Molyneux: Microsoft was a 'creative padded cell'

Peter Molyneux is known for his lofty ideas and creative spark. When he announced in March he would be leaving Microsoft to found a new company called 22Cans, his reasons weren't exactly clear. Now he's opened up to explain how being the head in a corporate structure didn't let him flex his creative muscles, leading him to step away.

"I was in a creative padded cell," Molyneux told Develop. "Microsoft was so safe. Microsoft was so nice. You're so supported. Everything I did couldn't hurt me, both creatively and physically. The danger was long gone. I had this huge desire to make something truly special, and I felt like I was being suffocated creatively a little bit."

He says the last game he actively worked on was Black & White, over a decade ago. "At Microsoft I was I was presiding over these Fable games, I was flying to Redmond [Washington] every three weeks, I was visiting other European studios and seeing what they got on with. There was a hell of a lot going on and I wasn't able to focus on anything." He says now he can "obsess about one thing."

While Molyneux isn't sharing much detail on 22Cans at the moment, he suggests his next project will focus on three key components: connecting people through multiplayer, accessibility for different skill levels, and encapsulating the spirit of a hobby. It's vague, but not out-of-character for Molyneux. We'll just have to wait to see how these latest big ideas pan out.