Peter Molyneux: PC Gaming Turning Casual, Innovation Stifled by Big Budget Productions

By Nick Breckon, Mar 18, 2008 1:52pm PDT In an interview today with Shacknews, Lionhead chief Peter Molyneux labeled the PC gaming industry as being in a state of reform, while saying that innovation is being pushed aside in favor of safe projects due to mounting production costs.

"I think the PC is just reinventing itself," said Molyneux. "It's being owned more and more by casual gamers, who are playing games from a variety of sites. They are really under the radar at the moment, but there's.. an awful lot of people playing Flash games."

The industry veteran and rabid Connect Four player is currently overseeing production of Fable 2--the Xbox 360 sequel to Lionhead's fantasy RPG--as well as a secretive project rumored to center around advanced AI simulation, codenamed Dimitri.

"What there isn't is the spectacular triple-A titles coming out on the PC with the same frequency," he added. "Which I think is sad, because there's no other gaming platform which is quite so comfortable to take on a plane and play. You've got handhelds, but they haven't got the same tour de force-type games."

Molyneux also noted that while the console market is seeing the most growth in terms of innovation, it has become harder to innovate across the board due to the growing cost of producing high-quality games.

"Innovation is much more difficult when a lot of money is on the line," he added. "It's just far more comforting when you're making a game to say, 'I'll make another one of these because at least I know that that one was successful.'"

"I mean, it costs tens of millions of dollars," he continued, "and when you've got crazy designers waving their arms around like me, saying 'why don't we try not using a mini-map' or 'why don't we try having interactive cutscenes,' then people are going, 'yeah, well, okay, you can try that, but it's gonna cost you twenty million to do.' That is very scary for a lot of people."

Check back later in the week for our full interview with Peter Molyneux, conducted by pranked editor Chris Faylor.

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  • I also don't believe pc gaming is in trouble. I think a number of high profile devs are putting out thier "opinions" and people are buying it as fact and shit rolls downhill. If they don't want to create original more technically advanced and fun games for the pc anymore thats fine but don't step on the feet of the gamers that made them what they are. They used to make games that were fun enough that people would go out and buy the hardware to run them. Now they want to take the easy road and blame pirates and create same o same o gaming experiences. Blame yourselves not the pc gamers.

    There are a bunch of hardware vendors selling pc gaming rigs. Who is buying them? There are forums at pc tech sites with thousands of posts on people working on their gaming rigs. They don't buy games? I go into Best Buys, Targets, Walmarts on a regular basis and from seeing these same shelves on a regular basis thier pc games are selling at a nice clip.