Peter Molyneux is one of the best-known names in the international world of computer games. In 1987 he formed Bullfrog Productions Ltd. to develop an idea he had for a new type of strategy game. His unique approach, in which the player is a sort of deity ruling over his minions, was (inevitably) copied by other designers and became known generically as a 'god-sim'. Populous was an instant success and has since sold over 4 million copies, placing it amongst the top ten most successful computer games of all time.
Populous was followed up with Powermonger, Magic Carpet, Syndicate, Magic Carpet 2 and Theme Park. Each sold over 400,000 copies and Peter's reputation as one of the leading computer game designers in the world was firmly established.
In 1995, Bullfrog was purchased by Californian leisure software giant Electronic Arts. The deal made Peter a wealthy man whilst maintaining his position as Managing Director of Bullfrog. However, he discovered that working within a large corporation involved spending more of his time in managerial meetings and less on game design and development. So Peter decided to resign his position. His new plan was to put together a team of like-minded enthusiast to develop games, and leave the distribution and marketing business to the corporate experts. The result is Lionhead.
Before leaving Bullfrog, Peter completed his most ambitious design project yet. Dungeon Keeper, released in July 1997, is a masterpiece of design. Packed with original features, the game received 'highest ever' scores from several magazines and won awards even before it was released. It became Electronic Arts' most successful release, selling over 500,000 units in its first month.
An articulate and eloquent speaker, Peter has given talks at the British Film Institute, the American Museum of the Moving Image, the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Dortmund Museum of History and Culture. At one particular business symposium in Japan, Peter was the lead speaker, billed above another of the PC industry's gurus, a certain Bill Gates of Microsoft.
At 40, Peter is, as one newspaper put it: "an eccentric character and is still obsessed with games." In addition to its secret passages, his home has pinball, table football and pool machines. He spent several thousand pounds on a specially-designed boardgaming table with pop-up screens and drawers for the players. He also has a reputation as a party animal who loves arranging events. His lavish bash to celebrate the completion of Dungeon Keeper has taken on legendary status within the industry.
Peter Molyneux's first video game work that SPOnG is aware of is the 1990 title, "Power Monger" (Amiga) as Original Concept. Of the titles listing Peter within the credits , "Theme Hospital" (PC) has been a best selling title.
Peter's most recent involvement was as Project Leader/Producer on the 1997 release "Dungeon Keeper" (PC).
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