22cans Confirm Godus Team Shrinkage, Admit Mistakes

Yesterday we reported on the giant mess that 22cans’ Godus appears to be in. After a lead developer on the project stated that Kickstarter goals will likely not be met, and woefully dissatisfied backers lamented the lack of progress in the PC version, it appears some damage limitation is now in effect. A new video from the studio attempts to put minds at rest, while mostly achieving the effect that it was written by Ricky Gervais.

Coming out of this video, we learn that the Godus team has indeed been reduced, with less money going into the project. While some key figures at 22cans have recently left, it seems others are being moved onto Molyneux’s latest scheme, a not-yet-revealed mobile project called The Trail. We also hear Molyneux acknowledge that he let down PC backers by focusing on the mobile version of Godus, that he did things “badly and incorrectly”, blaming this on his never having done a Kickstarter before, nor having released a game on Early Access before.

Molyneux sits down with Jack Attridge and new Godus designer Konrad Naszynski, to explain what’s happening with the game, in response to some extremely frank questions offered by the community:

There are a few issues. Not least that the opening question, regarding whether Kickstarter goals will be met, is wildly ignored with irrelevant rambling on a number of other subjects, finishing with Molyneux and Attridge congratulating themselves for how well they’ve answered it.

A favourite moment comes at 1:25, with Naszynski’s face when Molyneux declares that Naszynski “absolutely loves Godus”. There’s not even an attempt to pretend otherwise – and nor should there have been, with the new developer having already publicly stated that he fought to work at the company because he wanted to rescue it from being so bad. Naszynski also goes on to list the ways in which the game is falling far short of where it should be, in stark contrast to Molyneux’s weary-sounding optimism.

Later in the video, Molyneux makes some really enormous statements, in the form of apologies. He says that if given the chance to do it over again, he would finish the PC version before releasing the mobile port. That’s quite the claim, since he also states that it will likely take “months and months and months” to add in the scant few features they’ve said they’ll work on with the now reduced Godus team, and the mobile version is what’s been bringing in money. He also says,

“I take the point that some of the pledges should have been met, and that we should have taken the time to work on them.”

Which is… astonishing. All of the pledges should have been met. If that’s not going to happen, then Kickstarter’s terms and conditions at the time of the Godus campaign suggest refunds should be offered – and the acknowledgement in the video above would seem like all the evidence that’s necessary for backers who have not received pledges to claim one.

Once story has been added, we’re told they will next begin work on overhauling the game’s combat. Beyond that, nothing has been revealed. No mention is made of the multiplayer, nor the persistent hub world. And indeed what that means for the “winner” of Curiosity.

It would seem there is a lot more to be learned about what’s happened with Godus. If you would like to contact RPS with details, send an email via my name above this article. We’ve tried contacting Peter Molyneux and 22cans but have so far heard nothing back.

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  1. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I think every single member of the team should be made 22% smaller to atone.

    • DanMan says:

      Indeed, and in the area where it matters (the hands, of course).

    • golem09 says:

      So they delivered on their name I guess?
      Finish 22%, then can it.

  2. morbiusnl says:

    why would 22cans communicate with a website that is so clearly biased against them, they cant simply do good with you guys.

    • Urthman says:

      Have you watched the video Molyneux made for the “winner” of Curiosity? The guy is biased against himself.

    • Didden says:

      Hmmmm wait a second, who is at fault here? 22Cans need to learn from this and sadly it tarnishes an already tarnished image re. Molyneux. Personally I think he’s a lovely guy, creative and passionate, must be great to work with and for. But at this point his reputation is beyond parody. Godus was a chance for both him and his company to show that he’d learned from past mistakes (over promising), instead, it is exactly the same old tune, unfulfilled promises followed by a mea culpa and request for forgiveness. It really isn’t doing him or his company any favours. I hope 22Cans and Peter make some great games in the future, but those still willing to believe anything he talks about at this point, is a pretty small audience.

      Kudos to RPS for shining a light on failed promises.

      • Lytinwheedle says:

        He must be a nightmare to work with as he is a swivel-eyed-loon who sprouts random gibberish about what the game you are working on should be able to do, and then lists 20 unplanned features in every preview-interview that you will now have to design and implement.

        I hope working for 22cans will not be a permanent stain on people’s resumes.

        • Didden says:

          I did consider that fact also, be pretty hard if any later go independent and turned to Kickstarter with Godus touted as their track record.

        • Aetylus says:

          I’m guessing Konrad doesn’t think Peter is too flash too work with.

        • Philomelle says:

          Aw come on, look at how happy Attridge and Naszynski look in every single screenshot and most of the video.

          About the only way for them to look happier is if they were allowed to strangle Molyneux on camera.

        • Vorrin says:

          Working in games,I fully agree with your point.

      • Reapy says:

        People write this type of comment about him every game he has made post populous. He has already run out of ‘maybe this time he’ll figure it out’ ‘s by now.

        We can all sit here and spout off cool ideas for a game, but when you take out a pen and pencil and try to design it out and put numbers in and decide how it’ll control, whether the player will even notice systems, how long it’ll take to implement and then be able to iterate and even drop whole things that don’t work, well that take a whole different skill set I don’t think he possesses.

    • wyrm4701 says:

      I’m a fan of Peter Molyneux and own Godus, and I think RPS has been exceedingly polite and kind to 22Cans.

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        hobbity_j says:

        This is my favourite comment on all of the internet today. the level of passive aggressive is glorious.

        • wyrm4701 says:

          Heh. It was either that or a string of creative profanities.

    • Ektheleon says:

      I mean, I’d agree that Molyneux seems to be incapable of doing right by his customers, but I’d read that as more a Molyneux problem than a customer expectations problem.

      • LionsPhil says:

        God, like, why do gamers who pay for a service or product feel that they’re entitled to that service or product????

        • Taragon says:

          I would love to criticize and complain, but i was a kickstarter backer, which means i should accept that what i backed may never have existed at all. So im trying to come to terms to the fact that it was just never meant to be.

          • Pantalaimon says:

            I commend you for your attitude, then. Many others who are down on Kickstarter or early access will take the line that they have no responsibility and they could never have forseen what might have happened.

            It hurts and it’s not really fair but you are right, you put down your money and you took your chances and unfortunately it didn’t work out for Godus. That’s not a failing of the system that’s a failing of 22 Cans.

          • Xelias says:

            That’s the most surprising part to me. That some people saw a kickstarter made by PETER MOLYNEUX (the guy known for overpromising, enough to make a meme out of him) and they decide to give him money, knowing that he wasn’t entitled AT ALL to follow his promises.
            Also, I don’t understand why they did a kickstarter, Curiosity made a lot of money and 22Cans doesn’t need funding.

            Anyway, I realy hope that people will learn this time. He’s a con artist at best. Lots of pledges never got delivered (making-off, etc) and the game started as a shitty mobile game on PC to become a mobile game on mobile.

          • oscillik says:

            But the terms and conditions state that pledges must be fulfilled…so you, and everyone else who backed it, have every right to complain and demand a refund.

          • Deano2099 says:

            Yup, you’re allowed a refund. The value of that refund promise is variable. If you’re talking a solo developer then chances are, they’ve set up a company to trade under and when the KS monies run out, there’s no money left to give you a refund with. If they weren’t smart enough to do that, it’s trickier – you could claim it from them as a private individual and force them into personal bankruptcy, but it seems a bit much.

            But when we’re talking a large company, that clearly has money behind it (they’re putting it into developing something else), if they can’t meet the promises, winding up the company and refunding the backers, or declaring bankruptcy and refunding what they can *is* what they should be doing. That doesn’t mean they’re barred from games development forever, they can start up a new studio and a new Kickstarter if they want, but the company assets should be dissolved and the money returned to the investors.

            If a publisher paid them an upfront fee for a game that they decided they couldn’t finish, that’s what would happen. It’s not mean, cruel or unnecessary. It’s just normal business. Company failed by taking advance payment on something they couldn’t deliver. Company winds up or goes bankrupt. That’s half the reason companies exist, it’s how it’s supposed to work.

    • Swordfishtrombone says:

      Being justifiably critical is not the same as being biased.

      • Pantalaimon says:

        And the real sad truth is that gamers who played games through the 90s are entirely ‘biased’ in Molyneux’s favour. That is, he designed and produced some fantastic games that we spent hundreds of hours playing, we love those games, nobody who played those games wants to be put in this position of having to be down on everything he’s done since 1997.

        Actually to commentate on the situation is to have to force yourself to set aside the love for those games and what he achieved in that era, which is frankly not something easily done. To accuse any commentators of bias is hilarious, it couldn’t be further from that. Everyone wants the guy so desperately to achieve on any one single vision. Just one of these games, just once. Make it happen.

        We might have learnt to ignore the circus building up to any of the games themselves but that doesn’t mean that the idea of Peter Molyneux succeeding in making a Peter Molyneux game isn’t still a tantalizing prospect.

        • DumbparameciuM says:

          I played games “all through the nineties” and I dont feel shit for Molyneux. All good or even jovial feelings ended for him ended a long time ago for most people. Being a bit of a bumblefuck is fine if you’re producing quality work and he just isn’t. I don’t know why people continually forgive this half wit especially since at some point in the last couple of years his switch has been flipped from “charming dolt” to “fraudulent moron”.

          There’s a saying in showbiz – you’re only as good as your last gig which, for Molyneux, lets be honest was 14 years ago.

    • Bashmet says:

      Or anyone for that matter. They’re so bad.

    • CraftyBanana says:

      Nice try Peter.

    • skorpeyon says:

      I don’t think anyone is biased against Peter or Godus. The coverage of Godus, in the beginning, DID caution that Peter tended to make grand promises and not deliver. That, however, is a fact, not an opinion. That’s not a bias against the game, company, nor owner, it’s simply forewarning potential buyers. Frankly, if someone advertised a restaurant where I could get the best burger and fries I’d ever tasted, I got all excited over it, went there, and eagerly ordered this AMAZING burger (which I had to pre-pay for) and was instead delivered a deep-fried shoe with the promise that maybe, eventually, I might get that burger I paid for… I’d be pretty pissed off. This is the equivalent, to me, of theft. Promising something, accepting money for it, and NOT producing it is the same as taking money for nothing. I’d understand better if the entire team was working on it, full-bore. In fact, most of his team is now working on a NEW game. Guess where the funds for the work on that new game came from?

      • Xelias says:

        Not from the kickstarter ! The funds are comming from their mobile game… created by the kickstarter…

        And just like every mobile game : it has been created to steal money from the users. Woo, thanks molyneux.

  3. CKScientist says:

    This whole debacle is a little embarrassing to read about at this point. I wish Molyneux and 22 Cans would just go away.

    • AngoraFish says:

      22 Cans is clearly a developer of mobile phone games only, and therefore it’s hard to see the rationale for covering them any longer on a PC-gaming blog.

      • CharlySpoons says:

        Errr… what? Godus is released for PC as well. How did you miss that?

        • Jalan says:

          Doubtful he missed anything, he’s just aware that in spite of them releasing a PC version of Godus, 22cans can’t seem to pull their collective head out of the mobile gamer’s… orbit to finish anything worthwhile on a platform covered by this website.

          • Gmr_Leon says:

            Yeaah. Reason this deserves coverage, however, is that Molyneux basically screwed over Kickstarter backers that backed with the idea that they would get a quality PC version and instead got a big middle finger as they scrapped together something to appease them then went off to their true love, mobile.

          • AngoraFish says:

            I’m glad that someone picked up the sarcasm. :)

    • JarinArenos says:

      Seriously. I just keep thinking… please god, let this be the debacle that finally destroys Molyneux’s future career. Let him fade gracefully into obscurity.

  4. frightlever says:

    Fewer coders and artists.

    Also, apparently “guidance” from Molyneux has all the appeal of using a handful of scorpions as a skin scrub.

  5. aunshi says:

    I really think its time for Peter to retire

    • Tuor says:

      If by “time” you mean “past time”, then I agree. Some people can’t let go, but should. I’d say Molyneux is one of those people.

  6. Rao Dao Zao says:

    It’s 17 minutes long and I can’t really be bothered, does he cry?

  7. ye-ole-PK says:

    I can’t believe everyone is still giving this chap money. He hasn’t lived up to anything that he has promised. He is a snake oil salesman and gives everyone hope of the “perfect game” that will never appear. I am going to call it now, that his new mobile port will also under – deliver

    • Arathorn says:

      Astonishing, isn’t it? So someone is browsing Kickstarter which sells nothing but promises (which isn’t bad per se), sees a project like Godus and that Molyneux is involved with it. Anyone who plonks down money for that is really just *buying* a *promise* from *Molyneux*. Even Greek government bonds are surer investments than that.

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      phuzz says:

      I wouldn’t be that harsh, he started off ok. Populous was a great game, Theme Park, Syndicate and Dungeon Keeper likewise. In my (exceedingly fallible) memory it wasn’t until Black And White that he started over promising and under-delivering. Even then, Black and White was still pretty good, just not the god game to end all god games that he’d said it would be.
      After that I started taking everything he says with a pinch of salt, he’s Molyneux ffs! You don’t believe everything he tells you!

      • Paul B says:

        Yep, the Bullfrog years were great. It’s during the Lionhead years when things started to go awry – when the cycle of over-promising then under-delivering reared it’s ugly head with the Black & White and Fable series.

        • derbefrier says:

          I think in the past even though games like Black and White and Fable didn’t live up to Peter’s hype they were still fun games at the end of the day. I loved black and white and thought fable was good(its biggest flaw imo was its length). So forgivness wasn’t a big deal “yeah the game didnt change the course of human history like you implied but it was still entertaining for a bit.”.

          With Godus he doesn’t have that. It seems to me its failed in pretty much every aspect of the game. This will haunt him for a while. I didn’t back I knew better but I was still hopefull we would get a decent God game out of it even if he couldn’t deliver the world as promised.

          • Kala says:

            Oh god…I remember all the hype about Fable at the time, how it would give us more depth than we’d previous seen in rpgs – with real lasting consequence on the character; including how they looked, keeping their scars etc. The idea you could kind of… ‘grow’ the character from childhood, and your choices in the story would directly impact who that person turned out to be. Which is a staggeringly ambitious and genuinely fascinating concept.

            …What was delivered, was a gimmick compared to Molyneux’ pontificating. You get binary good or evil and the ‘look’ to match those binary choices. It’s less experiencing and influencing the life of your character, and more cut out ‘chapters’ with pre-determined beginnings and endings on a linear story. (So, yes, you do play a child. For the allotted ‘child’ portion of the story. Then it just switches to the next bit. Rather than any kind of naturalistic or gradual progression that you influence in any way).

            Thing is, I had always (maybe wrongly?) got the impression he had *wanted* the former; those ideas are what he was excited about (and rightfully so, they are exciting ideas!) but when it came to delivery…well, it couldn’t really be done like that – certainly not under time and financial constraints.

            I dunno though. I can understand the frustration with Molyneux given he appears to…be continually repeating his mistakes regarding overhyping and then falling short (and certainly in this kickstarter, treating people quite shoddily). But then again… I think we need wildly over-ambitious ideas; even if they can’t be delivered on time or if they’re delivered full of bugs. Sometimes it’s better to shoot for greatness and fall short. It’s definitely a problem when those ideas don’t translate properly into the physical product but…

            Man, the Fable he originally tried to sell me would’ve been awesome.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        What is the evidence that those initial games were great due to Molynuex? It seems likely at this point that other people on the team were the great ones and that he was just as much of an albatross then as he is now?

        A bunch of great employees with a terrible boss can still sometimes manage to do great things. Then he goes on and has more average employees and his terribleness is revealed.

        • Haphaz77 says:

          Exactly this. +1

        • skorpeyon says:

          I couldn’t possibly agree with this more. I feel this way at my job a lot, we work hard to get things done while our boss seems to constantly work against us. Sometimes what we make is amazing, sometimes what we make is shit. The amazing ones aren’t BECAUSE of our boss, but IN SPITE of him.

        • PancakeWizard says:

          Just having a quick look at the Wikipedia entry for Bullfrog: judging by the dates I would say Gary Carr and Sean Cooper are the prime candidates for the actual talent. Would be great if RPS could interview either of them under the pretense for nostalgia purposes.

        • MellowKrogoth says:

          I think you nailed it. Honestly a lot of people are able to spout forth “innovative” ideas that they have no idea how to integrate into a game. See: most internet forums especially the Dwarf Fortress suggestions board. Some people in Peter Molyneux’s various teams were able to filter out the bullshit and somehow make a fun game out of the jumble of ideas he vomited. The sad thing is he got the credit for it and was considered a genius, and the people who would’ve deserved the credit got nothing besides a presumably bad salary.

        • Arglebargle says:

          Not an uncommon occurrence either. Pretty much my opinion of Chris Roberts as well. But the Hollywood PR bluster is much stronger there. And his recent string of failures and mediocrities are all films, which is kind of ignored in the gaming world. At least Molyneux seems like he’s a nice, incompetent guy with delusions of grandeur….

      • JarinArenos says:

        It went off the rails thirteen years ago. That is an entire generation of gamers who’ve never known him as anything but a joke.

      • skorpeyon says:

        Fable was the nail in the coffin for me. NOTHING said about that game that interested me actually came to fruition and yet Microsoft used it as a platform to sell a console. I didn’t even play the first one until many years after its release and all I could think was how boring it was. The sequels as well. I never saw anything new or interesting in those games I hadn’t seen somewhere else before and it made me realize just how utterly insane Peter really is to keep making these grandiose claims.

  8. Mrice says:

    I always feel really bad for old P.M. He seems really passionate and wonderful and he has created some of my absolute favorite games but as far as i can tell his passion outstrips all sense of practicality to the point where as time goes on more and more of his projects fail.

    I still hope he can get back into form, i know a lot of people hate him for all his blunders but i just want more of the games that shaped my childhood, the sort of games you don’t really get so often anymore.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I feel a little less sorry that he dragged some probably fairly talented people down with him. There’s one thing being a visionary on your own dime and failing, and another putting people’s jobs on the line because in your decades-long career you haven’t learned how to manage a project.

      • Reapy says:

        Yeah, I mean say what you will (as I have a ton) their games at least WORK most of the time, and that says something about the people coding up the game and putting it together. It is usually the design that it falls terribly short on.

      • JarinArenos says:

        See also: the path that Tim Schafer seems to be rapidly heading down.

        • melnificent says:

          Shhhh, you’ll summon the Schafer supporters. Inspite of broken age being well broken into two and still unfinished. And they’d rather not discuss Spacebase as it’s not the right sort of scam.

          • majugi says:

            Schafer supporter here, reporting for summoning. I don’t actually really want to defend Double Fine, but I find it tiring that they’re always brought up in these discussions when there are properly flubbed projects like Code Hero and Godus around. Broken Age, Massive Chalice, and Hack ‘n’ Slash all turned out (or are in the process of turning out) well. You’re right that I’d rather not talk about Spacebase, but that’s because it’s the only DF crowdfunding project I didn’t back in some form (and I doubt all that many people did, which is likely why it’s cancelled). Obviously people who bought Spacebase have the right to complain, but from the outside it just seems like a less-than-stellar space game.

            Now, if you wanted to talk about how Code Hero was an utter mess of a project that should never have been funded and that managed to run away with $100K with no repercussions whatsoever…

      • PancakeWizard says:

        Agree. And in Britain, too. Not many game studios around here.

    • skorpeyon says:

      As others point out above you, I’d say it’s possible Peter was never as good as we thought. The people under him were. I kind of feel like he’s the one drunken ad executive out there going “OH, MAN, WE CAN TOTALLY DO THAT!” no matter what is asked. Then he gets back to his team and tells them what’s up, at which point they have to explain “Peter, dude, we’re only getting paid $70k. We can’t rent out Time’s Square and host a bikini contest there to promote this guy’s business! It’s just not possible!”

  9. spacedyemeerkat says:

    “There are a few issues. Not least that the opening question, regarding whether Kickstarter goals will be met, is wildly ignored with irrelevant rambling on a number of other subjects, finishing with Molyneux and Attridge congratulating themselves for how well they’ve answered it.”

    Finally someone else has noticed that! They came nowhere near answering the question.

    As for Konrad, I’ve never seen someone so obviously opposed to most of what his boss is saying in a publicity video before. Incredible.

    Really sorry to have backed this mess.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      Konrad looks like he thinks that the game and everything Molyneux is saying is as full of shit as all of us watching think. He really isn’t trying to hide that. I’m amazed he didn’t tell them to fuck off when they told him to start working on the story first!

      I would never dissuade people from ambition and I would always prefer to see someone with big ideas delivering half of what they say than someone delivering 100% on mediocrity, but Molyneux has really become a parody of himself. Would be fascinating to hear some insider stories of how he works. Would not be surprised if Konrad has a few things to say once he is done with 22Cans.

      • GiantPotato says:

        Even when Molyneux was doing preview videos for Godus it looked like he was too infatuated with dispensing Great Ideas to be bothered with managing his project.

        So, it sounds like Konrad will be designing the project, coordinating the remnants of the dwindling Godus team, and solving what problems he can with the resources he can scrounge up (the easy part), while Molyneux drops in from time to time and imparts valuable guidance and pearls of game design wisdom (the hard part).

      • k.t says:

        I worked with him (a long time ago, so these opinions are completely out of date) and he was always pleasant enough. There was a bit of a ‘reality distortion field’ thing going on, but it was never about deliberately misleading people. He was just passionate and enthusiastic and that was infectious.

        He always worked hard, often staying in the office well into the night. That may have had more to do with all the pot that was smoked after people with families had gone home though. I was going to say he was a good boss, but that’s not really how it worked. He was just another employee.

        Having said all that, this Godus situation has been such a mess that I can’t delude myself into thinking he’s blameless. Combined with it being funded by the little people rather than a big company that can just write it off and this latest stuff is unforgivable.

        It just makes me kind of sad.

      • spacedyemeerkat says:

        It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if Konrad resigned before too long. The tales will make for interesting reading. That said, I wish him nothing but good fortune with the project.

      • Gmr_Leon says:

        They didn’t really tell him to work on the story, he chose that as an easy win so he could show them the fuck up and get resources together to salvage the project as much as he can manage to. If he went with anything bigger and botched it, they’d probably scrap continued work on Godus outside of extremely basic support.

    • bitstorm says:

      Yep. Just watch the first 4:20.

      The first question asked is “What about the rewards, will you deliver?”

      And Molyneaux answers “Well it’s very interesting…” then proceeds to ramble on about other things, then moving onto flattery with how great Konrad is.

      It comes across as the well practiced question avoidance of someone with experience in fobbing people off.

      And he closes his “answer” at ~4:10, by bringing Jack in – “Jack didn’t we answer that well !!”. Jack agrees and it’s congratulations all round at a job well done.

      I’m a backer. Yes I’d like a refund but being a base game only backer I don;t think that’s possible, after all I’ve had the “early access” demo and played it.

      People who backed for an unreceived reward I think would almost certainly be entitled to a refund.

      • melnificent says:

        Is what you’ve played close to the promised kickstarter of Populous+Dungeon Keeper+Black and White? Multiplayer with friends?

        That’d be failing to deliver, and worth a try for a refund.

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      WombatDeath says:

      I enjoyed the bits where Molyneux committed, with a straight face, to providing advice and oversight and feedback to Konrad’s ideas. What a welcome prospect that must be!

      “That’s a great concept for a new type of building, Konrad, but how about we have its features procedurally generated by the unspoken desires of the formless void? That would be fucking ground-breaking. Go on, do that. Formless void, unspoken desires. Show me how you’re getting on tomorrow.”

      Fucking hell. I can’t imagine how wretched it must be to work for someone like that, and I’m reasonably confident that my last boss was a genuine psychopath. He may have been a terrible human being but at least he lived in this universe.

      And the project manager guy, in the middle? There’s a man whose soul has been irreparably destroyed, whittled slowly away by the relentless paring knife of Molyneux’s deranged ambition, until all that’s left is a nervous giggling husk.

    • skorpeyon says:

      I’m glad I didn’t, but sadly I haven’t had much better luck, myself. I’ve backed UnderTale, Barkley 2 and Star Citizen. All of them are past their promise dates, Barkley being the worst offender, and none seem to be anywhere near actually releasing a playable fully-fleshed game.

  10. killingbutterflies says:

    “…blaming this on his never having done a Kickstarter before, nor having released a game on Early Access before.”
    I assume he’s made a game before.
    For a client that had put forward some budget for an agreed set of features before.

    • skorpeyon says:

      For whatever reason, those clients never lambasted him for not living up to what he promised before, he probably thought it wouldn’t be a big deal if he failed to do so again. Lionhead loved putting his name in promotional material for their games that didn’t come close to being what he claimed they would.

  11. melnificent says:

    Watched it all and it boils down to…. nothing. It’s more a non-apology after getting caught out than an apology for screwing people out of cash. There is no attempt to answer the questions that people want answers to, such as, when are the physical rewards being sent out?
    Did the 5 backers at E3 level go yet?
    Why was the original kickstarter of populous+black&White+Dungeon kepper reduced to a reskinned cookie clicker without the fun?
    How much has the “god of gods” earnt so far?
    What rewards have been delivered?
    And after yesterdays admissions, Why did you knowingly lie when you knew that your kickstarter was looking 22% short (£100k)?
    After admitting lying on your kickstarter campaign are you going to be offering refunds?
    After admitting your failure to deliver kickstarter rewards now or in the future are you going to allow refunds to backers or wait for the inevitable court documents?

    That’s just the tip of the ignored iceberg

  12. jonfitt says:

    It just seems like the company have decided it’s a lemon and started going off to do something else but won’t formally kill the project. I have no problem with companies who have taken Kickstarter money working on more than one project, but that is when there is good evidence of the Kickstarter project moving along as planned. In this case there is little evidence of the Kickstarter promises being met ever.

  13. Chaoslord AJ says:

    I’m not one of the Godus-customers but I’d encourage every buyer to seek a refund.
    I’m seriously doubtful about the whole “business” model.
    We’re players not money lenders with 0 %interest. If you got no money there’s a bank right there to help you with the wonderful “Return of the legendary classic game” by vapoursoft.
    But player’s hope to replay a newly made beloved classic from their youth is just too strong so…

    • melnificent says:

      That’s the one good thing from the Elite Dangerous Offline refund fight, which is still ongoing for some. The refund process is now more understood for kickstarter backers as well as those that bought on early access.

      This all depends on how amenable 22cans are to refunds, especially after admitting obtaining money by deception

      “There’s this overwhelming urge to over-promise because it’s such a harsh rule: if you’re one penny short of your target then you don’t get it. And of course in this instance, the behaviour is incredibly destructive, which is ‘Christ, we’ve only got 10 days to go and we’ve got to make £100,000, for fuck’s sake, lets just say anything’. So I’m not sure I would do that again.”

      Something that black and white (haha) means that if they refuse then it’s a matter of pushing ahead from request, to LBA, to claim. But hey 22cans might be nicer than frontier, hold their hands up and do at least one thing right from godus.

  14. Noviere says:

    I tried to watch it yesterday, but the bumbling non-answer they gave to the first question started to piss me off, so I turned it off. I’ve learned my lesson, and don’t want to end up bitter about it.

  15. Bull0 says:

    If you backed this and you’re unhappy about the broken pledges, please, please try and get a refund. We can’t let this sort of bullshit go unchallenged.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      “Trying” to get a refund is all well and good, but are you just making a point, or do you expect to actually get one? The money is gone; that’s the whole problem. If the money wasn’t gone, they could keep working on it full-strength. They couldn’t offer full refunds if they wanted to.

      • Bull0 says:

        As in, don’t let them get away with taking the money to make one game and then spending it on something else. Push for the refund, make a noise, make them sweat over it. The fact that the money is gone is immaterial (in fact it’s the reason why a fuss is justified).

  16. toshiro says:

    Go Mass Tort on his ass!!

  17. Shardz says:

    22 cans of beer is more like it. I think just about everyone can agree that Petey’s acting skills leave quite a bit to be desired and his credibility is running thin these days. You have to adhere to a central game plan and stick with it; not get distracted by other platforms…and especially not other future prospective projects they would rather work on besides finishing what they started.

    This isn’t the Bullfrog days where they can blow wind up corporate skirts to buy some leeway and time; these are backers who funded the project – investors, if you will, who are demanding answers and a finished project. I guess I will be the first one to say it…


  18. Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

    One of many things that pisses me off about this complete and total goon is that even in the comments here, people are throwing around words like ‘passionate’ and ‘wonderful’.

    He might have been passionate when he made theme park and populous; it shows, they are magnificent games. But all he has been since then is a stupid twat who can talk the talk. He’s a ridiculous hack, and deserves to be cast out of video game development forever.

    “I take the point that some of the pledges should have been met, and that we should have taken the time to work on them.”

    That quote says it all to me. He’s living in a dreamworld funded from the wallets of the hopeful and the stupid. The man is a bellend and can fuck off.

    • Jimbo says:

      Eloquently and amusingly put, Captain.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Well “hopeful and stupid” describes most Kickstarter and Early Access backers quite well.

    • Guzzleguts says:

      His first company was actually nothing to do with computers, but he entered the computing industry when an investor mistook his company for another with a similar name. One was Torus, the other Taurus. Peter was aware of the mistake but took the money anyway. So in other words he began his career as a fraudulent liar, and has continued to be one. What a wonderful man!
      Also, why has no one mentioned project Natal? That screamed wrongness!

  19. ThatFuzzyTiger says:

    I have a friend who’s just going to be absolutely *frothing* with *JOY* when I show them this video from Peter Molyneux. This will be worth it for the reaction alone. Oh Peter, you are the gift that keeps on giving.

    As for Godus, has anyone really concluded that this is anything other than a complete trainwreck of the most magnificent sort? With him admitting openly that he basically obtained funds by deception, I hope fervently someone takes him to court in the UK, because that would be the watershed moment for kickstarter in this country, and it would finally knock out speculative developers who promise the moon and deliver a small patch of grass.

  20. P.Funk says:

    Skip to 14:12 for the smoking.

  21. schlusenbach says:

    So, number 2 of 22cons.

    • Martel says:

      Only 20 more to go! Does it create a giant black hole of mobile games and PC gamer tears when he gets there?

      • LionsPhil says:

        At the centre lies something truly magical. It will touch in ways you have never been touched, or will ever want to be again, but you will not regret having the opportunity to experience it.

  22. Jimbo says:

    Hard to believe that 21st century Molyneux and his teenage yes-boy microphone holder didn’t cook up a good game together.

  23. Sir Malicious says:

    Sometimes I wish making your backlog public was a mandatory aspect of getting crowd funded. I love devs like the Subnautica guys who publish their Trello board (link to trello.com). Given that kind of transparency may well have still failed to save a project with leadership this fearful of coming clean to their customers and coworkers. Honest objectivity vs trying to qualify your mistakes goes a long ways when you know your wrong.

    • Artist says:

      Lol, not before they wrecked Natural Selection 2 horribly, hehe!

  24. Veldzhes says:

    It is sad situation indeed but nevertheless i want to thank Peter for my happy childhood.
    Dungeon Keeper was the first game that hooked me and pretty much made me as a gamer, Populous was great (and Populous 3, though made without Peter, is one of my favorite games), Theme Hospital was great, BnW was quite a brave experiment, and i loved Fable for its charm (and Necropolis location for its otherworldly tranquility and that secret shore with great relaxing music). Not to mention Syndicate and Magic Carpet.
    But first and foremost – Dungeon Keeper. It was a blast. And for me it will always have a special place in my heart.
    And though the current bashing may be well deserved i want to thank you Peter.
    Without your crazy genius my childhood wouldn’t be that great game-wise.
    *nostalgic sobbing and memories of good old days*

  25. Monkeh says:

    My oh my, this was just painful to watch. I really still have a small place in my heart for Peter Molyneux, but even so I did not back Godus nor have I bought it later on, because it already seemed kinda obvious that he was over-promising again.

    Watching this video really makes me feel for Konrad Naszynski though, because judging from both his words and attitude, he truly wants to turn this into a great game, but just doesn’t get the resources (and probably not the freedom either) to do so. IMO he should just quit that company and either try getting together his own team and try to create a great God game from scratch or find another company that doesn’t seem quite as toxic.

    As I said, I still have some love for Peter, but working for someone who over-promises and then isn’t prepared to put in the time and money to make it so, has to suck. Before, Peter had the excuse of being pressured by publishers to get the game done asap, but now it’s just him making the call and he still doesn’t even have the balls to properly say the game is in a terrible state. He also made the choice to get publisher in after having a successful KS, which already seems iffy to me. If I had backed the KS, I’d do everything possible to get my money back.

    • Josh W says:

      The irony in this video is brutal:

      “We could keep on working without pay, that’s a possibility, or you could pay us Konrad!”

      He already has paid you Peter.

  26. coppernaut says:

    Molyneux should just stick to mobile gaming. He’d totally fit in there. It’s literally a platform with zero promise for their customers.

  27. rocketman71 says:

    What?. Molyneux overpromised?. I can’t believe it. Say it ain’t so!!!!.

  28. trooperwally says:

    There is a fine line between tragedy and comedy. This video is that line.

    And poor old Konrad. He has the look of a person who now suffers the terrible regret of being trapped and suffering for what he once believed was the best opportunity ever. Peter M seems to have deceived many people and consumed their money. I feel sorry for those people. I feel even more sorry for people like Konrad who’ve lost even more. I really hope Konrad and the rest of the team catch a good break in the next career moves.

  29. Beernut says:

    “All of the pledges should have been met.”
    I don’t know. I think the terms could also be considered satisfied, if there had been at least serious attempts made at meeting the pledges. The crucial point in this tragedy is not the fact, that the project failed, but the way the pledged money was misused. Very few of the backers would have expected the team to squander the money on a shoddy mobile version of the pitched game (and in doing so watering down the gameplay of the pc-version or scrapping/delaying promised features). It’s quite clear now, that the concept 22cans focused on after the kickstarter-success was very different from what was communicated before.

    • Gmr_Leon says:

      Absolutely this. That’s the biggest takeaway that some of these sites should follow up on, I think.

  30. FriendlyFire says:

    If I were Molyneux now and didn’t want to see people start asking for refunds (since this is a clear violation of the KS TOS), I’d take Godus, place it in the hands of Naszynski and not interfere regardless of what the guy wants to do. You’re out of the game, Peter. The guy may have a chance to salvage this mess if you don’t put more breaks on his attempts. Stop it. You don’t want people to clamor for refunds because you don’t have the cash, so I’d recommend being really nice to everyone and repairing what little reputation you have left.

  31. Fiatil says:

    I think we just need to find a way to give the originally kickstarted amount (obviously already spent through, but they appear to have made it back) to Konrad. Based on how he got there it’s pretty clear that he is a lot more passionate about PC god games than Molyneux is, and the video alone shows him to be a vastly better project manager.

  32. Freud says:

    Molyneux’d again!

  33. Tuor says:

    Molyneux: Big on ideas, but not on delivering them.

  34. Morcane says:

    Glad to see Jack is still wiping Peter’s arse.

    What a bloody snakeoil salesman this PM guy is really.

  35. melnificent says:

    But one day into the Kickstarter he stated to RPS that he wouldn’t overpromise to get the kickstarter funded.
    link to rockpapershotgun.com
    link to rockpapershotgun.com

    “I swore that when we started 22 Cans that we wouldn’t over-promise, and I guess through stupid mistakes we have. I have to live by those. If it means that the project doesn’t get Kickstarted, if it means that people use the Kickstarter to vent their frustrations, then I guess I have to live by that.”

    Yet, now he’s saying that was a lie and that he lied because he didn’t want the kickstarter to fail.

    This is just things he’s said to RPS. I don’t know what kickstarter pledges were met and which were ignored/never met beyond the book (failure to deliver, grounds for refund under SOGA and DSR).

  36. TheSuperOne says:

    Thanks for reporting this John. I know it’s difficult to report on an early access games, and molyneux has hidden behind it not being finished for months and months, but the way 22 cans have treated people is disgusting. It’s also appalling to those who want to use kickstarter legitimately in the future, as it obviously muddies the water for everyone, when most people are not dishonest.

  37. Artist says:

    Time for Mr. Molyneux to finally retire!

  38. DrManhatten says:

    The only thing I am surprised is that Godus actually managed to get funded. Ask everyone in the industry and they will tell you that Peter Molyneux isn’t really a nice guy to work with he has an ego bigger than any room you can put him in and since Syndicate he hasn’t managed to create any game that was worth the hype.

    • karnak says:

      Was Syndicate (among other games) really a Molyneux creation? Because I thought that the people behind the (now being produced) Satellite Reign were the true minds behind that classic.

      • DrManhatten says:

        Nope AFAIK they did Syndicate Wars (the sequel) to Syndicate.

  39. Telkir says:

    That still image you get on the interview video before you press play is classic in its own right. My take on it:

    link to i.imgur.com

  40. namad says:

    the game sucks and i doubt anyone will get a refund for that, but the physical rewards that were never produced are grounds for refunds under the laws of just about any country. if they don’t offer them a class action lawsuit needs to be started. since this isn’t a broke 1-man indie team there’s likely plenty of capital to win with a class action lawsuit left laying around somewhere in someone’s accounts.

    I really hope this happens because the rewards offered for the pledges ABSOLUTELY 100% are legally binding. all the terms and conditions say so. that’s why most artists and movie makers and such on kickstarter and indiegogo started out promising people tshirts and mugs and signatures and concept art. stuff they knew they could make no matter what. kickstarted pc games legally should’ve always been the same. they weren’t. they were used as pre-order sales tools by corrupt businessmen who have enough money to lose to you in a class action lawsuit for their breach of their contract.

  41. Burningvillage says:

    I think in order for PM to make a good game, he is going to have to put someone else in charge of his projects who has the authority to say” No, Peter, we will not be implementing this now, focus on these other areas instead”. without that, he’s just going to lead his people into one failure after another. There is a point in any career where you need to stop, take a look at where your strengths and weaknesses are and act accordingly. So far he has completely failed to do that.

  42. somnolentsurfer says:

    Basically the only way for Godus to get fixed now is for 22Cans to open source it and hope someone in the community can sort it out. But they’ll still need to keep an artist on the project to make all the cool God powers they promised but that never arrived.

  43. Sidewinder says:

    I think I’ve got an idea. It won’t help in this case, but it should be good for securing future funding. See, amongst the pantheon of video game developers, Peter Molyneux’s ego soars like an eagle, towering above even the other massive figures that proudly populate the list. But he is not alone in that massiveness; no, there yet lives one whose force of personal obsession may surpass even the great Molyneux’s. My proposal is thus: we sell tickets to a steel cage death match Battle of the Egos between Peter Molyneux- and John Romero. “A brilliant idea!” I hear you say “But that won’t get enough money to fully fund a whole game!” And you’re right. We don’t use that money to fund a game. We use that money to research metallurgy and extradimensional containment devices, because steel has its limits, and would not suffice for the REAL ticket-sale source of income: an Ego Battle where Molyneux and Romero team up…

    To take on Derek Smart.

  44. Barberetti says:

    Those pictures are great

  45. Premium User Badge

    teije says:

    That third picture is awesome. The new dev guy is looking up to God and begging him pathetically to begin the rapture RIGHT NOW and lift him up out of his present damnation.

  46. Lord Byte says:

    Dungeon Keeper. There ended my credit for Peter Molyneux. Every game after that, once he got in the spotlights, became a disaster. Look at David Braben or Sid Meier for how to do it properly. Molyneux… stop throwing him your money.

    • Yachmenev says:

      I wouldn’t put David Braben on any list for good examples, after him more or less openly admitting that the promise of an offline mode was made just for the kickstarter to succeed, and that they never actually put any focus on it.

  47. celticdr says:

    I Molyneux all this would happen.

  48. KenTWOu says:

    This is so depressing to watch… so thank you for watching this and explaining what this video was all about.

  49. Yglorba says:

    Who could have thought that having Peter Molyneux fund his game through a system that encourages him to make grandiose promises could result in tragedy?

    Seriously I don’t mind that Molyneux tends to get over-excited about his games, and a lot of them are still fun even if they fail to reach his pie-in-the-sky dreams, but letting him anywhere near kickstarter was a recipe for disaster.