Loss Of Faith: Will Godus Ever Have A God Of Gods?

Eurogamer have published a really superb article in which they speak to Bryan Henderson, the “winner” of Curiosity, who was promised a life-changing prize. That prize turned out to be the role of “God of Gods” in the multiplayer version of Godus, and a share of the money made by the game. Well, a share of the money made by the multiplayer bit of the game, which was always supposed to be part of the game. But apparently, because it’s still not in there two years on, means he doesn’t get anything. Nothing at all. Not even emails for month after month, according to Wesley Yin-Poole’s heartbreaking interview with the 21 year old.

They then go on to put this to Molyneux himself, hours after we’d published our article that revealed the depth of mess that Godus is currently in. Along with the predictable gush of apologies, Molyneux also makes some odd claims that entirely contradict a video he’d recorded the same day.

Eurogamer’s story is devastating. Curiosity was a mobile game* in which people mindlessly tapped on a cube and could spend money through microtransactions in order to tap harder. At the centre of the cube, promised Molyneux, was something life-changing – and not money, he said, but something we could never guess, something enormous. It turned out when 18 year old Bryan Henderson won that it was a role in a forthcoming game, Godus, and indeed some money – a share of the sales. Godus, at the time, hadn’t been put up on Kickstarter, and so there was no guarantee the project would even go ahead, but that didn’t slow Molyneux. It was an “insane risk”, he told us in July 2012, because he “takes insane risks all the time”.

Godus, of course, was funded. A few months later, a fractured and extremely poor version of the game appeared on Steam’s Early Access with no multiplayer component. Months went by and multiplayer still didn’t happen. Then, it briefly did and was almost instantly removed since it didn’t work. 26 months since the game was funded, no multiplayer has been added, and as we wrote on Monday, the developers think it likely never will be.

Which means that all this time later, Henderson has had no role to play in Godus. But what Eurogamer have revealed today is far worse – he’s also been almost entirely ignored by 22cans and Molyneux. After being invited into the Guildford offices of 22cans, and asked to sign a contract, Henderson returned to Scotland and waited for his prize to become a reality. And it never has. Worse, communication almost immediately dried up, with Henderson eventually giving up trying to keep in contact with the studio.

When Eurogamer put this to Molyneux on Monday, he gave an all-too familiar burst of apologies and blame-taking.

“I totally and absolutely and categorically apologise. That isn’t good enough and I’ll take it on my own shoulders that I should have made sure he was communicated with. We will from today onwards do that.”

It’s obviously appalling that it took a journalist approaching the company for them to acknowledge they should have stayed in touch with the winner of their much publicised competition, but it’s even more concerning that it seems to be accepted that there’s no reason Henderson should have yet received any of the “millions and millions” Molyneux boasted the game has made in a video released by 22cans on Monday evening. Henderson’s “clock will start ticking” as soon as they’ve implemented the multiplayer hub that the project’s new lead has already said he can’t see happening.

“I simply can’t see us delivering all the features promised on the kickstarter page, a lot of the multiplayer stuff is looking seriously shaky right now especially the persistent stuff like hubworld.” – Konrad Naszynski

Speaking to Pocket Gamer last August, Molyneux told them that Henderson, “makes a portion of every pound we make. He accrues all that money – we’re not paying him yet, but he’s accruing it.”

It’s also worth noting that when we spoke to Molyneux in 2012, he told us that Henderson would be God Of Gods for a very significant period of time. He said, “we could make it five years. We could make it ten years.”

But when he spoke to PG last year, it had enormously shrunk to just half a year:

“His reign will last for about six months from when we unlock multiplayer. Within those six months, communities can come together to earn the right to challenge Bryan and overthrow him as god of gods.”

So potentially far less than six months then. Indeed, if Bryan gets overthrown, Molyneux told them, then that new person would start earning profits from the game. A madly different prospect from the “life-changing” claims made three years ago.

Another odd claim to come out of Eurogamer’s interview is that the reason the multiplayer hasn’t worked in Godus, and for the extensive PC development delay. As Eurogamer puts it, “Godus’ publisher forced a server switch back in November 2014, which then forced 22Cans to build new tech in order for people to keep playing the game.” Right, but how does this square up with claims made in the Kickstarter pitch, where Molyneux explained they were turning to crowd-funding in order to avoid needing a publisher.

“But we need funding to continue, and rather than partner with a publisher, we’re keen to explore the exciting new Kickstarter platform. It means we can stay independent and it gives you the opportunity to have a voice in the development of GODUS… Funding it via Kickstarter allows us to stay a small independent team with unlimited freedom in our creativity. It’ll just be you, us and our unbridled dedication (no publishers).”

Five months later 22cans signed a publisher for Godus.

Finally, in the Eurogamer article Molyneux tells Wesley, “But, we are – and this is going to sound ridiculously excusey but it’s the actual truth – we are now working on combat, which is the piece of the puzzle we need in the game before we start working on the Hubworld and the multiplayer.” Which strikes as a little strange, since in the video he recorded on the same day, he explained that they were currently working on finishing the story and that combat was planned for later this month.

Where does this leave things? In such a muddle. With Molyneux appearing to contradict himself in interviews and videos recorded in the same afternoon, it’s really hard to know how to unpick it all. And as for Bryan Henderson, the chances of his ever becoming God Of Gods does look slim. That he may not receive anything at all seems utterly awful.

We are hoping to speak to Peter Molyneux very soon and hopefully put these confusions to him.

*It’s worth noting that Peter Molyneux assured Rock, Paper, Shotgun that Curiosity would be coming out on PC, to the extent where he appeared at our PC-only show, Rezzed, in 2012, to promote the game to an audience of PC gamers. He later tried to claim that there was never meant to be a PC version when Nathan interviewed him for RPS, then when pushed stated, “Maybe said it was possible to do on PC, but I think we didn’t do it on PC because we put all of our love of tapping into tapping with a finger and not with a mouse. I can’t remember playing it on PC, but I can imagine it would be a little bit more tedious with a mouse than it would be with a finger.” Which makes it a touch galling he plugged it at our PC show.


Top comments

  1. Sam says:

    The universe is infinite blackness, all heat has dispersed evenly, there is eternal quiet. The laws of thermodynamics rule supreme and there is only dust. Impossibly, a voice is raised in the darkness. "We made some mistakes, but we've just started working on this really fantastic new game that I know is going to revolutionise how you think of horses."

    The sudden injection of energy sets off a second big bang. Or was this the hundredth? Who but Molyneux could possibly keep count? A few billion years later there are some horses.
  1. Anthile says:

    I guess god doesn’t play dice after all, huh.

    • ribby says:

      Heh, that reminds me of the Terry Pratchett ‘gods playing games with the lives of men’ thing

      “Thunder rolled. It rolled a six”

      • zaphod42 says:

        And the god of fate rolled, and managed to come up with a 10 on a 6-sided die or something, to which Death had to remind her to stop cheating.

        • tormos says:

          The Lady would like to remind you that she does not stand for Fate but for a certain other quality highly prized by gamblers and fools. Unfortunately, to speak her name or acknowledge her presence tends to purge one of this quality (as does e.g. breaking a mirror), so I cannot be more explicit

          • KDR_11k says:

            Fate is another player on the table. He tends to roll 12s on 2d6, the Lady just beats that by rolling a 13.

  2. melnificent says:

    How much has he seen? Not a penny.

    That’s the saddest part about this. This lads life changing win turned into…. nothing at all.

    22cans made sure that the 1% was locked to a portion of the game that they clearly have very little intention of developing at all. Again they could come clean, offer him the 1% now. Get some positive PR and try and salvage a little dignity.

    But really we know that Molyneux (and by virtue of the article 22 cans) will just let this blow over and maybe offer something in about 5 years.

    • Grygus says:

      In fact, Bryan acts as disincentive to put any time into multiplayer at all; they seem to be strapped for cash, so working on elements that don’t involve sharing the profits would seem to be wise.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Yeah it’s a weird situation. The fact that he’s ‘accruing’ the money but isn’t being paid until the multi-player launches is odd. It depends on the contract but if he’s guaranteed that money (and we assume 22Cans isn’t going bankrupt) then he’s actually better off not pushing it. His ‘clock’ doesn’t start until the MP goes live, so the longer it takes, the more he stands to make.

      That said, it’s worrying that they haven’t just started paying him. One might assume they haven’t done so because they can’t afford to at the moment.

      • Borodin says:

        I would love to see that contract.

      • suibhne says:

        The funny thing is, they may have just committed real financial fraud by saying that. If they’re using accrual accounting like every reputable company, Molyneux’s executive statement amounts to a claim that 22 is actually setting aside a deferred liability account just for this guy. If that turns out to be false, it could open 22 to a real lawsuit depending on jurisdiction.

        I sincerely hope the company gets raked over the coals by auditors for this.

      • Shuck says:

        Given that they’re now talking about the “God of Gods” being able to be unseated by other players, that likely means his reign will last as long as the minimum period of time required by the game mechanics to unseat him. (Because if the usurper gets the funds set aside for that position, there’s going to be extra heavy competition to unseat the current reigning deity.) So even if they actually get around to implementing the feature, it’s still going to be anti-climactic for this guy. Doubly so, in fact – they’ll raise his hopes only to dash them anew.
        I can forgive a company that’s behind on development (it happens, all the time), low on funds that force them to move on to new projects to bring in revenue (that’s pretty much the default state with Kickstarters and Early Access), but it’s still hard not to be pissed at 22cans. The “prize” for their mobile game turned out to be nothing more than marketing for Godus, So what the “winner” really got as a prize was the opportunity to be used by the company to spend time doing interviews as free marketing for them.

        • Kala says:

          …Yeah, it does all seem horribly cynical and manipulative, doesn’t it?

    • Guvornator says:

      Meanwhile Peter is staying in the Mayfair hotel, which is both “sublime” and “wonderful”. link to twitter.com

      It sad really, because I used to think of him as a good guy. Yes, he over promised, but his games were genuinely ground breaking. Maybe they weren’t as groundbreaking as they were promised, but you could sense ambition seeping from every pixel. I remember, for all it’s flaws Black & White did some remarkable things – even the little physics game of the logo felt new and exciting, and it’s a shame no-one else has thought of doing something like that.

      And now what have we got? Godus, which is a bodged abortion, and Curiosity, which has now got to go down as one of the biggest cons games design has ever perpetrated on the buying public. Don’t forget, this was a monetised app. You paid to remove blocks and also put blocks back. Apparently 14 million blocks were removed via pay and 4.7 put back. So a lot of people got stung, not just poor Brian.

      If you played a game where there was no chance of winning anything, you’d think you were conned. And what that makes Peter is a con artist. And at some point, he’s going to realise it. And when that happens, it won’t be pretty.

      • Phendron says:

        C’mon, the Mayfair is a modest hotel with reasonable rates (~$120 a night). It’s just Molyneux hyperbole most likely.

        No doubt he has some questions to answer, but don’t imply he’s skimming the company coffers.

        • Guvornator says:

          The one in London isn’t. It’s a 5 start hotel with suites up to £3000 a night.

          • Kala says:

            Cheapest room seems to be £233, with a one bedroom suite at £1,140.
            But yeah, not something he wants to be gloating about currently, really.

            Though I quite liked this comment:

            @GSWhores Jan 13
            @pmolyneux Nice we are staying at the Travelodge, there are blood stains on the mattress. Can we stay at yours tonight? LOL!

  3. richlamp says:

    Is it a coincidence that the RPS and Eurogamer investigations into Godus happened at almost exactly the same time? Just curious.

    • frymaster says:

      Walker was kicking himself on twitter earlier for not following up on this angle himself, no probably not. Iit seems to be the fairly frank dev posts in January that have precipitated things, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what got the Eurogamer guy interested. Someone on reddit says he tipped RPS off about this; he could well have also tipped of Eurogamer (or they might have already noticed and been exploring their own angles)

      • James Currie says:

        When someone reveals something that thier boos may not like, they rarely tell only one source. More sources mean more attention on the situation, which means more job security for the revealer of negative information.

        Its not suspicious, it is common in all forms of journalism.

      • Gmr_Leon says:

        I’d heard rumors of Eurogamer looking into this awhile back, but as I hadn’t seen much materialize, it seemed as good a time as any to try tipping someone off. Ever since I wrapped up my attempt at giving them another chance, I’ve been drifting out of the community. However I decided a good farewell gift to anyone whose hopes might have been raised by that would be getting some pressure put on 22cans, especially with the abrupt move to ditch the game shortly after my efforts to get them to act even slightly responsible to their backers and the remaining community.

        It’s almost like I gave the conscienceless side of Molyneux a wake up call with all of those questions that he’d wasted his time too much with aimless development and that it would it require better leadership than he had in him to pull Godus together into anything resembling what he pitched. Thus, a new, wonderful brilliant idea that would do everything Godus failed to, The Trail! Of course! Yeah, sure, but I’m not one to let him off the hook that easily.

    • John Walker says:

      Indeed, it was a coincidence. Wes was putting that story together since last month. I started mine on Monday, after we got an email tip. I believe my story had them hurry up and get theirs finished!

    • Urthman says:

      Unlike many other sites, Walker has the integrity to link right up front to the site that scooped him, rather than just write his own article and pretend any overlap is coincidence.

  4. Shadow says:

    Sometime later…
    (rinse and repeat)

    Peter Molyneux in a nutshell.

    Devious scammer? Clueless dreamer? Bluntest knife in the drawer? Who knows.

    • guygodbois00 says:

      All of the above.

    • frymaster says:

      I think we all expect him to overpromise and underdeliver, and in general people who expect a game to have everything devs thought might be achievable is a bit naïve. But this goes beyond “game doesn’t live up to the hype” and into actual “not delivering what people have paid for in a very unambiguous and kickstarter-conditions-breaching way”

    • DrollRemark says:

      Yes, but he really does have a horse in that room. Honest.

    • WombatDeath says:

      Oh, I don’t know. Bryan Henderson has received a valuable lesson in not getting one’s hopes raised, delivered personally by one of the most well-known figures in the games industry. I mean, it’s possibly not life-changing as such, but it’s an interesting story nonetheless. The rest of us have had to settle for being disappointed en masse.

      (Peter: I’m available for hire as your spin doctor. I’ll take my fee in cash up front, please.)

  5. satan says:

    What a sad tale.

    • Humppakummitus says:

      Yep. :( I can’t really think of much more to say about it. I hope Bryan gets at least something out of this and I hope Peter goes through a publisher next time. Dreamers and visionaries aren’t really right people for project management.

      • Chirez says:

        That’s the thing, isn’t it?
        PM doesn’t necessarily need a publisher, but he does desperately need to not be in charge.
        It makes me wonder what the management structure was like within Bullfrog.
        I would not be surprised to find he was the lead dev, but had sensible people in shiny shoes refusing to let him try impossible things. The difference between Populous and Godus may weirdly be a decent project manager.

        • Gmr_Leon says:

          If anything, he should only be, at most, a consultant for ideas and never given any real, direct managerial involvement. He simply doesn’t have the skills to guide himself, much less a team, as his many statements in the past have demonstrated.

    • cheshirecat says:

      I don’t know, the kid also seems to be a bit spoiled, no? As far as I understood they paid their tickets and join them in their office with Peter Molyneux around, having drinks afterwards and the low possibility to get into an indie game as a character. I don’t know I find it pretty cool but maybe I’m old-fashioned.

  6. Premium User Badge

    piphil says:

    At least it appears that Bryan spent at most a couple of hours mindlessly tapping at his phone for his non-prize. I’d imagine there are thousands who spent days with Curiosity, which seemed to me to be approaching a non-game.

    Nevertheless, I hope the publicity gets him some of the money, although is suspect it’ll be less of a “life changing event” than beer money.

  7. Seafort says:

    22Cans goes on the list of Untrustworthy Developers joining Double Fine and Ubisoft.

    I will never buy any of their games again. Well done Peter Molyneux you were once great but now you’re just a old school developer who can’t be trusted to complete any games you touch.

    • melnificent says:

      And Frontier

    • BisonHero says:

      Explain to me why you think Double Fine is untrustworthy. To this day, none of their actions have ever come across as bad to the same degree that Ubisoft rushes creatively bankrupt games out the day in a busted state, or Molyneux ignores this poor winner of the dumb Curiosity contest.

      • melnificent says:

        Double Fine is easy Spacebase DF-9, I picked it up on the understanding that there was a lot more to be built on the skeleton that was there. Instead, nothing, nothing, nothing – V1.0 (nothing rebranded). Broken Age broken into 2 parts as it ran out of budget… A budget that was vastly higher than what they claimed to need.

        Why do you think they are doing the remasters now? Easy reputation repair and money.

        • rustybroomhandle says:

          You are twisting facts here re Broken Age to fit your griping. But carry on.

          • melnificent says:

            Lets get some links in shall we…
            link to gamasutra.com
            link to gamespot.com
            link to joystiq.com

            As you can see they ran out of funds hence the split and early access.

            They asked for $400,000 to make the entire game, got $3,300,000+ instead. Eight times the budget they stated on their kickstarter. It takes some really work to burn through that much extra and still require more money.

          • Bull0 says:

            Reasons why “eight times the original budget” doesn’t really stack up include stretch goals, expensive to fulfill higher reward tiers, general project scope creep, etc. Apply these liberally to the affected area and call me in the morning.

          • swimming anime says:

            bull0 all of those things are double fine’s fault. you’re not making any points here

          • Bull0 says:

            So my point being that $400,000 wasn’t the budget to make what they’re making, it was the budget to make something much smaller in scope, so saying that if they could’ve done it on $400,000 they should’ve done it with $3.3m is a fallacy. You, my friend, are the one not making a point here.

          • melnificent says:

            FTL did it with their kickstarter. They got 20 times what they asked for and completed exactly what they promised.
            They used the extra budget as a safety net, instead of over promising and underdelivering.
            Double fine is responsible for over promising and stretch goals that were out of budget.

          • Bull0 says:

            That’s OK – bloody minded and petty but OK – it’s your original argument that they managed to not complete a $400,000 game with $3.3m which I took issue with and you’ve yet to justify it. They changed the plans in response to the bigger budget, get it through your head.

        • Bradamantium says:

          Broken Age was split into two parts *because* of its budget far exceeding what was asked for. I backed it myself, and while the wait has been irritating and there’s a strong case to be made for some amount of mismanagement, DF hasn’t intentionally screwed over customers anywhere near the same degree as Ubisoft or Molyneux has.

        • BisonHero says:

          I still see nothing wrong with how they handled the situation Spacebase DF-9. The game itself obviously doesn’t have as many features as you’d hope for that sort of game. It doesn’t include all the potential features that the Early Access page said the devs would like the final game to include, but they did what they could with that project, and it was just bleeding money to the point that they had to cease development.

          Yes, they’re the first big studio to just put an Early Access game into full release and end development before it really delivered on all the possible features talked about during Early Access, and it’s regrettable they had to cut off development. The Dwarf-Fortress-like is a niche genre, and hindsight being 20/20, maybe they should have never tackled the project in the first place. Dwarf Fortress works because it’s two guys fucking around with it on their own time for like a decade, not like 10 people in high-salary game dev jobs in San Francisco. The overhead is vastly different for those two dev teams. But the Spacebase project just wasn’t garnering a ton of players or press interest (which I attribute to a combination of both the kinda safe game design but also the very narrow appeal of the genre).

          Do people really think Double Fine should’ve kept working on that project for another like, 18 months, just taking a bath every single month and losing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars because the game is barely selling and it actually takes a decent number of engineers and programmers and artists to keep adding stuff to that type of game? I think you can demand that a company as big as Sony or something should make good on those sorts of promises because they can take the loss, but Double Fine isn’t just rolling in money left and right. They made the right move for the company and I’d make the same move in their position. It’s unfortunate that the players didn’t get the full experience that they hoped Spacebase would one day become, but they did still get a game out of it, and I don’t think it’s as fundamentally flawed as Godus.

          Broken Age turned into a two parter and delayed its release date, but does that affect their trustworthiness in any way? It’s still shaping up to be a good game. They got 3.3 million, had to give up bunch of that money to cover Kickstarter’s cut and all the backer rewards and paying like 100K to the documentary crew to film them for months and months, so I think they had like 2-2.5 million to work with. Schafer designed a game that is larger than that budget, so they did some initiatives at the company to get more funds (Double Fine Humble Bundles, putting company profits directly into expanding the budget of Broken Age, etc.).

          Ultimately they had to split the game into two episodes and release the first one to generate some more revenue, or else end the project and just cut out like half the game and rush the ending and ship what they’ve got. I’m glad we’re getting pretty much the full story and game that was originally designed and intended, because I guarantee a publisher would’ve gladly taken the second option and just told the devs to slash as much as they could of the unproduced parts of the game and just ship what they could.

          “Broken Age broken into 2 parts as it ran out of budget… A budget that was vastly higher than what they claimed to need.” This statement just makes it sound like you have no idea what you’re talking about. The amount they “claimed to need” was initially $400K, 100 for the documentary crew I think and 300 for the game. And that’s not “what they need”, that’s just the minimum amount that they could’ve designed a game around. When they received basically ten times that amount, the scope of the game entirely changed, and once they entered production it turned out the scope of the game exceeded what they originally budgeted. This isn’t some unforgivable sin; games go over budget all the time behind closed doors, and publishers decide to either continue funding it and expand the budget, or just make the devs ship whatever they have finished using the original budget.

          • Gmr_Leon says:

            Spacebase DF-9 was poor project planning from the start, it would seem. A niche game, rolled into a budget dictated primarily by Early Access sales was simply never going to work. Even if it had had more to it upon being pushed into Early Access, it was a gross gamble on Double Fine’s part, especially given that the only people who lose much in the bargain are the buyers and the dev team behind it. If I’m not mistaken, the developer behind Spacebase is no longer with Double Fine, and the buyers are left with a hollow game.

            Everyone lost there, because Double Fine wasn’t willing to plan out the project better. Frankly, if Spacebase had gone up for Kickstarter, I think it might have fared a little better, and it’s not like Double Fine didn’t do that again with Massive Chalice anyway. It seems to me that their support of Spacebase was half-hearted from the start, and it’s a shame for everyone involved. Double Fine’s rep is tarnished, JP’s no longer there (laid off?), and buyers are left with next to nothing of a game there.

          • swimming anime says:

            If they had 2 million dollars and designed a 2 million dollar game, and then suddenly needed another million dollars it is 100% their fault. if they had wanted to be responsible they would have designed a 1.5 million dollar game and then when it went over budget they’d have the money.

            plus none of that is considering the money they make WHEN THE GAME IS OUT BY SELLING IT TO CUSTOMERS. Video game designers just do not abide by how business works. If double fine’s leadership pulled this in any other industry they’d be fired.

          • ThatFuzzyTiger says:

            Really, you see nothing wrong with how DF-9 was set up?

            You did no investigation into how DF-9 was funded then. How IndieFund basically hollowed the funds for the game out, and how DoubleFine used Steam Early Access to manipulate the risk off of DoubleFine and onto Early Access purchasers?

            Maybe you should. There’s a story there if you look.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            Well people who do Kickstarters and Early Access mostly get what they deserve, but things like DS-9 are exactly why that is the case and why people shouldn’t trust those systems. Double Fine definitely took advantage of people, as those tools make it easy to do until people get more jaded and discerning.

  8. FriendlyFire says:

    Henderson should have the contract pored over by a lawyer. If there’s even one element that can be capitalized on, he should sue 22cans for breach of contract. Same thing for the backers who didn’t receive what they were promised.

    It really feels like nothing else will actually shake up those devs these days (look at the ED refund thing).

    • Jorum says:

      Indeed. I feel there is a problem where game devs just think of themselves as designers/programmers in the warm fuzzy creative community. They seem to forget that the instant you start taking peoples money you are a company with responsibilities and expectations. You can’t carry on behaving like it’s a friendly all gamers together hobby club.

    • Silith321 says:

      My thoughts exactly. He really should hire a lawyer.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Reading the article, it doesn’t seem like he cares enough to do so. Yet, at any rate. His attitude is commendable, although I hope he’ll do this a some point.

  9. DrollRemark says:

    My favourite bit about the Pocket Gamer interview is how you can actually read the complete lack of interest Molyneux has in what the competition winner is up to:

    What has curiosity winner Bryan Henderson been up to, lately?

    He’s not up to anything, other than he makes a portion of every pound we make. He accrues all that money – we’re not paying him yet, but he’s accruing it. But he’s not doing anything until we turn on the multiplayer.

    link to pocketgamer.co.uk

    “Who, that guy? Pfft, who cares right. Talk about my ideas some more.”

  10. Drake Sigar says:

    This is disgusting.

  11. Cochise779 says:

    I’ve always been an apologist for Molyneux. Not anymore. I forgave him for getting so wrapped in the idea of what his games could be and promising the stars because what he promised sounded so exciting.

    But this isn’t overpromising, now it’s just lying. Lying about the Kickstarter, lying about the Curiosity prize, lying even about what they’re actively developing for Godus.

    It’s no longer fun watching him be him. It’s cringeworthy.

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      I’m in the same boat. Really, truly sad to watch a former icon… well, almost degenerate in front of your very eyes.

      • hprice says:

        Don’t you mean Apple I-Con?? (see product placement in the video).

        I would like to see someone pro-actively write a letter to the “accrual” ombudsman about PM (I’ve got no business sense whatsoever so I guess this might be the Internal Revenue people in the UK), and what he has said about Bryan’s money. If what someone says here about fraud actively being admitted (inadvertently, of course) to by PM is true, this might be an avenue worth taking. I would if I could but I can’t. No idea what I’m talking about half the time. In fact, a little bit like PM, I suppose but with a lot more morals it would seem. I would definitely like to see PM taken down for this …

        Honestly though,I think Bryan deserves some recompense for this. He has been treated extremely shoddily by PM and 22Cans, and should be compensated greatly for his trouble.

        As for what someone said about Bryan hiring a lawyer and looking at the contract closely before signing. He shouldn’t have had to. It should have been all above board and reproach already. Why it has been so awful since, is down to PM and 22Cans. I think he should possibly look into getting a lawyer now though because in essence they have (possibly) broken the contract with him.

        What a horrible man, PM is, and what a horrible state of affairs in general.

        Also … the games journalists should have been onto this quicker. If they were a little less slack and writing god-awful posts about s.exe then all this might have been prevented(??) Who knows.

        What interesting times we live in.

    • Drake Sigar says:

      Yeah, I’m done. I’ve always believed Molyneux goes into these disasters with the best of intentions but this is over the line. I can’t believe that poor kid went ignored.

    • Manburger says:

      Yeah, for sure. I’ve always had a soft spot for the fellow, even as he keeps screwing up, but now that leniency is far gone. It sucks, because he really does seem like such a sweet, avuncular guy. Man!

    • Jimbo says:

      Couldn’t agree more. I’ve always defended him in the past because he just seemed wildly over-ambitious in a somewhat-refreshing way which wasn’t really harming anyone. This whole episode –and especially his shoddy treatment of Bryan Henderson– just makes him seem like a shyster.

      • minkiii says:

        Same here – I used to think he was some kind of loveable eccentric, but he has really blown it this time. He’s like a dad who forgets his kid’s birthdays and never turns up to their school plays.

        • Kala says:

          …That’s probably a better (and less creepy) analogy than the guy further down who thought Molyneux was like an innocent waifu turned cheating ho who wasn’t doing her chores properly :o

        • Insidious Mental Pollution says:

          I don’t know. It’s always seemed pretty obvious to me that he’s an egotistical hack using good will from his earlier successes with Bullfrog to keep convincing suits and people to throw money at him. Ultimately it’s not my money, and hasn’t been since Black and White, but it’s always sigh-worthy to see people like him come out ahead.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      Yeah, this whole thing has been such a bad fall for Molyneux that his image as silly genius has rapidly transformed into one of a conman. And with good reason – all the incessant approaches to microtransactions make it feel like he’s just out for money. It’s even more awful that he just seems to be moving on to some new project, wasting away all the trust from KS backers.

      On a sidenote, it’s weird how he represents the other end of the ‘corporate apology’ scale. We could use more admitting errors and apologizing to audiences from many studios and companies, but the way in which 22cans have done it makes the apology sound vain and vacuous.

  12. Jorum says:

    Henderson should be speaking to a solicitor.
    22Cans took peoples money on the promise of a “life changing prize”.
    Sure it’s a vague term but it is also a very strongly worded advertising claim.
    a) is years later and they still have provided absolutely zero prize
    b) they did not keep in contact with prize winner and ignored his communications
    c) they have repeatedly lied, contradicted themselves, and reneged on statements

    Given the above facts and clear lack of any attempt at acting in good faith I suspect a UK magistrate/judge would look extremely poorly on 22cans and be prepared to rule in Henderson’s favour.

    • Shadow says:

      I suppose it depends on the document they made Bryan sign. The contract might be less naive/optimistic than Molyneux’s claims, and have escape clauses or similar legal mechanisms to protect 22cans in case they can’t fulfill their original promise.

      I’m no lawyer, but I’m not sure it could be used as leverage if the terms don’t explicitly define what Henderson’s supposed to be getting. I mean, they weren’t even sure how long they’d allow the guy to remain “god” until recently. That leads me to believe several other vital specifications might’ve been very unspecifically defined as well.

      • ChairmanYang says:

        I’m sure the contract is less naive/optimistic than Molyneux seems, because Molyneux is actually a scammer. From the Eurogamer article:

        “Crucially, Molyneux cannot guarantee multiplayer will ever see the light of day in Godus.

        “Guaranteeing is a very strong word,””

        and when pressed:

        “Guaranteeing sounds like I have to put my life on the line, but we will make every effort to make this happen, yes.”

        Sorry, those aren’t the words of a naive dreamer. He’s a fraud.

        I know Bryan Henderson seems to have moved on from the whole thing (which is a healthy attitude), but part of me would love for him to hire a lawyer and make this Molyneux asshole accountable.

      • Kelsier says:

        If I were a lawyer, which I am (though of the American variety), I would say that Molyneux’s trumpeting of Henderson’s involvement for marketing purposes has created a quasi-contract that entitles Henderson to some compensation regardless of the written contract.

        What I really want to see is the backers go after his ass for financial fraud. Even if they can’t collect, it’ll deter future Molyneuxs.

  13. Humppakummitus says:

    Peter was one of the best visionaries in game business during the Bullfrog years. Even then his imagination tended to run a tad too high, but he always delivered interesting, and sometimes even revolutionary stuff.
    This is painful to watch, he used to be so, so good.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      What is the evidence exactly that he was good and that it wasn’t his staff or bosses (if he had any)? I mean plenty of organizations with good products have bad managers who take all the credit. I kind of suspect he has always been an idiot.

  14. ribby says:

    Hopefully people will stop defending him now…

    • MadTinkerer says:

      I have a theory that Mr. Molyneux is still capable of making good games if he was willing to scale way, way back and try to do things on a actual-Bullfrog level. It’s not like he wasn’t responsible for some of the most classic games of all time. But he’s dreadful at managing a larger team. Just awful. And he needs to stop trying.

      He should maybe try a proper Indie-scale project. And not speak about it to anyone except the one or two people he’s working with, until it’s done. Because that’s how the good games he made got made.

      But anything larger? More ambitious? More public? At this point, I would blame him for trying.

  15. MiniMatt says:

    So Bryan really isn’t the Messiah?

    But Peter is a very naughty boy.

  16. MojaveMusic says:

    Molyneux hasn’t made a good game since I was a toddler.

    Bryan, for his part, should sue, provided he can afford a lawyer.

  17. Luminolza says:

    Hard to know what’s the worst part of his experience. Maybe “That’s when they made us play Godus for three hours straight. “

  18. Barberetti says:

    Taboola ad right under this article

    link to i.imgur.com

  19. Yernn says:

    My six year-old loves watching me sculpt land and harvest from fields in Godus.

    One of the really frustrating things about all this is that it still feels like there are the bones of a good game in there.

  20. MiddleIndex says:

    people see everything in gaming as away to rip people off.

    • James Currie says:

      ‘people’ as one source who’s sole mission is to bitch about greedy bastards long enough for it to change a little is quite a stretching of the definition.

  21. aldo_14 says:

    Financial stuff aside, the bit that really annoyed me in Eurogamer interview was this (when the development team took him out to the pub);

    “They were talking amongst themselves and didn’t pay attention to me. For some reason they had their backs to me and my friend for the start of the evening.
    Then more people came and that’s when we started having a conversation with someone. That was a bit strange. You’re here because of me, and they weren’t really paying attention. Maybe they were caught up in some interesting conversation.

    I mean, I’m probably one of the most introverted people on earth, and I’d still make sure not to bloody turn my back on someone invited to my office as a guest, never mind a competition winner.

    • Bull0 says:

      It seems fairly clear now that 22Cans staffers are cynical hacks, riding on the coattails of a fading big name and with little interest in actually delivering anything other than cash grabbing non-games. Ignoring a teenage guest who’s flown across the country sounds about par for the course.

      • Gmr_Leon says:

        Not entirely true, as is often the case. Some of them seem (or seemed, in the case of those that left) pretty genuine folks, but they’re being led about by a less than genuine guy in Molyneux. Konrad and the recently reassigned to Godus programmer, Fabs, have been pretty good about trying to stay in contact with the community recently. There have been some others in 22cans (one of the QA guys, an effects artist, and the community guys) that have tried to work with the community, but the management’s just not given them much leeway to do or say anything of substance. It was probably either due to poor planning or awkward management practices for what was supposed to be an indie effort, but who really knows?

    • hprice says:

      Nope, sorry … I am! I got the Galactic Introversion Prize in 2004 when I found that I have an anxiety disorder (“social phobia”), depression and some autism. Huzzah, a triple whammy! Anyway introverted people, I believe tend to be more polite, and thoughtful than the hoi-polloi “normal” people (let the flame wars begin!! :D). I would talk to Adolph Hitler if he was still around just to be polite, and I would try to make anyone fit in and be friendly to them even if they were a serial killer. Turning one’s back on anyone like that should be a capital offense in my mind (which is seriously odd, I know) :D.

      Seriously though, it speaks volumes for the 22Cans guys and gals if that is what they did to poor Bryan. No one should be treated like that … except for PM perhaps. Hopefully, he gets a great bundle of cash from this hideously horrible affair as compensation (Bryan I mean … not PM. His turtle necks should be taken away from him for life. That would bring him down a peg or two!).

  22. po says:

    I think it’s time some people in the gaming industry got a bit more recognition. I’m talking about the poor souls who have to manage designers like Molyneux, spending years of their lives essentially herding cats in order to give us great games, instead of empty promises.

  23. slerbal says:

    Sickening. Thank fuck I never ended up working with him. That was a lucky escape.

    • Kapouille says:

      Actually, this isn’t so bad, working for him. In practice, you work for the company he owns, but you’ll virtually never see him apart from in some “inspirational” speeches.

  24. Premium User Badge

    Neurotic says:

    Jesus John, you’re reporting all this with a frothing rabidity one usually doesn’t see outside of tabloids. I think PM has had some kind of mid-life crisis, because the man I’m seeing and reading lately is not the same man from the Bullfrog/Lionhead days.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Lionhead was started in 1996, and B&W came out in 2001, so of course he’s changed since then, he’s 15-20 years older (as are we all).
      It’s just a shame he’s got worse at making realistic promises rather than better.

    • teije says:

      That man vanished long ago. This is a egocentric shyster who’s such a poor liar he contradicts himself on the same day.

      The most pathetic part is that he appears to actually believe whatever shit he’s spouting in the moment.

    • Jac says:

      I do not believe the tone in any of these articles can be described as frothing rabidity. I’m glad John is calling them out on this and feel his tone in this is entirely appropriate and far more professional than I would be given what we are hearing.

      I look forward to reading your less frothing articles on the matter.

    • Frank says:

      Wait, so John is over the top, but you’re the one psychoanalyzing a mid-life crisis into existence?

    • Guzzleguts says:

      I guess I’ll say it again: His career is BUILT on fraud. I’m talking about Taurus/Torus. It’s on his wikipedia page if you care to look.
      I do not understand why people keep making excuses for this nightmare creep just because he has a cheeky little face?

  25. Wisq says:

    Apparently if you can fail hard enough, you get three days straight of solid coverage on Rock Paper Shotgun.

    If their PR strategist is of the “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” camp, he/she is probably delirious right now. :)

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      Given the clusterfuck, I doubt they even have a PR strategist.

      • Gmr_Leon says:

        They don’t really. Even when they had more community guys on the team, they weren’t used to reign in PR that much. Peter announcing The Trail around the start of December last year even blindsided them. Peter is the PR, despite him admitting he sucks at it, because he’s addicted to the limelight or something.

    • Jac says:

      Yes they must be delighted to have completely destroyed any goodwill and reputation they once had with pc gamers here. Truly inspiring.

    • James Currie says:

      Let’s be honest – I’m not backing 22chan on anything and taking what they say with 20,000 kilos of salt.

      I think John has done his good deed for the day.

  26. gschmidl says:

    Will this finally be the end of this liar and his 18-plus-year streak of overpromising and underdelivering? Of course not, this cycle will repeat forever.

    • Sam says:

      The universe is infinite blackness, all heat has dispersed evenly, there is eternal quiet. The laws of thermodynamics rule supreme and there is only dust. Impossibly, a voice is raised in the darkness. “We made some mistakes, but we’ve just started working on this really fantastic new game that I know is going to revolutionise how you think of horses.”

      The sudden injection of energy sets off a second big bang. Or was this the hundredth? Who but Molyneux could possibly keep count? A few billion years later there are some horses.

  27. zero signal says:

    Looks like their dedication was bridled after all.

  28. KDR_11k says:

    That God looks like Konami would draw Dracula in Castlevania.

  29. karnak says:

    Unfortunately Molyneux is starting to be a bit like an adorable, sweet cheating wife.

    She was once a bright, really intelligent and pretty girl.
    Full of ideas, filled with energy, passion and compassion. Your friends liked her. Your mother loved her.

    You marry her and you have kids. Paradise – sort of. Things aren’t 100% perfect. But she’s a lovely, hard-working girl. The kids love her and she tries to be nice. You think: “things will improve with time”.

    But they don’t. She starts neglecting the house chores. She doesn’t like sex the way she once did. Even the kids complain that mommy is neglecting them a bit.
    But when you complain to her, she just lowers her eyes, gives you that sweet smile you always adored and promises that things will get better soon.

    One day you discover that she’s cheating on you. And you discover that the sweet, honest, decent girl you love is in fact a pathological liar.
    Intelligent, smart and hard-working. But also a narcissist, conflict-avoider and someone who never stops until she gets what she wants (money, a new man, a new job). Then she gets bored and abandons that which fought hard to conquer.

    Your once-perfect wife has now abandoned you and your kids. She already has another man in her mind and she thinks to herself that her next relationship will be the perfect one. All the previous ones were just “trials” for the real deal. And off she goes leaving her mess behind, to create the perfect relationship.

    • RobF says:

      Dude. Everything about this comparison is awful.

      • pmcp says:

        …and a bit creepy. How long has it been now karnak? I’m sure you’ll find someone, plenty more fish in the sea etc.

    • Donjo says:

      Your analogy is terrible and you should feel terrible. Not as terrible as Peter but still. How long did it take you to write that? Try to use the same amount of time for quiet self reflection instead.

      • karnak says:

        It seems this scenario disturbed some people.

        Funny and interesting at the same time.
        Most people don’t seem to realize (or are too afraid to admit) that there’s not much difference between a lying spouse, a lying games developer and a politician.
        All of them have no problem in manipulating others in order to fulfill their goals.

        And stop excusing Molyneux because he created “Populous” and “Magic Carpet” and other stuff. It was a collective work by Bullfrog. He wasn’t working alone on those games.

        The more I read stories about this guy the more I start to think he’s probably as good a project manager as Rick Gervais in “The Office”.

        • jrodman says:

          Who is excusing Peter here? The response you are getting is not about Peter. it’s about you and what you wrote. Please think on that.

    • Kala says:

      …She started neglecting the house chores? How about you learn to pick up after yourself once in a while?

      (and something something Peter Molyneux)

    • Okami says:

      Um.. You sure you’re not confusing RPS with TRP?

    • MacTheGeek says:

      This… this is the worst idea for a game I’ve read in ages. What’s it called, “Country Music Simulator”?

  30. kalesin says:

    I see there are some user who created the request for refund.
    Interesting what happens this week, you can finally have some justice, I’ll sign.
    link to change.org

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      Thanks. Signed.

    • VladVoivode says:

      Signed as well. Change.org has achieved some successes and at this point, it’s worth a shot.

    • Jesus Raves says:

      I’m sorry guys, but this is almost beyond even caveat emptor. You either donated to a Kickstarter (which is a donation that happens to come with rewards, not even an investment) or you purchased an Early Access game. Neither medium promises the product you’re supporting will come to fruition, especially not in the way you expect it to when you gave up your money. You really don’t have any grounds to call for a refund, and any money you do get back is generosity on either 22cans’ or Steam’s part. Anytime you pay for a game, you’re taking a risk that it won’t be all you expect it to be, that you might not like what you paid for, and that goes multiple times over when you pay for an unfinished game. I recommend you take this as a learning experience and examine the names attached to projects you fund in the future. Peter Molyneux has never been one to trust in the realm of promise keeping.

      My personal recommendation, particularly with Early Access games, is to pay only for projects you think are worth your money in the state they’re in at purchase time. For example, I bought Rust, and it provided me with almost a hundred hours of amusement, fun, satisfaction, despair–when those assholes raid and destroy my intricately built fortresses–and positive human interaction–I made friends while playing that game. I haven’t played it for awhile now, and I have no idea what state its development is in now; I might go back and play it when it’s complete, or I might not. Either way, it was worth my money from the start because the core of the game is enough to support hours upon hours of enjoyment. Basically, if Godus wasn’t in a state that would provide hours of fun when you bought it, what was the point of buying it then and not later? If you didn’t know it wasn’t in that state, maybe you should start researching the shit you wanna buy before you take out your wallet.

      Note: Even though I sound harsh here, you have my sympathy. It’s always a huge bummer to find out something you’ve been excited for might not come to fruition.

  31. clive dunn says:

    Bryan should doorstep this dodgy fucker Roger Cook style…
    ‘Where’s my money?….’
    ‘Were you ever going to pay me anything?’
    *Figure moves behind net curtains
    ‘Peter, I know you can hear me….’

  32. No Excuse says:

    This is actually so angry-making.

    The article John published earlier today was arguably a story about a shambolic studio,poor game design, disappointed customers and backers, and pie-in-the-sky wild claims from a public figure and consumer rights. Arguably there were two sides to the story but it was just maybe of interest to gamers and prompted lots of discussion.

    THIS story is just so, so, beyond that. Surely this should be universally condemned. This is clearly deeply immoral behavior by those concerned. This isn’t a dissapointed gamer, this poor guy’s been on an emotional rollercoaster and must be feeling fucking awful about the way he’s been treated. The word ‘life-changing’ cannot just be bandied about and promises to an individual can’t be reneged on. This isn’t about a games studio but about how humans SHOULD NOT treat each other.

    This also also clearly, surely, illegal. I hope to got Bryan instructs a solicitor to look at this, although this will be little consolation for him at least he might get something and these people shouldn’t get away with this behavior.

    This is genuinely the most shocking thing I’ve ever seen on RPS, and I read S.EXE.

    • Donjo says:

      It’s really disgusting, at the very least Peter and 22Cans should be sued and at the most Peter at least should be ruined. NOBODY should ever give Peter Molyneux money again, he’s a self deluded con artist.

    • wu wei says:

      What really annoys me is the blatant handwaving away of issues with multiplayer that Molyneux makes in the Eurogamer article, claiming it’s imminent (April, at that; “two months” is pretty common in my development circles as code for “it hasn’t even been started yet”). It’s especially galling that he tries to minimise it when 22Cans had serious problems with the net code in Curiosity, which was a much simpler “game”.

  33. Tuor says:

    Willy Wonka: It’s all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You stole fizzy lifting drinks! You bumped into the ceiling which now has to be washed and sterilized, so you get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir!

    Grandpa Joe: [shocked] You’re a crook. You’re a cheat and a swindler! That’s what you are!

    Grandpa Joe: [angrily] How could you do something like this, build up a little boy’s hopes and then smash all his dreams to pieces? You’re an inhuman monster!

    Willy Wonka: [shouts even louder] I said good day!

  34. Renevent says:

    Peter Molyneux has got to be the biggest fraud and snake oil salesman in the history of video gaming. I’m not even the type of person who runs around bashing developers, hating on EA/Ubisoft, or stuff like that…but this guy…man. I just hope that after this series of incidents and the negative (and rightfully so) publicity he’s getting that no one will ever fall for his shit again.

  35. DrScuttles says:

    This whole situation is a massive, steaming pile of Molyneux for all involved.

  36. karnak says:

    Reading all this mess I get saddened.
    Because Underworld Ascension still hasn’t made its 600.000$ mark.

    And I suspect one of the reasons it’s because of crooks like Molyneux. People are getting afraid of Kickstarters.
    I suspect that even Sid Meier would find it difficult to kickstart a game now.
    And to think that some people are still supporting Molyneux because of a couple of games he did 2000 years ago.

    That’s one of the hardest truths in the world: most of the times, when you’re a hard-working honest dude, you have to sweat like hell to fulfill your dreams.
    But if you’re just a smooth-talking crook then most people will just rain money into your hands. Seen it too many times in my life.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      That is a good thing not a bad thing, Kickstarter was a bad model that was an easy way for people to get ripped off.

  37. Darkheart says:

    Not life-changing!? Dunno what you guys talk about. Dear Bryan was taught a life-changing lesson: Life (in the gestalt of PM) fucks you up. A valuable lesson (someone pm PM to monetize that) at the young age of 18.

    Also: Bad luck Bryan ;-)

    • WombatDeath says:

      I unwittingly posted something similar higher in the comments, but an hour and a half after you. Being nearer the top, I expect that mine will be viewed by more people and so I will get more credit. Normally I’d edit my earlier post to reference yours, but under the circumstances I think that this is more appropriate. If challenged, I shall waffle a bit, apologise in an unconvincing and exaggerated fashion, and then repeat my mendacity on the next article.

      • Darkheart says:

        No prob! I sound like a cynical ass anyway. Hope it doesn’t come on too strong. Bryan seems to be a nice lad, who got fucked over. At least he doesn’t let it go to his head.
        It’s a good bit of drama that at least entertains me, but to be honest I feel sad for the employees of TrashCan22. I couldn’t even finish watching the vid with the new project lead, it was so disheartening. Props to the man! He knows he’s fighting a loosing battle, but still shows up on the battlefield. PM on the other hand… That guy is mental!
        As for the whining about not getting a good game out of this. I just have to look at my Steam library to see a myriad of great games old and new. It’s not like I am waiting for this one. They have to sell me something not the other way round.
        A note on the non-game stuff: Curiosity pretty much describes the term. But so do most modern F2P games (be it browser or MMORPG). There are many interesting articles on the web about how these “games” are designed to trap you psychologically. In some cases it puts the living fear into me. I have been sucked into some of them in the past and in retrospect I always thought, how I ever could waste so much of my lifetime… I hope I am wiser now and recommend you all get some good single-player game that is not designed around micro-payments, unlockables, achievements and online shenanigans.

        Sorry for the long rambling! ;-)

  38. JoeX111 says:

    I love when RPS holds developers accountable like this. I just hope these issues won’t be brushed aside when it comes time to write a preview of The Trial.

  39. zaphod42 says:

    The real tragedy here is no only did Molyneux fuck up Godus, but now he’s moving on to a new game, “The Trail” before he’s even half-delivered on the promises of Godus. What a fucking joke!

    People, stop giving Molyneux money. He needs to be chased out of the game industry. He is a virus. An ideas man that has no idea how to manage a technical software development company, who somehow manages to convince the publishing industry to keep giving him money so he can piss it down the drain and release bad products that are marketed as something more than they are to unhappy consumers. Instead that money could go to hard working indie developers who make original games AND ACTUALLY FINISH THEM.

  40. D70CW6 says:

    Just makes Moly look like an absolute twat tbh

  41. Premium User Badge

    ErraticGamer says:

    This, for me, is the article where Peter Molyneux goes in my head from being an ambitious dreamer ultimately incapable of producing his visions to basically just being a crook.

    What a mind-bogglingly absurd way to justify every ounce of the massive skepticism that people threw at Curiosity and Godus both.

    Good luck hyping that next new big thing, Pete.

  42. fish99 says:

    I wouldn’t exactly call this heartbreaking or devastating, and indeed from the interview the guys sounds neither heartbroken nor devastated, just a bit confused and miffed, and it sounds like he’s long since moved on. The guy only played the game for an hour, and by the sounds of it won largely by chance, then it turns out the prize wasn’t that great after all, but he didn’t lose anything. He didn’t even know there was a prize. It’s not like he was duped out of his life savings.

    For reputations sake Molyneux should probably just give the guy some money though, although TBH his reputation is irretrievable at this point. I’d say the bigger crime here is how poor Godus apparently is and that it’ll never be finished, since it sounds like 22cans have long since given up on it.

    • AngoraFish says:


    • horsemedic says:

      Yes, this. Thank you. There’s nothing “heartbreaking” about an interview with a kid who won a silly contest and knows he may not get his silly prize but, as he says, “I don’t care. Really. Like, whatever.”

      The Eurogamer article was pretty good, with some honest-to-god reporting from inside 22cans, though it was also breathless, way too long and in need of quote editing. I guess it might be considered “superb” by the bleak standards of hard news games journalism—an industry in which you can claim to “reveal” info about a developer that the developer publicly posted four days earlier to its own website.

    • Kala says:

      Yeah, it sounds a bit strong, though perhaps there’s a distinction between it seeming heartbreaking to the reader (depending on the reader) and Bryan not being heartbroken himself (in fact, sounding fairly understated).

      Though I certainly felt a wee bit…deflated on his behalf that he was invited to this doodah and then ignored when they literally turned their backs on him. That’s socially awkward enough for me to empathise.

      But certainly unfair to deliberately drum up and exploit so much excitement and then just leave him hanging.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      I agree the kid here is not some huge victim. Really even each individual contributor isn’t much of a victim. Collectively though it makes for a very large harm in aggregate.

  43. vorador says:

    In a move absolutely not typical of him, Molyneux promises the moon and delivers a turd. Or at best, a spherical object that looks somewhat like it, but fails to be.

    I thought people wised up after Fable. While Fable was a good game, it was far from what Molyneux promised. And he has kept doing that since then.

    He would be the last developer i would trust in a Kickstarter.

  44. caff says:

    As disgusting as 22 Cans and Molyneux’s behaviour has been to Bryan, maybe something positive could be made out of this by us?

    We could start a kickstarter to fund a course/apprenticeship for Bryan, and hopefully get his foot in the door of a games developer?

  45. Ako says:

    That’s it, I really hate Molineux. The worst is that he must feel so sorry for himself.

    • karnak says:

      Not really.
      The guy is probably delusional. He’s probably at a stage in which he believes his own stories.
      He certainly was a creative mind in the old days. No-one can deny that. But, like it usually happens with creative people, age takes its toll and they start to run out of ideas or lack the energy to fulfill them.

      Problem is that some gaming media circles started to see him as a sort of Avatar of gaming deities (he helped to create the first “god game” after all). And, like all “living gods” in human history, he probably only associates with people who worship him as the Sun God.

  46. The Petulant Platypus says:

    I understand he will never read this but…

    Molyneux you seriously need to sort your crap out mate. You are coming across as a thief and some sort of sociopath. Clean up your act, give this guy you stiffed his due and stay off kickstarter.

  47. Spacewalk says:

    It’s not half like winning the big prize on a scratch card then reading the fine print on the back that tells you what you have to go through to get your prize innit.

  48. noizy says:

    I didn’t know much about Molyneux’s past projects, but kept hearing those words about “over-promises and under-delivers”. I’d go a bit further and just sum it up to “dirt bag”.

    • mao_dze_dun says:

      I’m guessing it you’re a bit younger. Take it from somebody who remembers PC gaming in the 90’s – this is this douche’s career in a nutshell. EA in their worst years, were probably like: “Well, at least we’re not Peter Molyneux”.

      • k.t says:

        What? You realise he was EA’s cash cow, right? 90s Molyneux was great. It’s only over the last 10-15 years that the wheels have come off.

        This latest episode in the series of screw-ups has been particularly ugly, and I’m glad RPS and co. are holding him to account, but the more recent shittiness doesn’t retroactively make everything else terrible.

        • mao_dze_dun says:

          Ok, you have a point. I see Black & White (which I consider to be the first in the long line of underdelivery) is a bit newer than I recall. Still, while I agree Stannis’ principle is valid here (a good deed does not erase the bad, nor the bad – the good), I think that 15 years of F ups is long enough to discard the guy as a fraud.

          • k.t says:

            I agree, the post-Bullfrog stuff hasn’t met expectations. But he doesn’t deliberately set out to screw people over. That doesn’t make this any less inexcusable though, and even if he were to present Bryan with a genuinely life-changing sum of money today it wouldn’t undo all the damage. But I’d go with has-been or mildly incompetent rather than a fraud.

            (Full disclosure: I worked on some of the older games)

  49. April March says:

    The best thing about this article is how Fork Parker linked to it on Twitter: by calling Peter a “reverse Willy Wonka”.

  50. tofusheep says:

    all of PM false promises that are recorded on video should constantly be shown to him in interviews and directly asked about to his face… don’t support scam artists… BAH!