news, there was an event that went on in the world that gave me the idea for the game."

This of course set off rampant Internet speculation as to the nature of Molyneux’s next game. Was it something to do with the fallout of Hurricane Katrina perhaps? Or the FBI killing of Filiberto Ojeda in Puerto Rico? Or maybe the fact that on September 23, 2005, scientists finally managed to implant human DNA into mice. Or was it all of the above and more? Time will tell. And as soon as SPOnG has any more concrete information, you'll be the first to hear it.

Peter also told us of his admiration for Nintendo ("...the genius of what they did was realise that consumers don't give an arse about how many bits and bobs and flips and flops and that malarkey consoles have”); Sony’s bandwagon jumping (“quite blatantly…and not coming up with such a sexy message, is poor"); and mused on the contemporary trend for daft product naming (“I'm waiting for the Nintendo Poo and then they'd have the set").

Exclusively telling us more about Fable 2, Peter enlightened us about new content in the game and some quirky ideas for merchandising: “… the things we promised, which people thought they were going to see in Fable… There is, for example, the classic acorn growing into an oak tree, that I mentioned in an interview some time and everyone latched onto. As merchandising, I’d love to give away grow-your-own Fable oak trees… So there is going to be a very tongue-in-cheek moment about acorns growing into trees. But there was a list of those things, some of which are things that maybe you wouldn’t initially think of. For instance, I didn’t really feel it was possible to, for example, play the whole game without using any magic, or to play a game as a swordsman, so you’d feel like a real swordsman. And obviously, there’s a new story.

"Those things are normally what goes into a sequel, and then, there are the big surprises. And there’s a very, very, very big surprise in what Fable 2 has got, which I hope will be very unexpected. This is me in my PR mode, I must admit, but I haven’t seen this particular thing – and it is one of the really big pillars of Fable 2 – done well in any game. In fact, it was done very well in one game, and that game is now almost 30 years old. That’s a clue…”

Aha! Another sneaky clue. Peter likes to drop these in just to keep us all on our toes!

Talking more about the whole aesthetic of Fable 2, Molyneux was clear in his vision: “I want Fable 2 to look absolutely, jaw-droppingly beautiful. That’s why I came away from E3 thinking that there are lots of very dark, shiny, metallic games, but there aren’t very many beautiful games. We’ve been thinking about how to make the Fable 2 world beautiful. Sometimes, it is what I would describe as darkly beautiful – there are sinister and dark elements to it, but it’s still beautiful.”

Speaking more about Sony, whom he had earlier dismissed as ‘bandwagon jumpers’, Peter told us: “Sony have taken the Live stuff from Microsoft and the controller stuff from Nintendo, and they’ve got this Blu-Ray stuff which offers much more capacity, but it’s a lot more hassle. So there’s everything to prove for Sony, but then 70% market penetration is pretty good…”

We cheekily asked him if he had made more money flogging Bullfrog to EA or Lionhead to Microsoft, to which he replied: “That’s a very loaded question. Obviously, money wasn’t the issue in either of those transactions. I don’t know, really. I haven’t done the math,”

SPOnG is sure that he doesn’t really need to ‘do the math’. The bottom line is that Peter, and his teams at Lionhead, are now in a much better financial position since the Microsoft buy-out. Which, whatever your thoughts on the matter, does mean that they can continue doing what they do well – making ground-breaking videogames – without having to worry about securing that all-important next round of funding.

Finally, Peter was upbeat and confident when telling us about the future of game development, telling us:

“There’s going to be more originality in the next ten years than there has been in the history of games so far, I think. Because we’re going to have to. We’ve got everybody who wants to play games; now, we’ve got to create the games for the people who don’t even think of games as entertainment.”

So there we go, some more nuggets of wisdom from our new favourite millionaire developer friend, Peter Molyneux.

Tune in tomorrow for the full, unexpurgated interview.
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Comments

vault 13 4 Aug 2006 08:47
1/13
F**k him and his overhyped game! I am NOT looking foward to Fable 2. I am not looking ot tongue in cheek acorn references. I don't give a s**t about his Microblow funding. And I damn don't give a s**t about all these new advances he's supposedly "brewing". F**K OFF MOLYNEUX, YOU REPUTATION IS TARNISHED!!!
thane_jaw 4 Aug 2006 09:01
2/13

“Sony have taken the Live stuff from Microsoft and the controller stuff from Nintendo, and they’ve got this Blu-Ray stuff which offers much more capacity, but it’s a lot more hassle. So there’s everything to prove for Sony, but then 70% market penetration is pretty good…”

He just made the PS3 sound good to me, so they've got the best bits from each system? Woot.

I think MS is going to be suprized by how poorly Lionhead is going to do now they've bought them. Fable was a heavily hyped fluke (in sales) and I don't think anyone who bought the first one will buy the second one without a decent set of favourable reviews.
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hollywooda 4 Aug 2006 10:25
3/13
I bet if Fable 2 was coming to the PS3 as well u guys would be all "ohh yer cant wait this game looks really good!"... take the over priced sony blinkers off.. ohh & Sony haven't "taken" Nintendo & MS best bits they've "Stolen", only difference is MS & Nintendo know what they are doing & are targeting there markets with appropriate games to enhance the features THEY have created.
Lets see if Sony can create their OWN uses for tilt control & online gaming..... so far, no word. ohh well back to someone else's drawing board!
king skins 4 Aug 2006 11:30
4/13
valut 13 wrote:

F**k him and his overhyped game! I am NOT looking foward to Fable 2. I am not looking ot tongue in cheek acorn references. I don't give a s**t about his Microblow funding. And I damn don't give a s**t about all these new advances he's supposedly "brewing". F**K OFF MOLYNEUX, YOU REPUTATION IS TARNISHED!!!


umm... chill out...?

thane_jaw wrote:

“Sony have taken the Live stuff from Microsoft and the controller stuff from Nintendo, and they’ve got this Blu-Ray stuff which offers much more capacity, but it’s a lot more hassle. So there’s everything to prove for Sony, but then 70% market penetration is pretty good…”

He just made the PS3 sound good to me, so they've got the best bits from each system? Woot.

I think MS is going to be suprized by how poorly Lionhead is going to do now they've bought them. Fable was a heavily hyped fluke (in sales) and I don't think anyone who bought the first one will buy the second one without a decent set of favourable reviews.


I will be buying Fable 2 cos I really enjoyed the first one :) Quite excited about it actually
thane_jaw 4 Aug 2006 13:29
5/13
hollywooda wrote:
I bet if Fable 2 was coming to the PS3 as well u guys would be all "ohh yer cant wait this game looks really good!"... take the over priced sony blinkers off.. ohh & Sony haven't "taken" Nintendo & MS best bits they've "Stolen", only difference is MS & Nintendo know what they are doing & are targeting there markets with appropriate games to enhance the features THEY have created.
Lets see if Sony can create their OWN uses for tilt control & online gaming..... so far, no word. ohh well back to someone else's drawing board!


1. When I read the quote it just didn't seem as though Molyneux was being sufficiently scathing of the competition. As with most remarks made on bulletin boards it was slightly tongue in cheek.

2. I own a 360 and have no plans (bar a lottery win) to purchase a PS3 for at least 2 years.

3. The first fable was a massive disapointment for lots of people and I am going to hang back until I see positive reviews instead of it being an instant purchase like the first one was. I expect many will feel the same way, unless there's a huge deficit in games available.

4. Control your rampant fanboyism.

King Skins, Molyneux has disapointed me over the years - I'm not saying that Fable 2 won't be a good game (I hope it will be), just that my Lionhead fanboyness died a long time ago and I believe that others will be more sceptical of Fable 2 then the original (much like True Crime and its sequel).
vault 13 4 Aug 2006 13:39
6/13
vault 13 wrote:
F**k him and his overhyped game! I am NOT looking foward to Fable 2. I am not looking ot tongue in cheek acorn references. I don't give a s**t about his Microblow funding. And I damn don't give a s**t about all these new advances he's supposedly "brewing". F**K OFF MOLYNEUX, YOU REPUTATION IS TARNISHED!!!


Note to self: Do not post while intoxicated. But I mean damn, look how good my grammar and spelling are?! Impeccable.

But seriously, I stand by my words. I used to love Molyneux and his awesome games, and not to knock his efforts and all, but Fable just sucked. I think in some ways Molyneux should of known this and cut back his boasting about how good it really isn't. I mostly blame the hype machine and the rabid fans. The reviews were pleasant, really good actually for a s**t turd of a game. I mean answer me this: Why when I'm fighting monsters over in area X that the damn guild leader has to telepathically let me know I have new quests cards to pick up. AND that I have to go back to the guild to pick up said cards. A card mind you that probably involves a problem from one of the townsfolk that I was not inches from just before killing goblins. Then there's the whole secret game beating trick I used to win the game AND used to beat the final boss; hold L trigger and smash X. It works soooo well people. And let's not forget the 8 hour clock in game time, the ultra linear world to traverse (I'm talking about the lack of wide open spaces, no Hyrulian fields here), and the games constant push for me to kill things because that's what the game thinks I should do. Seriously folks, I WANTED to go and party it up with some wenches, I WANTED to go and open a shop to sell wares for extra cash, I WANTED to pickpocket townsfolk for sweet loot. I suppose I would of gotten to do it, if the game, that oh so pushed me keep killing s**t, didn't end abrputly. Although it's one shining moment, I guess albeit personal one for me, was when I had to opportunity to lop off the head of that damn irratiting classmate of mine. It felt real good and honestly, a sincere time where I could say that this Fable world was alive. The only time.

Now I'll go as far to say that everyone's opinion is an entitlement, though with this game it's a hard stretch like cow innards skewered on hooks. And I'll probably get a backlash of folks who'll say the game's got charm and good graphics and a moody score. For a game that was 5 years in production, wrung through the hype machine so many times the concept of the game was breaking up, and a nameless friend who was sooooo excited about this game for the whole five years mind you (hey they all can't be winnners, *cough *cough Brute *cough Force), I was kind of expecting just a little more. No one's gonna take a second rate Mario game (Sunshine anyone?), so is it wrong to expect the bar to be raised let alone smashed by a game that's marketed that way?

This game had so many things fundamently wrong with them that when you build upon it, no matter how many wenches you make able to be knocked up, it's just all frosting on a really raunchy cake. If you want an example of a living breathing, do anything world gone right, just look at Fallout 1 and 2. The pinnacle of freeform gaming without the fundamental game flaws and is regarded as one of the best games of all time.

BRING ON THE COUNTER ARGUEMENT, THE GAUNTLET HAS BEEN THROWN BITCHES!!!
TwoADay 4 Aug 2006 15:09
7/13
I agree with Vault, although maybe not as emphatically.

Fable was bad. There was no depth to the game, so while you *could* marry someone, it makes no sense to, unless to get access to that castle and a new weapon. super.

the overdubbing of "you have a quest" was horribly annoying. I found that I often took the cards just so they would shut up.

However, the problem I found was with the reviewers. It was a well-received game after it launched - only after a month did the main-stream reviewers say "hey...wait a minute."

Blech. I'm glad I got rid of mine before most other people, and got a good exchange rate on it.
vault 13 4 Aug 2006 16:49
8/13
TwoADay wrote:
the overdubbing of "you have a quest" was horribly annoying. I found that I often took the cards just so they would shut up.


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tyrion 4 Aug 2006 18:33
9/13
vault 13 wrote:
Note to self: Do not post while intoxicated. But I mean damn, look how good my grammar and spelling are?! Impeccable.

You should give classes to philneedshelp!
vault 13 4 Aug 2006 18:56
10/13
tyrion wrote:
You should give classes to philneedshelp!


Where is this Phil? And I charge by the mistake!
RiseFromYourGrave 5 Aug 2006 03:48
11/13
i havent played fable much at all really. i got it and lent it out to a mate soon after, and subsequent chats about its quality since have kept me away.

still if fable 2 has references to RISC OS im there
avatar12 1 May 2007 15:33
12/13
i play Fable alot and i love it, its so much fun going from area to are killing monsters and stuff i cant wait till fable 2 comes out it should be great
vault 13 2 May 2007 01:30
13/13
avatar12 wrote:
i play Fable alot and i love it, its so much fun going from area to are killing monsters and stuff i cant wait till fable 2 comes out it should be great


Yes, I also love holding the L trigger and smashing X for 8 hours till the credits roll. One of the worst games ever.
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