Peter Molyneux Interview: “I haven’t got a reputation in this industry any more”

When Peter Molyneux agreed to speak to me, I knew the interview was going to be tense. I knew that an article we’d posted on Monday, asking what was going on with the development of Godus, had kicked up an enormous storm for 22cans and its boss, with the rest of the gaming press picking up and running with it. So I assumed, when he agreed to chat, he knew that it wasn’t going to be a smooth ride. I wanted to get to the root of so much that now seems to form the reputation of the developer, the outlandish promises that so often aren’t kept, the ridiculous time-frames claimed, and the often disappointing or lacklustre results. I especially wanted to do this now that the people funding such things aren’t deep-pocketed publishers, but the players themselves. I wasn’t expecting it to take us in the direction of Molyneux’s declaring that I was “driving him out of the games industry”.

We spoke on the phone on Wednesday evening, Molyneux speaking from the Guildford offices of his studio, 22cans. Sounding stressed, but composed, Molyneux asked how I’d like to begin, whether I had questions, or should I just let him talk. I told him I had questions, many questions, and so we began.

RPS: Do you think that you’re a pathological liar?

Peter Molyneux: That’s a very…

RPS: I know it’s a harsh question, but it seems an important question to ask because there do seem to be lots and lots of lies piling up.

Peter Molyneux: I’m not aware of a single lie, actually. I’m aware of me saying things and because of circumstances often outside of our control those things don’t come to pass, but I don’t think that’s called lying, is it? I don’t think I’ve ever knowingly lied, at all. And if you want to call me on one I’ll talk about it for sure.

RPS: During the Kickstarter for Godus you stated, regarding that you don’t want to use a publisher stating, “It’ll just be you and our unbridled dedication (no publishers).” And five months later you signed with a publisher.

Peter Molyneux: Absolutely. And at that time I wish we had raised enough money to not need a publisher.

RPS: But you got more than you asked–

Peter Molyneux: We could have gone and we were asked to by publishers to publish the Steam version, but we turned that down. The economics of doing Godus, unfortunately Kickstarter didn’t raise enough money. Now the trouble is with Kickstarter, you don’t really fully know how much money you need and I think most people who do Kickstarter would agree with me here. You have an idea, you think you need this much, but as most people will say with Kickstarter, if you ask for too much money up front because of the rules of Kickstarter, it’s very, very hard to ask for the complete development budget. I think Double Fine have gone back and asked for more money because development is a very, very, it’s a very confusing and bewildering time, and it’s very hard to predict what will happen.

RPS: Yes, but you know that. You’ve been working in the industry for over thirty years, you know how much money it costs to make a game and you put a specific amount–

Peter Molyneux: No, I don’t, I disagree John. I have no idea how much money it costs to make a game and anyone that tells you how much it’s going to cost to make a game which is completely a new experience is a fool or a genius.

RPS: But you have to have enough experience to know the basics of budgeting a videogame, you’ve been doing it for thirty years!

Peter Molyneux: No, I disagree. See this is where you’re wrong. I think even Hollywood struggles. Lots of films go over budget. I’ll give you an example, I had some repair works done to my house, they went over budget by 50%. I said exactly the same thing. Anything that involves creativity, you may think it should be a defined process, but it’s not. And the reason that it’s not a defined process is that the people who work on it aren’t robots, and you can’t predict whether someone is going to be brilliant and you give them a piece of code to do and they do it in a day, or whether they’re going to take a month to do it, and that’s the problem with creativity. Being creative is a very, very unpredictable force, and you try your best. You try your best to predict these things but very often you can be wrong. And I have been wrong. Every single project I have ever done, and people know this, every single project I have done, I have been wrong about the times. And I’ve been very honest about that. And the only time I have absolutely stuck to my dates was on Fable 3 and I shouldn’t have done that. I should have gone back and asked for more time.

RPS: I understand budgets can go–

Peter Molyneux: I’m running a business and god I wish to god that I could predict the time and I can assure you every single person has worked their ass off to try to make this game as quickly and effectively as they possibly can and everybody here is incredibly dedicated and still is. I mean, the Godus team were here at half past eight last night. We try as hard as we can to get things right the first time, to get a feature right the first time, we try to implement things that are going to be effective, but when you’re creating something new it’s almost impossible, John. Here’s the thing: this is what I truly believe. Making a computer game that’s entertaining and that’s incredible and that’s amazing is almost impossible, it’s almost impossible to do.

RPS: I recognise that things go over budget, obviously they do. What you said at the start was that you didn’t make enough money from the Kickstarter. You set an amount you want to make, you made about £100k more than that, you took over a half a million pounds of people’s money, knowing it wasn’t going to be enough to make the game.

Peter Molyneux: Well, I think if you talk to anyone, and this is the advice I have given to people about Kickstarter, is to not ask for too much. You cannot unfortunately ask for the actual amount you need. Because you don’t really know. This is how I based my assumption of what money we needed. We had started implementing Godus, we were working on a prototype that was really going well. I thought, ‘Oh, this looks pretty good.’ I asked everybody here, how long do you think we’ll need to develop the game in full. We all agreed that nine months was about the right amount of time to complete the game. We did the due diligence on it. We asked ourselves if there were any technical questions and it all seemed to make sense. This wasn’t me just plucking a date out of the air.

The reality came along when we chose our middleware, we had problems with the middleware. When we started implementing some of the features that were on paper, they just didn’t work. Now I wish that every single idea you ever had when you’re developing a game works first time, but they don’t. When we first released Godus in May, to some of the pledgers, we had taken an approach to this thing called the timeline and it just didn’t work. People were just not motivated by it. We went back to the drawing board on that. What I’m trying to say without going through every sort of, every bad story about development, when you’re creating something new, it’s like walking through a foggy forest. You’re never sure if you’re taking the wrong route or the right route.

I know you can call on me, John, ‘Oh you’ve got thirty years, surely you know what to do,’ but I would say that anybody who is creating something new and original and different, which Godus is, it’s almost impossible to ask for the right time, and in the end the amount of money that we have spent on making Godus is far, far exceeded what we got on Kickstarter. Far, far exceeded. Because you got to remember on Kickstarter, although we got £100k more than what we asked for, after Kickstarter take their cut, after paying VAT, you have to pay off after completing all the pledges, it’s far less than that. You do the maths, it’s that simple – you can do this math, we had 22 people here. If you take the average salary for someone in the industry, which must be about £30k, that’s 22 people, multiplied by £30k, divided by 12. You work out how many months Kickstarter money gives us.

We saw this coming, in around about March, end of March time. I knew by that time that the game was not going as it should have gone. I could have gone back to my pledges and asked for more money, but instead I went to a publisher and just signed up the mobile rights. Not the Steam rights, even though that would have made our life a lot easier to sign the Steam rights and we did have companies after us for the PC and the console rights. We ringfenced that and just did the mobile version and there were other reasons, but the money they gave us upfront far exceeded the money that we got off Kickstarter. And that was the business decision that you have to take, because you have to make these sacrifices both personally and professionally in the sake of making a great game.

RPS: You asked for less money on Kickstarter than you knew you were going to need because you didn’t want to ask for too much money.

Peter Molyneux: No, I didn’t say that. I asked for a sensible amount. If I was a sensible business man, then you would probably have a 100% contingency. That is the way that you run a business, is you would have contingency, and I would have to say in the Kickstarter campaign, we need one and a half million, because we want a 100% contingency in case something goes wrong. Now that is problematic if you’re a backer and anyway, if you go back to the Kickstarter time, people were already very… They’d been quite fractious that I was going on Kickstarter anyway. There was a lot of negative press about, you know ‘Why does Peter Molyneux need to go on Kickstarter?’, ‘Why is he doing it, Kickstarter isn’t for people like him.’ I think most people if you speak to about Kickstarter will say, don’t set your price too high, and make sure that every penny you ask for is justified. And asking for an additional five hundred thousand for a 100% contingency is something that’s hard to justify, especially in those times.

The problem with Kickstarter is that if you get to day thirty and you don’t make your pledged amount, which we got to like three days before our cut off, before we hit our pledged amount, then you don’t get anything. Then all that work and all that effort and all that exposure and all the hangovers that Kickstarter have, the biggest one is that takes the fire out of any excitement you can generate in the press, has been used up and you haven’t got any money. I’m not saying that in a perfect ideal world, everybody would go on Kickstarter and probably say the same as I did, as I do now. You go on and and you say, “We think it’s going to cost us nine months to develop, here’s the costs, it’s 22 people multiplied by the salary, that’s how much we need to get, but we’re going to ask for double that because we want 100% contingency.’ I think that’s the way it should be done but I don’t know anyone who does that.

RPS: OK, in 2012 Nathan asked for us, what happens if it doesn’t get funded? And you said, that you were not doing it for the money, you were doing it to get people’s feedback, it was feedback you were really after.

Peter Molyneux: That was one of the main reasons, yeah. I could have gone to January, December/January, I could have used my money I guess, I wouldn’t have had enough money, I’ve already used my money to found the company, and Kickstarter was there and it was an attractive thing to go into, not only to get you funding but it also gave you access to people who were passionate about the game and to help the game. And it was very much a thing of the moment. You only have to do the economics again John to realise that if 22cans doesn’t have a publisher, and it doesn’t have a VC, and it doesn’t share ownership by anybody else, then where’s the money going to come from? And it’s true, I didn’t need the money, because if the Kickstarter didn’t work I could have gone to a publisher. I said that in my Kickstarter campaign, and I didn’t, we didn’t until we actually needed that money, and some people would say, ‘You shouldn’t leave it so late.’ But we know that we did leave it to, not the last moment, but we left it as long as possible. When you see the writing on the wall, you see the writing on the wall.

RPS: The implication is that the PC didn’t go to a publisher and all that, but the reality is that you stopped developing the PC version and left it as broken as it is today.

Peter Molyneux: No, we have always said, right from the very start, if you go back through all the videos that Jack and I did, we said exactly this. This was our strategy. Firstly we would release a build, a very, very early build, after just six months, well five months of development, we would release an early build to the backers in May. We did that.

Secondly, we would release a build in Steam Early Access and it would be very very broken. I think we started, I can’t remember the start percentage but it was way before 50%. We absolutely did that and then we said very clearly, in every one of our videos, we’re going to spend up to Christmas iterating through that and then we’re going to go on to the mobile version and then we’re going to finish the mobile version and come back to the PC and refine it and polish it and make it the game it should be and that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re doing precisely that.

And if you look at our front page on Steam, that’s what it said. It says 53%, it doesn’t say 98%, and the reason it’s 53% because we have to, absolutely have to put a story in the game, and that story comes out on Friday to the opt-in branch on Steam.

Then we have to put absolutely amazing, incredible combat, and this is totally unique combat, and the reason this is totally unique combat is that we have to solve one fundamental problem and that is how do you mix an RTS game with a god game. Because the problem is with combat in Godus, is that you’ve got this world that you can absolutely shape, and you can use all your god powers – we’re putting god powers in – you can use all your god powers that are cataclysmic but the wars, the fighting and the battles, have to take place between these little people and that is a real design challenge.

But we are absolutely focusing, the gameplay team – the original gameplay team that was on Godus right from the start – right on Godus now, we’re focusing that gameplay team on that feature and we’ve recruited someone who’s got some really amazing ideas on how to do things like ranking, grouping, and group behaviour because that’s the trick of the problem here – how are you going to group your troops together? – and we’re going to solve that. And we think – and again, I don’t know John, and you might think, ‘for fucks sake, why don’t you know, because you’ve been in the industry for thirty years,’ but I think we’ll be done by Easter. And then we can start moving that percentage up.

But we’re still not finished because we had multiplayer in the game October of 2013. We took it so far multiplayer, but then we realised that to maintain multiplayer in the game would really slow down development simply because of the way it works, it’s all got to be in sync and all that stuff. So after we’ve done the story, after we’ve done combat, we’ll then go back to multiplayer. And then the percentage will start moving up.

RPS: But do you hear how crazy these times sound? You’re talking about things you said you would do in 2013 as if that was just the other day.

Peter Molyneux: But John, every game I’ve ever worked on has been made–

RPS: So why say it’s going to take you seven months to make it when you know it’s not?

Peter Molyneux: One thing, Godus will be one of the fastest games I’ve ever done. If you go back and look at every single game I’ve ever worked on, ever, other than Fable 3, they’ve all taken longer than with the exception perhaps of the original Populous. They’ve all taken longer.

RPS: So why go to people who trust you and trust your reputation and ask them for half a million pounds and say you’re going to finish the game in seven months, when you know you’re not going to?

Peter Molyneux: Because I absolutely believe that and my team believe that. That’s what the creative process is.

RPS: You’re asking me to accept that you know you’ve run late on every game you’ve ever made but you were going to finish this one in a ludicrous and obviously impossible seven months?

Peter Molyneux: No, I didn’t say absolutely we’d be there, I said we’d try to finish it on this time. And why are you beating me up on these dates things? You sound like a publisher.

RPS: It’s three years later! People gave you half a million pounds and you’ve taken their money–

Peter Molyneux: One is, John, you’re becoming very emotional, I think firstly you need to take a breath, because if I had walked away from Godus I’d agree with your points, but I haven’t walked away from Godus. We are committed to Godus, we are recruiting people to go on to Godus, I have never moved that percentage beyond 52% where it is now.

RPS: How long should backers wait for you to deliver the game they paid for three years ago?

Peter Molyneux: I don’t know. All I know is that there are people here that have been working on Godus, that we have worked on Godus for one hundred and twenty thousand man-hours. We have got three terabytes of documentary feature. We’ve replied to 31,000 posts and tickets. We’ve done 57 community videos. Do you know how many updates we’ve done on Steam?

RPS: I don’t think anyone who paid for the game cares.

Peter Molyneux: How many updates have we done on Steam?

RPS: I don’t think anyone who paid for the game cares. I think they want the game they paid for three years ago or their money back.

Peter Molyneux: We’re trying as hard as we possibly can.

RPS: I don’t think you are. You’ve said yourself–

Peter Molyneux: John, John, John–

RPS: You said yourself, that you should not have gone and focused on the mobile version until the PC version was finished. This is all very disingenuous in light of you saying that.

Peter Molyneux: No, I actually said, “I wish I hadn’t focused on,” I didn’t say I shouldn’t have done.

RPS: [Laughs]

Peter Molyneux: This is the plan that we laid out John. Go back and look at the videos. Go back and look at what we said to the community. Go and talk to the, I’ve done twelve design Skype talks, we’ve had the bigger backers, we’ve taken them over to E3, go talk to those people. Talk to people in the studio, this studio has worked incredibly hard on making something that is totally unique. That’s what we’re trying to do. And making something totally unique takes time. How long did it take for Minecraft to be final?

RPS: He didn’t take anyone’s money before making it with promises he didn’t keep.

Peter Molyneux: I’m afraid you’ll have to check your facts there–

RPS: He sold an alpha, he didn’t make any promises.

Peter Molyneux: Yeah, and we have absolutely, categorically stayed in Early Access for that exact reason and we have been honest about the percentage that we think the game is finished.

RPS: OK, let’s move on. How do you think Bryan Henderson’s life has been changed?

Peter Molyneux: Well, Bryan Henderson, we need Bryan Henderson, we need multiplayer to work before his life is changed. He’s still going to get what is coming to him, but we need to get through that development. It’s very much exactly the same problem

RPS: Your lead developer on Godus said on your forum that, “To be brutally candid and realistic I simply can’t see us delivering all the features promised on the Kickstarter page. Lots of the multiplayer stuff is looking seriously shaky right now, especially the persistent stuff like Hubworld.”

Peter Molyneux: Well, let me explain that. That was Konrad, and he actually is a backer of Godus.

RPS: A backer who pursued the job at your company because he was so dissatisfied with the state of the game. That’s what he said on your forum.

Peter Molyneux: No. That’s not the case. He actually joined us before we released the version, so that couldn’t have been the case. So Konrad is one of the main architects of multiplayer, and back in late October we – me and Jack – announcing that in November that we would be at last getting through to multiplayer. And Konrad was super excited, we were all super excited, to get on to that. And then in the first week of November our publisher called up and said, well, sorry about this, but the server system that you use called Polargy, we’re going to close down and you need to re-write the entirety of your server code that drives Godus under this new system–

RPS: Sorry, you’re saying that this is the publisher, but the PC version doesn’t have a publisher.

Peter Molyneux: Yes, I know, but you’re talking about everyone in the world playing Godus not being able to play Godus any more.

RPS: But you said that the PC version doesn’t have a publisher, but the publisher is the reason you had to take away the framework that allowed the multiplayer.

Peter Molyneux: Yeah, I know, but John, these things–

RPS: No, I’m asking you to explain–

Peter Molyneux: Why do you– Why don’t you come here for a couple of days, and do your job, and see what goes on here?

RPS: Obviously that’s–

Peter Molyneux: Because what you must realise is that doing a game in today’s world and a game that’s live is a nightmare.

RPS: I know it is. I’ve visited many studios and I know how difficult your job is. What I’m asking is, you said that the PC version is independent of a publisher, that you turned that down, but you’re also saying that the PC version can’t have multiplayer because of the publisher.

Peter Molyneux: But this team isn’t independent of a publisher. And the people who are playing on mobile, some of them are backers incidentally, aren’t independent of a publisher. One of the reasons why we took that publisher on is that they have this server technology which is used to drive the game, which they then drop this bombshell, that we have to change the technology. Unfortunately, this is absolutely true, you can ask the person who did the code here, unfortunately and sadly the team that was going to do multiplayer, then had to switch over and fix that server stuff. That’s just what happens in development. And I wish it didn’t happen in development, and I wish the world was so simple that you could predict that tomorrow’s going to be the same as today, but it’s not.

RPS: Just to clarify, five days ago Konrad wrote, “From the minute I played the alpha, I could see the direction Godus was heading in and I didn’t like it. It took half a year to develop contact with Peter personally before I was offered a design position, initially unpaid, and then another year working at 22cans to get a position there.” So just to be clear he says that he played the alpha and didn’t like it and then came to work for you guys.

Peter Molyneux: Yeah. And that’s fair enough. And he did something about it.

RPS: No, but you just told me that he started working for you before the alpha came out so that wasn’t possible.

Peter Molyneux: I think he had had a temporary– He certainly came to the studio– Let me ask. [shouting in background] Konrad!

[in distance] Konrad: Yeah?

Peter Molyneux: When did you first come to 22cans?

Konrad: [inaudible]

Peter Molyneux: December. 2013. Is that– No, that’s not before the alpha.

RPS: No, long after.

Peter Molyneux: I was wrong. But it’s not a lie.

RPS: No, but it’s frustrating. Let’s go back to Bryan Henderson. The Eurogamer story revealed that you ignored him for nearly two years – that’s awful. And you’ve apologised, but how can that even have ever been a thing that happened?

Peter Molyneux: You’re right, John. It’s wrong. It’s one of those things where I thought someone else was handling it and they were. It was someone – and these are excuses, it’s pointless me writing these excuses – and I thought they were handling it. They left and I assumed incorrectly that they had handed their handling of Bryan off to someone else and they hadn’t.

RPS: But it never crossed your mind to talk to him or anything like that? You were changing his life.

Peter Molyneux: It’s terrible, it’s wrong, it’s bad of me, I shouldn’t have, I should have checked on these things, but there is a million things to check on, John, and that one slipped through. There wasn’t any intention not to use him, or not to incorporate him, but we needed the technology before doing and I am truly sorry and we are writing a letter of apology to him today.

RPS: OK, but only because Eurogamer chased after you.

Peter Molyneux: They, they, they actually did make me realise that I hadn’t checked up on it, it’s true. I am a very flawed human being, as you are pointing out, and I totally accept that I’m a flawed human being.

RPS: Everyone’s a flawed human being, that’s not my point at all.

Peter Molyneux: And when there are thousands of things to check on, you try to rely on your team and this slipped through the net and, you’re right, it shouldn’t have done.

RPS: In 2012–

Peter Molyneux: Why would I have ignored him? I mean, why did I do that? It’s just incompetence.

RPS: OK. In Rezzed–

Peter Molyneux: I mean, I’m sure you are going to write, ‘Peter Molyneux’s incompetent’, and I am.

RPS: No, look, this is ridiculous. Everyone is a flawed human being. My purpose here is not to hang you out. My purpose is to get to the truth of what’s going on here. In Rezzed–

Peter Molyneux: Yeah. I’m giving you– I mean, I would say, if you really want to get to the truth, come down to the studio.

RPS: At Rezzed in 2012, you said that what’s in the middle of the cube is “so valuable, so life-changingly important, I don’t want to waste the value of what’s inside that cube.” Could you have done more to waste it?

Peter Molyneux: Again you’re going down a very emotional line. But it’s born out of– when I did Curiosity and I thought of putting into the center of the cube a royalty share of the revenue for Godus, as soon as his role of God of Gods started, I thought that was a pretty good thing. And as soon as that comes to pass and as soon as we’ve got the technology to do that, I think, he will be getting that money and his reign will last six months and I think it will be an amazing feature.

RPS: OK, so you said that Bryan will be God Of Gods for six months. Just to double-check on this. When we spoke to you on 2012 you told us that it would be a significant amount of time, you estimated five or ten years.

Peter Molyneux: We what?

RPS: You said five or ten years, is what you told us.

Peter Molyneux: For what?

RPS: For being God Of Gods.

Peter Molyneux: No, I’ve always said that his reign would only last a certain amount of time but the God of Gods role, if Godus continues to be as successful as it is on mobile, could last that long. I mean there are mobile games that are being played now – and there are webgames that are being played now – that are decades old.

RPS: Let me quote, you said: “By the way, there would need to be enough time to make it meaningful for him in every sense of the word, but we could make it five years, we could make it ten years. I think I wanted before–”

Peter Molyneux: And then later on I came out and said it would be six months. And I said that again and again. What are you trying to do? You’re trying to prove that I’m a pathological liar, I suppose, aren’t you.

RPS: I’m trying to establish that you don’t tell the truth.

Peter Molyneux: Let me just ask you one question. Do you think from the line of questioning you’re giving me, that this industry would be better without me?

RPS: I think the industry would be better without your lying a lot.

Peter Molyneux: I don’t think I lie.

RPS: Let me just quote you from the Pocket Gamer–

Peter Molyneux: Well no, and and– Yeah, OK, you can carry on quoting me. Obviously I can see your headline now–

RPS: I don’t think you can see my headline now.

Peter Molyneux: Well I think I can.

RPS: What I want to get out of this–

Peter Molyneux: What you’re almost going to get out of this is driving me out of the industry.

RPS: No, what I want–

Peter Molyneux: And well done John, well done! And if that’s what you want, you’re going about it completely the right way.

RPS: If you were to be driven out of the industry it would be as a result of your own actions. I’ve done nothing but quote back things you’ve said and done.

Peter Molyneux: No [inaudible] me being hounded, which is what you’re doing.

RPS: I’m quoting back things that you–

Peter Molyneux: I must have given about fifty thousand hours of interviews and I’m sure if you go back over all of them you could– The only result of this is, I’ve already withdrawn mostly from the press, I’m just going to withdraw completely from the press.

[Since this interview was recorded, Peter Molyneux has done at least two other interviews with press on the same subject, including one with The Guardian which he says will be his last.]

RPS: I’ve done nothing in this interview but quote back things you have said and done.

Peter Molyneux: Yes, I know, and you can– I’m sure– We’re talking 50,000 hours of interview and there’s going to be mistakes. Most of these things you’ve said are mistakes, and most of these things that you have said are coming from the mouth of someone that believes. I believe everything that I’ve said. That’s what I’ve said in countless interviews. I believe. I believed that Godus would take nine months. To be honest with you, if you told me back then it would take two, three years, I probably would have said, ‘Oh god, we probably won’t do Godus then.’ I believe that. If you think that I’ve got some sort of Machiavellian plan, of trying to hide the truth from people why would I do that? Why would I do that? We are committed to, we’ve used all the Kickstarter money, we’re still committed to doing a great version on PC.

RPS: My original question was–

Peter Molyneux: Why isn’t that enough? If you think that we’re a bit shit for taking too long, then fair enough. I don’t know what you get out of this line of questioning.

RPS: My first question wasn’t, ‘Are you a Machiavellian and spiteful liar’, it was ‘Are you a pathological liar?’ It was, do you say stuff that isn’t true without meaning to?

Peter Molyneux: Like anybody that is in the business of creating something that doesn’t exist, I say things that I believe is true, that very often don’t come true and sometimes do come true.

RPS: But you agree though that you do have the reputation, the mock Twitter accounts, all these things, you have this reputation over many years of saying things that are outlandish and impossible.

Peter Molyneux: Yeah, and my answer to that nowadays is to not do any press any more. You may have noticed, or you may have not as it doesn’t really matter, that I’m doing a few little conferences but I’m not going to GDC, because I’m not doing anything. I think, you know, I think, a lot of people have turned round and have said that we don’t want to listen to your lies, even though they’re not lies. They’re coming from someone who truly believes and I truly believe that the combat in Godus will be brilliant and I truly believe that it should take around three months to do. But maybe it won’t take three months or maybe it’ll need iterating more. You cannot find anybody in this industry more passionate than me, John.

RPS: OK so–

Peter Molyneux: I literally work sixteen hours a day. I literally work sixteen hours a day. I don’t do that just to lie to people, I do it because I believe I’m doing. I totally believe in what I’m trying to make. Yeah, and you can rile the backers up and get them to ask for their money back and you can say, ‘Oh, you’ve broken your promises,’ but I’m still doing it. I’m still working on it. I’m still putting every ounce of my energy. I’m still not going to my son’s play because I had to work on Godus. I’m still getting shouted at by my wife because I’m not home. Do you know what time I got home last night? Two-thirty in the morning.

RPS: I don’t–

Peter Molyneux: Do you know what I was doing? I was dealing with the shit that all of this has come up, rather than working on Godus.

RPS: But–

Peter Molyneux: I’m someone, I’m defined by what I do in this industry and I love it so much. And, you know, it emotionally hurts me to have someone like yourself be so angry with me and really all I want to do is make a great game. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.

RPS: Do you think you can make a great game?

Peter Molyneux: I think I can try.

RPS: But do you think you can achieve it?

Peter Molyneux: You’ve gotta try, man! There’s one thing that I would love more than anything else, in my life, I’d love in a years time for that percentage on Steam to be 100%. And I’d love to talk to you John and have you say, ‘I understand why it took another year.’ And the only way I’m going to do that, I’m not going to do that by spinning people, and I know that none of this would have come to pass if I had spun the press, I could spin the press. I could have gone on and I could have explained about the delays and I could have done all sorts of interviews but I thought, ‘No, the only way I’m going to do this is to prove it.’ And I’m going to prove it by making a great game. But everything we do here, and everyone here, I can promise you, that’s why you should come here John, and you should see that–

RPS: I don’t doubt for a moment that you work very hard, it’s very obvious that you do work very hard, and I imagine your team works extremely hard, but that’s not really relevant.

Peter Molyneux: Well, I think it is absolutely relevant. Is it relevant that someone like myself, with the reputation that I have, two years ago predicted a date that was wrong, is that really relevant? What is relevant is, is there going to be a great game at the end of this?

RPS: But do you understand that most people now don’t think there is?

Peter Molyneux: The very fact that I’m talking to you. It would be so easy for me to say, ‘No comment.’ I truly care, I truly care about the backers, I truly care what everyone does. We have, we have tried. We have done 207 updates. We’ve gone way beyond what we, some of the things we said in Kickstarter. We’ve given the community tools to edit the game. We never said that in Kickstarter.

RPS: That’s great but there’s lots of things you say in Kickstarter that you haven’t done. Do you think in two and a half years–

Peter Molyneux: Yet! Yet. That we haven’t done yet. There is one Kickstarter promise that I am very worried about but all the rest are going to get done.

RPS: Which is Linux. You made it a stretch goal; that was pretty shitty of you, wasn’t it, when you know you couldn’t do it?

Peter Molyneux: No, it wasn’t shitty of us. If you look at Kickstarter campaigns a lot of people do this, and at that time, you know, Linux seemed more than possible, and we’re waiting for an update from Marmalade to do Linux and they just haven’t supplied it. At that time, it was on the cards for them to develop. They haven’t developed it. And us going back and re-writing the whole of the middleware is, would mean that the development of Godus would stop. We’ve considered it. But you know, it’s months of work.

RPS: Do you think a year and a half, to two years on, after the estimated deliveries on Kickstarter for things like, an art book and various other pledge items that don’t exist, do you think at this point people can get their money back?

Peter Molyneux: Admittedly we should have done–

RPS: So do you think people can get their money back at this point?

Peter Molyneux: The excuse and, the excuse, and it is an excuse and I’ll put my hand up to it and we are going to make it now, the excuse is that we hadn’t finished the game. So you can’t do– it wasn’t an art book, it was a making of book, and we haven’t finished the game. But you know, Jack has got three terabytes of footage and we have now got someone called Connor who is going to be working on that book. Which is, we’ll probably have that out pretty soon.

[It needs to be noted that in the prominent Kickstarter pledge levels, from £199, a “GODUS design/art book” is listed, and not a “making of book”. However, in the graphics at the bottom of the page, it is instead described as a “making of book”.]

RPS: OK but do you not think after this much time that people paid money for a product they haven’t received. Do they at this point deserve their money back – isn’t that just basic business?

Peter Molyneux: No. Because they didn’t buy a product.

RPS: The pledge rewards were certainly a product. Kickstarter’s terms and conditions are explicit that you have to provide those pledge rewards.

Peter Molyneux: But you can’t make a Making Of book till the game’s finished, can you?

RPS: Well, no, but at the same time, because you haven’t supplied the product that was paid for, should you not give people their money back?

Peter Molyneux: No, what you’re saying is what I should have done–

RPS: No, I’m asking should you give the money back, I’m asking nothing but, should they get their money back now?

Peter Molyneux: I don’t think we’re finished developing yet.

RPS: They paid for a product, they waited two years, it still hasn’t shown up. Should they get their money back?

Peter Molyneux: They didn’t pay for a product. That’s not what Kickstarter–

RPS: I’m not talking about Godus, I’m talking about the pledge rewards. For whatever reason, it doesn’t matter why they can’t be finished, they paid for it, they paid at a certain pledge level. They could have pledged ten quid and got the game, which they’ve got, but they pledged a hundred or whatever it was in order to get certain items they’ve not received. Should they not– isn’t it basic business, that they should get their money back?

Peter Molyneux: No. Because they’ve received an awful lot of pledges already.

RPS: No, the people who haven’t. The people who haven’t received their pledge rewards that they’ve paid–

Peter Molyneux: You’re talking as if they haven’t received anything, but they have.

RPS: People paid specific amounts of money to receive specific pledge rewards that they haven’t received. Do they not therefore deserve to receive their money back?

Peter Molyneux: No, they deserve an explanation as to why they haven’t got them yet. Maybe they would deserve their money back if we announced that we weren’t doing something. But we haven’t announced that.

RPS: Why did it take my writing an article about the fact these things don’t exist for you to get round to start making them?

Peter Molyneux: I’ll tell you why, John. Because we’re so fucking busy trying to make this game a great game. Everybody here, every single person here is doing something on the game, with the exception of Michelle, and even Michelle who is the office administrator is now acting as a producer to help out. And someone called Peter Murphy who is the finance director. Everyone else is programming, doing art, coding, doing concept drawings, testing, and there isn’t, there’s not, we’re not a big enough company to have someone who looks after the pledges. We did have someone like that and unfortunately they left and went and left the industry. And you know, maybe if we had more money than anybody else, we’d employ lots of support people to handle that. We’re just a small indie developer. If I was Electronic Arts then, fair enough, justified, because they’ve got the infrastructure. You know I think something like 80% of their people are support people and only 20% people are actually people who produce stuff, who make code and art.

That’s the reason why. Is that right? No. I could spend a day a week going on to boards and answering the boards and I could spend half my day doing it. Christ knows how that would work. I mean, I’ve got absolutely zero free time as it is. We won’t see me, John, going round schmoozing and taking five days to go to GDC. I don’t have a social life.

RPS: You tweeted the other day about how much you were enjoying luxuries of the Mayfair Hotel.

Peter Molyneux: Yeah, the Mayfair Hotel, which I went up there because a friend gave me a free, a free suite in the Mayfair Hotel which I didn’t pay for at all, and the reason I was up there was that I had a meeting that finished at 1 o’clock in the morning and then I had a start in the next morning that I went to Casual Connect it was, and I actually met two people – two people – which I helped out charity stuff in the morning. One at 8:30 in the morning, this guy who just got funding from the Welsh council, and one kid from Westminster college who wanted some advice. You can– I’ll tell you what, this is what we’ll do John, I’ll put you on Find A Friend, on Apple, and you can see exactly where I am every moment of my day.

RPS: OK, honestly Peter, I don’t have an Apple product and I don’t want to know where you are at any time.

Peter Molyneux: You’re questioning this, you ask anybody in this studio, I am the first to arrive in the morning and I am the last to leave–

RPS: I’m not denying that you work hard, I’m just saying that you are going to events. It’s silly to say that you’re not going to events.

Peter Molyneux: You just accused me of holidaying in the Mayfair Hotel!

RPS: No, I’m not, I’m just pointing out that you were there for Casual Connect, you do go to events.

Peter Molyneux: No, I was there for one night and one night only.

RPS: Sure, but, OK. It was just an odd point, you were saying you don’t go to events and you went to one last week. It just seemed an odd–

Peter Molyneux: Yeah, and I could have spent– I was over in Amsterdam, great place to spend some time, isn’t it? You’d think I’d take just a couple of days extra just to spend it in the coffee shops. I flew in there, I landed at 11 o’clock at night, I went and I did my talk, and I was back in the office by 6 o’clock in the evening. I am completely dedicated to what I do.

RPS: Me too. I work very hard too. We all work very hard too.

Peter Molyneux: Let’s carry on going. Let’s make me more depressed.

RPS: Do the student forums exist?

Peter Molyneux: The student forums, we set up, I went up to Teeside University, I did a talk, and then the volume of traffic on those student forums got so low because they were all going to the main forums, we stopped it. If there’s enough interest in the students forums, we’ll start it up again.

RPS: Did you provide anyone with support and advice on those forums? The pledge said that you would provide people with feedback on their games and advice for students?

Peter Molyneux: Yes, we did twelve one-hour sessions where we went through people’s games, I’ve actually got their art on the wall here, and we went through people’s games, we went through their designs. Konrad was actually one of those people. Yesterday, in fact, I went to school, a local school, and was helping kids out with their games designs, so yes.

RPS: That’s great. That’s brilliant.

Peter Molyneux: What are you doing at the moment John? You’re trying to find any crack you can to actually destroy us. That’s what this article is going to do, isn’t it?

RPS: I think I’ve found enough cracks already. I think what I’ve done there is fill in one, that’s brilliant news. I’m really glad that that existed and that you did it and that’s good.

Peter Molyneux: Well what cracks have you found?

RPS: [laughs] I think with the whole conversation.

Peter Molyneux: No, I’ve admitted that I get dates wrong, I always have got dates wrong. So that’s not much of a crack. We’ve had the student forum, and we started them and closed them down because people weren’t using them. I’m absolutely happy to start them up again. I’ve admitted my mistake on Bryan. The Making Of book we are going to do now but really it should be done at the end. So where’s your big ‘Watergate’?

RPS: I don’t think there’s a Watergate. You’ve got this bizarre agenda for me that I don’t have. If I have any agenda, if I have any goal to come out of this, it would be for you to commit to not continue this cycle of making promises that you can’t keep.

Peter Molyneux: Yeah, I’m totally committed. You, are one of the people, that will drive me out of any press interviews at all. I have done any press interviews–

RPS: Apart from the one to Eurogamer on Monday.

Peter Molyneux: [inaudible ] –about Hololens, you’re not going to have me.

RPS: You spoke to Eurogamer and Gamespot on Monday so that was a couple of interviews.

Peter Molyneux: It wasn’t Monday. It was Eurogamer and Gamespot because of the article you put forward.

RPS: That was Monday, yes.

Peter Molyneux: Was it Monday?

RPS: Yes. So there was press interviews that you recently did, you say that you don’t do them any more, you quite readily do them.

Peter Molyneux: This is not me doing press, this is me reacting to the press. I’m not going to generate any press articles. You go back and have a look. I used to phone up press and I used to invite press into the studio, we don’t do that any more.

RPS: Do you not–

Peter Molyneux: Because people like yourself have said, ‘don’t overpromise.’ OK, I won’t overpromise, because I won’t talk. When was the last time that you saw an article about a game that we’re doing?

RPS: I saw that you made an announcement about The Trail at an event in November.

Peter Molyneux: Yes, I made an announcement about The Trail and I said nothing about it.

RPS: Well, you kind of talked ambiguously about social media and–

Peter Molyneux: I didn’t give dates about it or anything. I now want to step away from the press because you know, that seems to be the only solution to the problem that you’re putting forward. You said, categorically, ‘I want you to stop overpromising. I want you to be like a PR person is’. And my answer to that is, ‘OK John, fine, I won’t talk about my development process, I won’t talk about my games.’ That’s what I’m going to do! There you go, you got what you wanted.

RPS: But do you not see that asking you– There’s a massive gap between not overpromising and taking your ball and going home. There’s a huge gap between the two, which could be talking more sensibly and calmly about these things.

Peter Molyneux: Oh, so you want me to talk calmly? You don’t want me to–

RPS: I don’t want you to hype up people so they spend money on products and are excited to get things that they don’t get.

Peter Molyneux: And that’s exactly what I haven’t done for the last twelve months.

[It’s important to note that Molyneux has done plenty of interviews promoting Godus over the last twelve months.]

RPS: OK, but you haven’t had a game to do that with.

Peter Molyneux: I’ve spoken to people about HoloLens and when people have spoken me up. I haven’t tried to sell you Godus.

RPS: I don’t blame you given the state it’s been in. But that’s the point, you haven’t had anything to sell for twelve months, of course you haven’t.

Peter Molyneux: I did exactly that if you go back and you have a look at what I did in Fable 1 and Fable 2 when the dates were moved, I then hyped all the press up, so I’m not doing that any more.

RPS: No no, and everyone–

Peter Molyneux: You’ve got what you want, haven’t you John? You just don’t want me around.

RPS: Listen, that’s a ridiculous thing to say. I’m saying that of course you haven’t done any promotional press in the last twelve months, you haven’t had anything to promote for twelve months.

Peter Molyneux: Yes I have. Of course I have!

RPS: What?

Peter Molyneux: There’ve been 207 releases on Steam.

RPS: And the reviews of those releases–

Peter Molyneux: There’s been the iOS version and the Android version. I could have hyped those. There’s been the total change around of the timeline in the game, I could have hyped those. I would have hyped those in the old days. Jesus Christ, I kept the development of Black & White going in the press for four years.

RPS: And especially with Black & White 2, people were disappointed when they spent money on the game based on the things you had promised.

Peter Molyneux: Oh my God, you really have got it in. You really don’t like the stuff that I’ve done.

RPS: No, I love some of your games. Absolutely adore some of your games.

Peter Molyneux: [skeptical] Really? And which ones were those.

RPS: Yes! Populous was wonderful, Dungeon Keeper, Syndicate, wonderful, wonderful entire industry-changing games for which I have massive respect and admiration.

Peter Molyneux: Right. They were all late.

RPS: I’m not complaining–!

Peter Molyneux: Dungeon Keeper, do you know what I had to do– Maybe this will give you an insight. Even though I was working at Electronic Arts, I paid to finish Dungeon Keeper at Electronic Arts, because they wanted to force me to finish the product a year early. I said no, take the team to my house, the whole team went to my house and we worked slavishly hard on the game and finished it. That’s, you know–

RPS: Do you not see the difference between being late for a publisher and being late for half a million pounds that gamers gave you?

Peter Molyneux: Well the publisher gives you– I could have said that the game was finished a year ago. But I didn’t. Why didn’t I? Ask yourself that. Why didn’t I just say, oh the game’s finished?

RPS: Because I think that would have been the end of your reputation if you put out a game that bad a year ago.

Peter Molyneux: I haven’t got a reputation in this industry any more.

RPS: Why do you think that is?

Peter Molyneux: I mean, I don’t think I have. Every time, at the moment the way it works is that every time I say anything it’s leapt on. You know, I said the thing about HoloLens and that all went into, ‘Oh, Peter said don’t overpromise,” and you know, I just feel that the press as it is at the moment on, that sort of press is just a place I’m no longer in. And it’s hugely sad for me, but you won’t see me at GDC, you won’t see me at E3. So you just won’t see me at those things. I just feel quite introverted these days, comparatively so very introverted.

RPS: You seem to be trying to blame the press for that rather than the press merely holding you to account–

Peter Molyneux: No, I’m not blaming the press at all, I’m not blaming the press at all. I was held to account. I didn’t announce that I was withdrawing myself, I just withdrew myself. Everybody said, ‘oh, you keep overpromising, you keep overpromising,’ and I said right, OK, fine. My answer to this– I have the sort of personality that finds it very, very difficult when faced with members of the press, and talking about my game, to be, not to get excited. I’ve tried to do that. I tried to do that at Microsoft and I had an army of PR people trying to suppress me but it’s very difficult in my personality. So my answer was a year ago, well, I’m going to stop. I’ll just quietly withdraw and that’s what I’ve done. And I just feel like doing it more, because if it means that people don’t hound me, and I have been hounded.

I mean, if you go back in time, and you look at all the press interviews, and you look at the Kickstarter campaign, there have been mistakes. And you can put that in the headline right now. But I am still dedicated and this team, especially the gameplay team, not the GUI team, and not the graphics team, is still dedicated to making Godus a great game. And it’s going to take another six months. And that is the absolute truth of the matter.

RPS: OK so we should probably–

Peter Molyneux: There have been many many times, many times in my career where I said things I shouldn’t have said about acorns and oak trees and dogs and god knows what else. But I promise you John, I only said them because at that time I truly believed them.

RPS: Do you think you wanted them to be true rather than believed they were true?

Peter Molyneux: I think a lot of times, especially a few years ago, I would say things almost as I thought things, and the team used to really get aggressive, that they would say, ‘Oh god Peter, this is the first time we know that we’re going to have this feature in the game.’ And then the other side of the equation, which is just as bad, is that I would tell the press and often show the press when they’ve only just been implemented without thought to the consequences of them making it into the final game. But this is what– Years ago, and over the years, I think I was one of the developers that showed the stuff that was being made as it was being made. Not like, a publisher, they were always into the shock and awe. Microsoft tried to get me to be like this, which is, Peter, wait until the game’s finished and then do press, but I always loved– and it was a passion and a love, sharing with the press, you know, what development was going on.

We had pretty much every journalist in the studio and looking round and meeting with us and that’s the way that that world used to work and now, that side of development has completely gone off, so now we’re developing The Trail and we’re not going to say anything, at all. Anything at all, until this game is released on Steam Early Access.

RPS: OK, can we just clarify one thing. A number of sites have reported this week that the Godus team has been hugely reduced, there’s very few people left working on it, but you’ve implied that the whole of 22cans is working on it. Where’s the truth in that?

Peter Molyneux: No, I didn’t say that.

RPS: Sorry, I misunderstood you then.

Peter Molyneux: Here’s the thing. When a developer, a programmer or an artist has been working on something for a long time, they often, especially younger people and most of the people who have left are younger people, they want to broaden their horizons. And that indeed, a few people did that. On the production side, there was Gemma, and Christine, and Matt, and they were super busy when we were releasing the Android version and the iOS version, but after we finished those the writing was on the wall and they looked around for other jobs. All of them except for Matt actually left the industry.

We have now recruited people to replace them and that’s a really brilliant thing for a studio. A studio needs to have an influx of new people, so we’ve just had an artist start from France, a brilliant artist start from France, I don’t know his name, I should know his name. We’re having Richard start on the, and he specialises in gameplay and combat and he’s starting on Monday, and we’re interviewing, we’re about to make another job offer to a producer guy, but I can’t tell you his name because he hasn’t handed in his notice yet. So this is the normal–

RPS: So how many of those people are working on Godus and how many are on The Trail roughly, do you know?

Peter Molyneux: So the people who aren’t working on Godus are the people who wouldn’t be busy on Godus most of the time. So at the moment, I’m just looking over them now. We’ve got Dave, Pavle, Konrad, Andy, Martin and Conor, and Michelle just stuck up her arms as well. [to Michelle] You’re not working on Godus.

And then Peter on the art side, and on the Trail we’ve got Sara, who’s a concept artist so there’s not much work for her to do on Godus, we’ve got Paul, who did all the sculpting stuff so there’s not much for him to do on Godus at the moment, Tony’s working on the Trail, Demetri and Tom, and then on the art side the new artist is learning Maya and we’ll have to see how he gets on. And Paul McLaughlin is working on Godus and he’s the head art. I think I’ve covered everyone that I can see.

RPS: OK, that’s great.

Peter Molyneux: Jack is working on Godus, he’s sitting next to me playing the story of Godus through at the moment.

RPS: Like I say, a lot of sites have reported that there are very few people left on Godus so it’s good that we can clarify that that’s not the case.

Peter Molyneux: I don’t think that’s very few people, is it?

RPS: No no no, I’m saying–

Peter Molyneux: John, why don’t you get, come down…

RPS: Peter, listen, listen, you’ve misunderstood. A number of sites have reported that very few people are left working on Godus. It’s good to have clarified that’s not the case.

Peter Molyneux: …Yeah. I’m passionate, I hope if you’ve got anything from this. I’m passionate about making a great game. You know, I’m doing work on Godus, well, I should be working on Godus, I should be playing through the story now but I’m talking to you. How long have we been talking?

RPS: An hour and fifteen minutes. I very much appreciate it. OK. One final thing then before we wrap up. It’s been three years for Bryan Henderson, why don’t you give him some of the money from the game?

Peter Molyneux: Well, because he needs to act as God of Gods.

RPS: Yeah, but he thought he was going to do that and…

Peter Molyneux: Because that is part of the deal. He needs to be God of Gods and we need to get the multiplayer in before God of Gods can–

RPS: Sure, but at this point don’t you think it would be a bit of a good faith thing to do since he’s been so badly screwed over?

Peter Molyneux: I think we’ll… We’ll, well, hmm. We’ll probably–

RPS: You told Pocket Gamer that you were putting money aside for him.

Peter Molyneux: –think of something to say sorry about and I’m, you know, maybe I’m, this is not the place to announce that.

RPS: No no, not at all, but you told Pocket Gamer that the revenue was being put aside for him that he would get when the multiplayer is fined.

Peter Molyneux: Yeah, but he needs to be God of Gods before that happens.

RPS: Yeah, but with one of your lead developers saying he doesn’t think that’s likely to happen–

Peter Molyneux: I’ve already explained that, John. If you ask Konrad now, he would say the complete opposite. The key thing is that we have to do this stupid, boring, shitty server stuff before doing it and now they’re literally once we’ve fixed the bugs in the story, that’s the next thing they’re working on and I hope and believe this date or not, I hope that by Easter we’re going to have that in there. And then it starts getting really interesting.

RPS: Then it’s combat, then it’s multiplayer after Easter, is what you’re saying.

Peter Molyneux: And then we need combat and then it’s multiplayer and then we’ve got the ingredients for God of Gods, because it’s combat which is used to judge the God of Gods. And stuff like that.

RPS: OK. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate that you haven’t enjoyed this at all, but I appreciate how much time you’ve given to do it.

Peter Molyneux: Yeah. I love Godus. I love what we’re doing. I love what we’re doing. I wish I was smarter and I wish, everything that came out of my mouth that came to pass, and there’s no one in this industry John that hasn’t been more committed and more passionate about the industry and I hope, I hope you personally see that. I’m sure you’re going to write the article and it’s going to be tough on us and–

RPS: Well, I’m going to quote the interview. It’s not going to be, I can’t make it any better or worse than the things that you’ve said, so that should be fine.

Peter Molyneux: OK, yeah. OK. I wonder, yeah. Well, we’ll see. I’ll get back to work. Get an Apple phone so you can Find A Friend.

RPS: [laughs]

1,072 Comments

  1. Bluestormzion says:

    Ow, that was pretty brutal. I mean, damn,

    I think the problem is that Peter Molyneux has big plans, big ideas, big dreams… and then that all becomes Big Talk. I mean, I really really wish he could deliver on all the things he wants to put in his games, but they always fall short. Ever since the first Fable, I was like, “There are so many features here that should have been polished! If it all worked as intended it would be incredible!” But it never seems to.

    I’m reminded of an episode of Modern Family. After Cameron and Mitchell were engaged, Cam was set to plan the wedding while Mitch was going to steer clear, as he had no head for those kinds of things. Can said that he dreams big, and then winnows down. Then, after trying to lie to their daughter Lilly that her cat Larry had gotten married and moved away, while Cam thought it was actually dead, that whole fiasco turned into a fake cat funeral with a church choir and bagpipes and people in formal attire, and the grave-digger in the back yard hit a water main and it was pandemonium and everyone was wet and frantic and, naturally, Larry the Cat was back from wherever he’d been by then… That episode is a perfect representation of what I think Peter Molyneux does. He has the best of intentions, he has great grand and glorious plans… and then reality gets in the way and small things pop up and next thing we know we’re wearing tuxedoes, soaking wet in a fat gay man’s backyard, to bury the fake dead wife of a cat. Funny to watch, not funny at all to be involved in.

    All that said… I don’t think anyone on Kickstarter should get their money back. Kickstarter is NOT a purchase; it’s an investment. When I invest in a company traded on Wall Street, I’m not guaranteed anything; in the next 5 seconds that company can declare bankruptcy and I could lose everything. I’ve invested in Kickstarters before, and some times I didn’t get what I wanted. That’s the risk. The only time a Kickstarter Backer has a right to demand anything is if the project was completed and they didn’t get the things they’ve backed for. Godus as of yet is incomplete. The timetable was missed, it’s not up to the promises, people are annoyed… but it’s not abandoned. Since people have no choice but to wait… wait. It’s really the only option.

  2. Josh W says:

    Poor old Peter Molyneux, if anything, this suggests that he is just too positive to learn.

    If he had tried to kickstart the game, and it had failed, then he would have failed. But instead, this interview, brutal though it is, lays out the actual timeline, where the goalposts have constantly shifted.

    The alternative timeline starts with prototyping, and making a game. Early on in development it started to go wrong, and they veered into being a mobile developer in order to keep it afloat. This causes an endless buildup of problems, which lead to dropping all kinds of important commitments. The money keeps coming in from mobile, but it has it’s own overheads in terms of constraining design, and people start to burn out. He moves some people on to another team, but he can’t let go of the project, he cannot afford to, and so he justifies to himself the slow downscaling of ambition.

    In fact, I suspect that he was always secretly committed to making a mobile game, he’d been in the big publisher business for long enough to absorb the self justification of people making those kinds of games, and part of the problem of the kickstarter was his big-business trained ideas of what people wanted and so what could be done clashing with the desires of actual people.

    Making a new god game was just harder than various facebook games made it seem. There are lots of practical examples of this, where people kept rejecting his ideas for free to play coins and boredom enducing mechanics, all of which would have been perfectly acceptable if he was following the Zinga model of game design, and just increasing it’s levels of emotional depth and expression, but were unacceptable for people wanting to play a game of depth and simulative complexity.

    Everyone assumes he is maintaining a fantastical positivity for marketing, that’s not it at all, he’s maintaining it for his own ability to keep going. He’s trying to solve his problems by ducking down and doing more of the same, but more, and harder. This obscures the fundamental recognition that he needs, which is that some of his assumptions about what people want are incorrect, and because of that mismatch of understanding, he has simply not been able to give them what they want.

    It seems quite obvious to me that Peter Molyneux was absorbed in making a game, in the day to day of development, but in doing so, he neglected the broader package of things that he had originally committed to, and the divergence of his ideas from those who backed him, rather than slowly shrinking, has grown as he tried to justify the company that he had built off of this game and curiosity (which retroactively also justified itself according to this game).

    The problem with Godus is not Peter Molyneux’s personality, (that’s just what stops him recognising the problem). The problem is that it is trying to start at “casual” and end up at “core”, where both categories are defined in the terms publishers tend to use: In theory, he wants to start at cowclicker and get to crusader kings, but is continually underestimating the level of complexity required for the crusader kings end of things.

    Blizzard have argued for years that it is important to start with quality and depth and then move towards accessibility, (although they have made their own missteps), but 22cans are trying to work in the opposite direction; keep creating a simple but accessible game while hoping that the depth will appear in later development.

    It may well be possible, but the rational way to pursue such a strategy is to start by releasing a casual game, and then building up to the complex one, (so that he does not over-promise, and instead just reveals or by kickstarting the complex one, and then developing the early game in progressively more detail until it is compatible with casual play.

    This might well have failed too, but by blurring the two business models, kickstarting a PC game designed for casual mobile, and then releasing that for mobile with a publisher, and concealing all his issues behind a flood of positivity, he has made it almost impossible to fulfil any of his requirements.

    So what is the ethical solution to this? The first is probably to start scaling down commitments by slowly scoping down the commitments, saying officially “ok, not sure we can do this” and giving backers refunds according to the pledges that are negated. The second is to recognise that their reward for completing curiosity has been somewhat less than lifechanging, start implementing a lesser version of the “God of Gods” system, and start giving the guy who won it a revenue share. Both of these could have significant effects on cashflow, so they might lead to having to cut down the team of 22cans, or have Peter take the hit on his wages (hopefully only for a short amount of time as you save up for and implement refunds).

    But once this is done, then you will have have both apologised to your backers and reimbursed a large proportion of them, and if the development from that point on can be made sustainable, then it should open up the space to keep on working on the problem of developing up from simple to complex gameplay, continually reinvesting the money. For the first time, honestly committing to a game based on developing mobile free to play games to the level of old fashioned accessibly complex PC games.

    Acknowledge the difference of opinion between you and many of your backers, and make something that they may eventually like, thus compensating them for the fact that they backed you, while giving them something back to acknowledge that you aren’t going to be able to give them everything they hoped for, as well as to avoid being tied to features that are too difficult.

    And that might work, maybe people who play mobile free to play games will stay with them because of the various game improvements they push out. Dwarf fortress is a game that gets by on donations because of a constant habit of delivering more cool stuff, but is limited in appeal because of it’s lack of accessibility. If only 22cans could get out from under the ridiculous expectations they placed on themselves, and start going in a similar direction, but with more people able to get involved in the game, they could do very well. It’s just a question of honestly dealing with the problems that have already built up, instead of trying to paper over them with positivity and more work.

    • Trypp says:

      Thank you very much, for this well-thought-out comment. Adds to the article.

  3. the_fanciest_of_pants says:

    When people claim that this interview is “unprofessional” they are clearly forgetting that journalism wasn’t always just an agenda machine.

    Nothing said was unduly critical, John goes to great lengths multiple times trying to calm Peter down and engage him. Nothing he asked was uncalled for or fabricated. And seriously, why all the criticism about John not understanding game dev budgets? That’s not the point of what he’s driving at all.

    He’s pointing out the consistent lack of communication or transparency that has hovered over Godus since the day it was announced. The choices Peter and 22 Cans have made to salvage the development of Godus aren’t even unreasonable, the chief problem is the impunity with which Peter has acted, seriously derailing from promises made with no concern for the investors who backed this.

    I love Molyneux’s work. Populous, DK1, Syndicate, Black and White, hell even Fable 1 and 3 were great games I very much enjoyed. But the bank of respect and adoration I have for him doesn’t excuse the absent-mindedness and inconsistency he’s displayed, especially lately and especially when it’s damaging.

    As a dev I find it hard to advocate 100% development transparency, insofar as actual design goes (allowing your fanbase to tell you how to design is an absolute travesty), but I think especially as an indie, being upfront about sweeping changes, or major derailments in past promises is absolutely necessary to build trust with your community. This is Peter’s main (current) problem, with me and with I’m sure many others, not to mention Bryan Henderson.

    TL;DR this entire interview was attempting to get Peter to shoot straight for once, stop making excuses and hopefully begin using a more above-board communication style.

  4. Bob Barker says:

    I’ll just leave this here link to giantbomb.com

  5. cpt_freakout says:

    Well done, John! This was evidently a very well designed interview, and it really opened up some tough spots for both of you. Molyneux’s current image as a trickster will be extremely hard for him to change, but I hope people read this interview and see that you’re right: he’s a pathological liar, not in a pejorative sense, but in the sense that his imagination runs wild in a context that is not yet adequate for it. That he thinks making a great game is impossible reveals the extent of his battered utopianism; perhaps we once needed people like him to draw true dreams out of products, but now, when the indie scene is perhaps at one of its highest points in the history of gaming, his strain of utopia easily crumbles: we do have great games, and many of them do point at exciting new directions. We wouldn’t have the (otherwise useless) discussion of ‘are games art’ in a context still dominated by want of profit, after all.

    What Molyneux needs is, perhaps, not to stand down or stop dreaming or talking, but to reset his ideas of what a game fundamentally does, clearing his mind of the notion of having to make money, because that’s what I think one of the main problems with him being old-school is. I know, you need to live, but he’s now privileged enough to be able to risk doing a small game that’s truly different from everything else, the kind of game that doesn’t have any inherent design decisions geared towards money-making. In his mind, he still lives in the big publisher world, and from the interview it’s easy to see he treated Kickstarter as a big publisher that has no unified voice, ending up in the position of treating his backers like he seems to have treated EA when he decided to move development of Dungeon Keeper to his house.

    I don’t know – I became ambivalent towards him after that last article you posted, but now I see the issue is much more complex than what some people are making it out to be. He’s no conman, he just hasn’t grown with gaming – he’s still articulating all of his ideas through big publisher, big money terms, and that’s what I think is at the root of his continuous failures in a context where one would think he would shine bright.

  6. Mr.Snowy says:

    Oh yes, well done John, you take a guy who is guilty of badly estimating the cost of a piece of programming and hysterically assault him verbally. Big up yourself you internet hero you. This isn’t Newsnight, you aren’t Paxman, Molyneux isn’t in charge of running a country. He makes games. Not overly quickly, granted, nor within budget this time, but that’s all.

    For a ‘writer’ who spends so much time on a soap box ranting about rights, well done for this pathetic piece of verbal bullying, what a hero to the people you are.

    Sickening.

  7. Inertiaman says:

    The man is unbelievably full of shit. I’m quite surprised the elephant in the room wasn’t mentioned, that basically he and other arseholes of the same ilk are leveraging kickstarter for profit with no intention of delivering. Or at best, delivering something so minimally viable it’s an insult and using the kickstarter funds to jump start the next project. Rinse. Repeat. It’s cynical stuff with proof of delivery complexities and timescales that leave no clear recourse for a dissatisfied customer to get refunded. For this reason if no other I’m absolutely behind dragging Peter right over the coals.

    Any chance of hammering on the door of PGI and asking why their woeful Mechwarrior game doesn’t much resemble the $25 million people have given them over the last three years?

    • PegasusOrgans says:

      Name me 10 Kickstarter projects that are “arseholes of the same ilk are leveraging kickstarter for profit with no intention of delivering. Or at best, delivering something so minimally viable it’s an insult and using the kickstarter funds to jump start the next project.” I bet anything that you cannot, because the Kickstarter/Crowdfunding hate is just a bunch
      of bored internet haters trying to find something new to poison and destroy. There is no substance to your hate.

      Truth is that some of the best games of 2014 were Kickstarter/crowdfunding/early access games and the same will probably be true in 2015. Yet people like you will keep reaching for that handful of failures/scams to “prove” how the rest of us are idiots for investing in games that wouldn’t have existed otherwise. I’m sure you are all too happy with the big publishers feeding you the same recycled trash year after year, but the rest of us are not, so we opt to fun the Darkest Dungeons, the Wastelands and the Sunless Seas so mind your business if you don’t like it.

  8. eightohnine says:

    What bugs me about his “but Godus is successful on mobile”-defense, is that it’s obvious that it would be. PC allows for far more complex gameplay, mobile tends to be dumbed down. Godus, in it’s current basic state, will obviously find an audience amongst mobile gamers first, while leaving PC gamers wanting. That’s why his focus is on mobile – it’s possible for Molly to reach an audience without as much effort.

  9. ErraticGamer says:

    Is it a rough opening question? You bet. But IN THE INTERVIEW he makes a categorical claim about the tenure of the game’s lead developer that is almost immediately demonstrated to not be true! In the fucking interview where his addiction to saying untrue things is the subject!

    Peter Molyneux says whatever he WANTS the truth to be, with no regard for what it actually is. Is he intentionally lying every time? Probably not. Does he give the slightest fuck about whether his statements are true? There isn’t a single shred of evidence that he does.

    • ErraticGamer says:

      Also, Peter Molyneux has been promising the press (and their readers, through them) things he has failed to deliver for the better part of twenty years. There are people getting through college now who weren’t even born when he started collecting and burning other peoples’ money on promises he couldn’t deliver on.

      The press (even as “enthusiast press” is long past their obligation to call him out on it. This is the first interview with him I’ve ever seen that even dares to confront him with anything harsher than a shrug and a “you’ll get ’em next time”.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Nianox says:

    Superb interview. Keep up the good work.

  11. wiggboss says:

    This was embarrassing to read. John Walker should be ashamed, not proud of this piece.

  12. AngryInternetPerson says:

    This interview might singlehandely make me never read RPS again.

    • laugurinn says:

      Thinking the same thing.
      Hard to respect anything on the site, if this is their standard.

    • ockam says:

      Same here. I literally can’t read any of his articles anymore knowing he is basically a bully.

  13. andromedius says:

    Way to go getting your 15 minutes of glory by beating a dead horse…
    I got no love for Molyneux and his schemes, but in my opinion you didn’t uncover anything on the man that we already knew.
    But he was an easy target, wasn’t he? I’d like for you to go butt heads with Big Studios with this attitude, you wouldn’t last long on the other end of the line cause they wouldn’t give you the time of day.

    Actually, although he obviously has a lot to answer for, your interview turned Molyneux into a ‘victim’. The simple fact he put up with your constant level of verbal aggression and bluntness for so long puts him in a more positive light than I expected. Not so much for you.

    I know you don’t care and it’s okay, but count me out of your website from now on.

  14. tribalart says:

    It’s not fair … and of course the concept of “crowd funding” is not questioned ,not at all…
    I mean if people wants t take the role of the “financial entity” …and risk that goes within … that is their problem!!

    Usually the “entity” that give money take the risk of the project (that may fail or sell bad), and a benefit.
    I think they also take some sort of insurance to cover themselves..

    Now, crowfunding make poeple take theses risk,for free !!
    the only counterpart is the finished product, or some “bonus” stuff.

    So,instead of blaming Molyneux, it would be better to responsibilize “gamers” and explain to them what is their exact role in “crowdfunding”…

    They are not “buying” something, or “paying” something… also, this kind of scenario will happen many times.
    sorry for bad english

    • honuk says:

      but crowdfunding stories (and stories about crowd funded games) are RPS’s bread and butter these days. most of their readers have backed several games. so we wouldn’t want to do anything to rock the boat. just find someone they don’t like to pick on in order to prop the crowdfunding mindset up with all this pompous defense of “consumer rights’

      • Mr.Snowy says:

        This is my thought on the matter too.

        As an experienced project manager, I can say categorically that not all projects work out and deliver, for all manner of reasons. Molyneux’s issue with the server moves sounded perfectly legitimate to me – it would have diverted time, resource and money from his planned path and caused a significant derailment to it.

        I have never seen a project pay back the money spent because it failed to deliver – that is a possible outcome and anyone funding a project takes that on the chin. In this case it is the people who backed it via crowdfunding. I am sure that is not the outcome they wanted when they invested, but they have to be realistic.

        With Godus though, the project hasn’t even failed yet – although it sounds like it is in danger of doing so – they are still trying to drive to a conclusion.

        For a ‘writer’ supposedly an expert in his field, Walker displays a staggering lack of nous about the realities of development, either that or puts it to one side in order to play up to the vicious little internet and beat up Molyneux. As I comment above, rich for someone who tends to soapbox about rights.

        • rego says:

          The problem with PM is he seems intent on blaming everything else for his lack of foresight and boiling everything down to “well, it’s hard” as his reasons for always coming up short on his promises.

          You can’t blame others as a project manager. If you fail to deliver it’s on your shoulders. You are the one who ran the ship the way you decided it was nessary. You can’t blame your lack of foresight on anything else…

  15. tribalart says:

    only crowdfnding with an interest on benefit can work …(to compensate the risk involved in “making the product”)
    anything else is just wrong, and misleading

  16. tribalart says:

    players buy the game, the finished product, they can’t pay for developing it, it’s non sens.
    you can’t buy something that doesn’t exist !!…. or that does involve a risk, wich sould be paid , but first understood.

  17. edwardh says:

    This is how interviews are supposed to be done. Honest and direct.
    Now I love RPS even more. :)

    (My feelings for Peter Molyneux haven’t really changed though. But at least instead of simply repeating whatever nonsense he is spouting, as other major gaming sites usually do, you actually challenged him. Which is the only reason why I bothered to read parts of this. Usually, I don’t consider Molyneux-articles clickworthy any more… Hang on a second… you knew that, didn’t you? Trying to stir interest in a Molyneux-article through controversy? ;P
    Nah, I think/hope you had pure intentions with these tough questions.)

  18. KaiWren says:

    This piece was incredibly disappointing.

    Yes, some kickstarter backers are disappointed – and rightfully so. However, Peter conceded the point early on that – if or when they give up on delivering the project entirely, then they’ll have to look at refunding some people too.

    However, the tone taken by the interviewer was aggressive to the point of offensiveness. If I was Peter, I would have put the phone down after the very first question.

    There was no attempt to find a middle ground – to understand what Peter was saying or ascertain his point of view. It was one man repeatedly shouting his accusations in the face of another. Something that you shouldn’t see outside of a police interrogation chamber or a courtroom. Unfortunately, this seems to be the approach taken by many interviewers attempting to be ‘hard’.

    I am disappointed, I feel bad for Peter, and if I could take back the revenue – however tiny – my click generated for this article, I would.

    • rego says:

      Peter was allowed to explain himself even when he cut off the interviewer.
      He backed up his reasons as they came.

  19. PegasusOrgans says:

    Wow…. WOW, you made me feel BAD for Peter!! BAD for someone whom I have disliked for a decade or so! I’m actually on his side, and see his point of view. Was that intentional? Was that an attempt at reverse psychology? If so, bravo because it worked beautifully!

    Every word he said is true, at least here. Game development and any other creative work, is very difficult to
    estimate as if it was a normal 9-5 job. There are so many variables that arise and things that go wrong that
    no one can forsee.

    As for blaming Peter for doing what EVERY Kingstarter project has done from the very start (including the first
    big one, ie Broken Age by Doublefine, a game still only half done in 2015) is certfiably malicious and unquestionably
    wrong to boot. I’m sure there are a couple KS games that released on time, but name me a few bigger Kickstarter
    game projects that have met their deadline… please! And as for $$$, I’m sure most have had to find alternative
    methods to gain more cash. The Kickstarter system doesn’t really work.

    Kickstarter is not at a point where you can realistically ask for the amount you need, or state the real amount of
    time you need. If you do, you will NOT attain it. As it is, negative attack articles on KS projects
    have diminished the backer pool to a percent of what it was during the Pillars of Eternity, Wasteland 2 and Doublefine days. If you ask for anything over 500k and aren’t a massively popular dev, you are guaranteed to
    fail. If you ask for over a million and are famous, you probably won’t make it… Truth is, the vast majority of projects
    have been genuine and even those that have faltered are trying to release a good product despite newbie mistakes.
    The bad press has just cost us all many great titles instead of having helped anyone at all.

  20. shiptonator says:

    I read that ‘interview’ and it’s an absolute disgrace. It’s basically killed RPS for me. I had to look up #gamergate because, even though I am a massive fan of gaming, it had totally passed me by. Irrespective of #gamergate, Molyneux’s behaviour, the pitfalls of game development and Kickstarter this was not journalism or an interview. it was a nasty piece of internet bullying. It’s interesting RPS says it will not tolerate spitefulness or rudeness in the comments. Yet this blog post has it by the bucket load.

    I find the comments amazing with people saying ‘brilliant interview’ and ‘well done John it was needed’. But this is a group of people who have been whipping up a twitter storm of hate against Molyneux saying he’s a liar. So what they are really congratulating John Walker on is being the eye of their rage and calling Molynuex a liar to his face and then humiliating him on Walker’s website. That doesn’t mean it’s a brilliant interview at all.

    You can read or watch any news channel on any subject to see how a proper interview is conducted. The journalist job is to ask tough questions, but not abuse the subject and have a row with them. So I don’t think that this Walker/Molynuex interview can be counted as a piece of journalism. Not least as he simply bunged the transcript up – which is a massive dick move and simply lazy. He couldn’t even be bothered to write it up properly.

    So by putting the interview up Walker can feel like he’s put the evil Molynuex in his place and struck an anti corporate blow for freedom of video game journalism – whether that has anything to do with this gamergate stuff I have no idea. Except Molynuex is a soft target, he’s verbally kicked a computer game legend in the teeth and then attempted to humiliate him via his widely read website. Walker is hero of the anti Molynuex twitter movement – what a prestigious crown to have. He has done nothing for journalism in any form because nothing he did was event remotely journalistic..

    The Guardian piece is a proper bit of journalism as it would appear the journalist had broadly the same kind of conversation with Molynuex and it’s properly written up. Not great for Godus or Molynuex – but not a brutal bit of internet bullying either. link to theguardian.com

    • czerro says:

      Yeah, this was shameful and unprofessional. I liked all the hard-hitting ‘questions’ asked and ‘answers’ revealed after opening with ‘pathological liar’. I guess John knows the ear he is seeking, but I’d prefer some actual journalism. I mean, how ‘revealing’ this content was is amazing. I now know John is a dick, and not actually a journalist. A man, of his own free will comes to talk to you, and you gut punch him over things we have known about him for years. Well, done. Every time Peter gets around to talking about the Godus situation, the INTERVIEWER ostensibly INTERVIEWING Peter ABOUT THE GODUS SITUATION, immediately interrupts the man with stuff like, “OK, no, you’re a liar, or are you not a liar?” derailing his own interview.

      Nobody should glad-hand John. He beat up a man that has been beat more than legions of dead horses. We got no real answers about Godus, and it’s John’s fault and not Peter’s. John constantly derailed the conversation. John I want to interview you and tell you what a bad interviewer you are. You promised us an interview with Peter regarding Godus. Instead I got revolting bully piece and no answers about Godus, for which, FOR ONCE, Peter is not responsible for.

      • czerro says:

        I wanna flip this on John: So…you promised us an interview with Peter regarding the state of Godus, but you delivered an uncomfortable bit of verbal bullying and NO information about Godus. Are you a pathological liar, John? What makes you do that? Will we ever get that interview with Peter regarding the state of Godus that was promised? It seems unlikely that could ever come to pass now, yet you claim that you have already fulfilled that obligation. Does that mean you will never deliver on your promise John? Let’s be honest, it was a ‘shitty’ interview, right? I mean you’re ‘shitty’ right?

        If someone deletes this, your hypocrites, because John called ‘shit’/’shitty’ so many times in this interview I was appalled.

        • webs1 says:

          John used shit/ty exactly once during the interview. Also, show me where exactly Molyneux wanted to genuinely talk about Godus and was cut short by John.

    • laugurinn says:

      100 agree with you and czerro. Revolting bully piece.
      Hey someone else than John @ RPS! Are you really proud of this?
      Do you like having this on your frontpage tainting everything?
      Will avoid articles by John. Unfortunately I can’t see who wrote what without viewing the articles themselves so I will probably just avoid RPS completely.
      CONGRATS! This is the worst interview I’ve read!

  21. RightThen says:

    Judging by the comment section here, the 20-something cohort seems to harbor an amazing amount of psychopaths/sociopaths. Companies should probably not worry about catering to this set of schoolyard bullies- best to wait for the next generation of consumers to come along in about 5 more years.

  22. Aiursrage2k says:

    Ha its ironic as heck to read the “comment rules” and then read this interview. This was the most rude interview ive ever seen. John is a destroyer whereas peter is a creator. Im sure John “made” his career by destroying Peters.

  23. Aiursrage2k says:

    Remember the guy who wanted to join the police but he couldn’t make it, and so he became an overly enthusiastic “mall cop” busting any kid for any small infraction. I bet jon wanted to become a political writer but couldnt “hack it” and therefore we get this “piece”.

  24. Samwise Gamgee says:

    I like Chinese. They only come up to your knees yet they’re always friendly and they’re ready to please.

  25. RagePoon says:

    Holy shit!

    John well done on the tough interview, he definitely needed a bit of tough love and to be called out on his promises. I’m a backer myself and feel a bit cheated.

    On the other hand I am a human being and had a lot of trouble not feeling sorry for Peter. Peter if you by some miracle every read this comment or article. Take one thing from this… We do not want you gone from the industry or impacting it any less, we merely want you to stop with the very obvious over promising!

    I really had hoped that Godus would have been a sequel in line from Populous: The Beginning instead of Populous 1/2. :(

  26. JesterRaiin says:

    > Now the trouble is with Kickstarter

    KS might be far from perfect, but rich dipshits with names stealing the attention of crowds rather than finding other ways to sponsor their dreams, is entirely different pair of galoshes. I mean, come on. Didn’t you raise enough money to fill a decent-sized swimming pool, Pete?

    Kudos for the interview. Pure gold.

  27. ockam says:

    This is the sad state of game journalism. Bullies, basically. While the rest of the industry is busy printing another clone of their previous game, Peter still is one of the few who tries to innovate, taking more risks in the process. I’m not worried about Peter lies because i know if he manages to deliver a fifth of his promises it will still be a great game. What worries me is the quality of the people in charge of gaming news such as the author of this interview: people who never accomplished anything beyond criticizing others and reason like entitled kids.

    • rego says:

      How is it bulling to get straight answers again?
      You have to ask direct questions to get direct answers

  28. John R says:

    To those suggesting the interview was harsh, here’s a brief collection of quotes pulled on a spare hour or so from Molyneux’s interviews, his Reddit AMA, and 22Cans’ own update videos (those without named cites are on RPS):

    On Bryan Henderson’s ‘God of Gods’ reward:

    29/5/13:
    It doesn’t seem right to me that Brian is god of gods for all time. It seems right to me that he has a period of time to be a god of gods. That can’t be a few days. Definitely not. It needs to be a substantial amount of time. In that time, many things can happen. It depends on how successful the game is, how much actual physical money he gets of course, but it should be not an inconceivable amount of time.

    That will be a year from release, by the way, not a year from today. There would need to be enough time to make it meaningful for him, in every sense of the word. But we could make it five years. We could make it ten years…

    I’ve got the meeting with the financial guy and the legal guy tomorrow to settle on how we calculate the percentage and what the percentage will be. I think this is one of those areas where we have to get Bryan’s sign-off. He has to agree to share what that number would be. I don’t think it would be legally correct for me to say, “It’s going to be this much” without him. How much money he receives is kind of a private issue to him. The only thing I’d say is my ambition, absolutely, is for it to be percentage points, not fractions of a percentage. Definitely not.

    7/9/13:
    It’s probably best if I don’t give an exact percentage, but it’s got to be financially worthwhile, because it’s got to be something that you aspire to do. The first game that I did, I think I got less than five percent royalties from it. I’m not saying he has five percent royalties. But it’s more than a percent. We can vary it as we see fit. But it’s not capped at all. Even though there was a debate about how it should be capped.

    There’s one thing that I didn’t say during my keynote which is really significant, and that is that we’re releasing the Steam Early Access version on Friday the 13th of September. At the end of October, we release the iPad version, and two weeks later we release the Android version. That means it’s not just going to be PC and Mac. He gets all that money from all those versions.

    Eurogamer 11/2/15:
    While Bryan is unable to discuss the terms of the deal, Eurogamer understands he was promised a royalty of one per cent of revenue from Godus for the period of his role as God of Gods.

    On the mobile publisher’s influence:

    30/5/13:
    They have no creative control over Godus whatsoever. They have no intellectual charge over 22Cans. They have no investment in 22Cans. This is purely a segmented deal for the iOS and Android versions only. It has no effect whatsoever on the PC version or the Linux version or the Mac version or any other versions we may think about in the future, like consoles…

    DeNA have no influence whatsoever on the design of the game, on the pricing of the PC version, on the release date of the PC version, nothing at all. That was one of the criteria we had.

    13/2/15:
    And then in the first week of November our publisher called up and said, well, sorry about this, but the server system that you use called Polargy, we’re going to close down and you need to re-write the entirety of your server code that drives Godus under this new system…

    But this team isn’t independent of a publisher. And the people who are playing on mobile, some of them are backers incidentally, aren’t independent of a publisher. One of the reasons why we took that publisher on is that they have this server technology which is used to drive the game, which they then drop this bombshell, that we have to change the technology.

    On company development, timing of Godus’ release:

    29/5/13:
    The key thing to remember here is that when we release the game later this year, we’re going to continue developing it, without stopping. We’re not moving on to another IP even.

    30/5/13:
    That being said, Godus, when it’s released, isn’t finished. There are experiments in the alpha, and I’m not going to tell you where they are, but there are definitely experiments in the alpha which are interesting. I think when we’ve got Godus released and we’ve got more time, we’ll return to that experimental nature, and then continue adapting Godus as a result of those experiments. Because you’ve always got to remember that in today’s world, you can continue to develop a game for many, many years after the release, if people like it.

    El Pais, 2/12/14:
    [Announces 22Cans’ new IP, The Trail]

    Eurogamer 11/2/15:
    … He confirms the Godus development team has shrunk considerably to just a few people as resources are diverted to a new game, called The Trail…

    13/2/15:
    [Clarifies that most staff on the Trail are those whose work has finished on Godus.] I don’t think that’s very few people, is it?

    On development of specific facets of the game:

    7/9/13:
    There’s a single-player story. Again, this is something I haven’t really talked about, because it’s not something that’s really going to be… We’re not going too far down the storyline in the beta or the Friday the 13th build. But it’s a completely different story to any story that you’ve played in a game…

    I think this story is very… It’s going to be interesting. It’s a bit crazy. It’s a crazy story…

    It’s very crazy, the story. To give you an example, we consulted with this one scriptwriter who worked on this famous soap opera in the United Kingdom called Coronation Street, which has been running for 40 years. Even me, at my most optimistic… I was worried that it might not work.

    AMA 2/4/14:
    I am terrified of over promising, which means I cant talk about a feture unless I can show it, also the way we develop is to have an idea try it and then reject it if it does not work, this means a lot of planned feature are not talked about until they are ready to be played…

    The cool thing is you as a gamer can power though Homeworld using your skill to optermize your world then you will get to challenge people in Hubworld remember when you paid you $19 you paid for life we intend to carry on developing for years and your money has brought you a ticket to see what will happen. We are listerning to you guys it takes time to implement but we will we will be updating very often now (hopefully weekly)…

    Please bear in mind we have the systems to trully supprt amazing behaviours now, also remember just because a feature is not in an update does not mean its dead, actually we did debate wether we should delay the current update by another month so we could reimplement stuff like multiplayer and commandments and customisation, but we decided we had been quiet for too long…

    Godus video update #43, 22/5/14:
    I know a lot of you guys out in the community are saying, you know, where’s this feature where is that feature, but we have to believe in the ultimate vision. And the ultimate vision is this connected world across multiple devices. It’s a connected world across PC and iOS and god knows what else. We’ve got to stay true to that vision and that’s the thing that we’re implementing and the thing that we’re going to show the whole world in a few short days time, or maybe weeks time, when we release the hub world stuff…

    We focused on sculpting [at the beginning, in the early versions released after the Kickstarter], we did and because we focused so much on sculpting we didn’t focus so much on multi player. You focus on hub world, we’re focusing on hub world, we’re hoping to release to the PC players in a few days or weeks ehm the hub world version.

    El Pais, 2/12/14 (via Google Translate):
    And I have learned much, much [from] Godus errors. There was no progression reward. If we’re going to do for such a huge public must feel the reward, but play a few minutes. Nor was there a narrative. And there should always be a story.

    Konrad Naszynski, 11/1/15:
    The new Godus team has only been in play for a short period of time and in the short term we need to focus on delivering small improvements in a short space of time. This is both to demonstrate to management that we are capable of delivering positive updates that move development along and to get a realistic sense of what we can deliver in what time frame. So this means discrete features we already have a lot of the groundwork in place for like combat or easy to implement features like a story…

    To be brutally candid and realistic 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.

    Eurogamer, 11/2/15:
    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.

    13/2/15:
    And if you look at our front page on Steam, that’s what it said. It says 53%, it doesn’t say 98%, and the reason it’s 53% because we have to, absolutely have to put a story in the game, and that story comes out on Friday to the opt-in branch on Steam…

    But we’re still not finished because we had multiplayer in the game October of 2013. We took it so far multiplayer, but then we realised that to maintain multiplayer in the game would really slow down development simply because of the way it works, it’s all got to be in sync and all that stuff. So after we’ve done the story, after we’ve done combat, we’ll then go back to multiplayer. And then the percentage will start moving up.

    The man’s treatment of Henderson is appalling, he’s repeatedly, publicly made specific claims – quite apart from any design goals or lofty “I have this cool idea” musings – about the game, its development, and what users can expect and when, that have been demonstrably false, and must have been known to be false when he made them.

    “Bryan will get 1-5% of all revenue once multiplayer, the core concept of the game as I see it, launches, which it will do soon, next week, next update, next year, if we can get it working, which we can’t guarantee, and would have done already if the mobile publisher, who has no influence over the timing or development of the game, forced us to change our server code, months after we suggested the hubworld would be running. There’s going to be a brilliant story going in very soon. In two years. We didn’t put in a narrative, which was a mistake; there has to be story. We’ll do it now. Then work on combat. And multiplayer. Because we’ll keep developing this game we’re so passionate about to the exclusion of all else. Apart from that other one we’re doing.”

    Molyneux speaks his mind more than many high-profile developers, and that’s to be applauded. Unfortunately, while ideas floated as ideas that never pan out can be hand-waved away quite fairly, so much of what he’s said has been about supposedly more concrete elements of the development process, elements 22Cans should in theory have control over. And on those scores, he’s repeatedly lied and deserves to be nailed for it. Even if it comes across as something of an intervention for a seemingly decent guy with a psychological issue when it comes to committing to things. He’s backtracked so many times and been forgiven for it by the press that this was only a matter of time.

    • KaiWren says:

      If people were taking issue with the content of the interview, this would be relevant.

      They are not. As with so many things in life, it is not what was said, but how it was said, which makes the content objectionable.

      • John R says:

        Though people are:

        “… you delivered an uncomfortable bit of verbal bullying and NO information about Godus…”

        “I mean, how ‘revealing’ this content was is amazing.”

        “I got no love for Molyneux and his schemes, but in my opinion you didn’t uncover anything on the man that we already knew.”

        Just on this page alone.

        Tone has context, too. This was far from the first time Molyneux’s been asked about the state of Godus, from polite interviews back at the time of the Kickstarter, through a massively hostile AMA with his own users, through promo he’s done since, through comments made during dev updates. (The company was also asked for comment at the time of the stories that broke the week before this.) If someone has a history of prevaricating or dodging questions when put directly but less hostilely (see: the horrible wriggling around the idea of guaranteeing multiplayer in the Eurogamer piece), it’s not unreasonable to expect a point where politeness wears thin because it’s plainly not getting genuine answers. John was aggressive, but at the end of a long, long period where Molyneux’s hand-waved valid questions over what he’s doing when allowed the chance, and openly and continually contradicted himself. He can’t even stop himself doing it in an interview where he’s being bluntly called on it.

  29. ts061282 says:

    In a month or two, when PM starts doing interviews again, I’d like to see John asking him more about what he’s done to the reputation of Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general. Sure PM didn’t need the Kickstarter funds, he’s said that now, but play up the angle with how many indie devs who DO need the funds won’t get to make THEIR games.

  30. czerro says:

    John’s job was to get answers. He did not. All this interview revealed is that John is ironically more of an incompetent journalist than Peter is an incompetent studio head/designer. At least Peter knows and acknowledges his faults, John thrusts ’em on the front page and doesn’t even realize this is goddamn embarrassing for him.

    • czerro says:

      Proper interviews are about getting into vulgar verbal fisticuffs with the interviewee and a thin veil to beat an easy target for clicks and fame. I’ve seen 5 year-old bullies on playgrounds with more ethics and respect for their craft.

  31. Alehr says:

    Something Teddy Roosevelt once said seems relevant here:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. “

    • webs1 says:

      No, it doesn’t, really. Since what this quote implies does not excuse the main points of critique towards Molyneux – mishandling money entrusted to you, lying in order to get more money to mishandle and totally screw over a poor guy who’s been waiting for his “life-changing-experience” for three years now.

  32. Slazer says:

    Great Interview!

    That is the first PM interview I can remember where he finally meets some resistance, and this kind of direct challenging approach is probably the only way to get anything else out of him thatn the usual self-pitying.

  33. ErraticGamer says:

    I go back and forth on how I feel about Jim Sterling, but I think this is pretty spot on.

  34. Nemesis44uk says:

    What wasn’t covered was why Peter Molyneux why he thought it was acceptable to start another project before the last one is finished? Surely, with such a small dev team, it would’ve been better to “concentrate his firepower” on one project.

    I understand that some staff had finished their work on Godus, but surely, anyone who can program should be assisting on Godus to get it finished, no? The concept artists can start on the new project, but really, they should be finishing the old one, or at least advancing it, before starting something new.

  35. Dayman says:

    Wow, this was a really well done interview to dismantle the lies of a fraudulent use of Kickstarter. I’m sure rockpapershotgun would do the same thing with Anita Sarkeesian given the ocasion, given the legitimate doubts about her expending of kickstarter to create a youtube video with pieces of other playing videogames, right?

  36. schuelertomas says:

    dear RPS: not only your from now on on my will read-every-day-list. i also bought your one year premium program.

    not because you trahsed the poor man (who deserved it to be fair) but the reason is:

    i read an honest interview with an gamedeveloper and not this tyresome PR trash talk that i am used to read and puts me to sleep or makes me agressive.

    bravo.

    great interview.

    • ockam says:

      Balls. This is the worst interview i’ve ever read. You really are an outstanding example of entitled gamer aren’t you? This piece incarnate the sad, sad state gaming journalism is in.

      • ErraticGamer says:

        Okay, I’ll bite. What do you feel is exemplified about “gamer entitlement” by this piece? What are “gamers” (and, I suppose, John Walker by extension) demanding that they are entitled to?

        I can understand criticizing the tone of the piece, but I don’t understand this criticism of it. I don’t feel entitled to anything out of Peter Molyneux (I also didn’t give him any money for Godus, though), but I found it rather satisfying to finally see somebody call him on his bullshit after 20 years of nobody doing it even a little bit ever. And even if I’m sure I wouldn’t have been as harsh with some of my questions, when a man you’re asking about his history of wild fabrication tells 3 more falsehoods in the course of the interview, after a history of doing that for decades, I’m not gonna begrudge the interviewer some valid frustration.

        Help me out. What exactly do you feel is entitled about asking Molyneux why this keeps happening every time he makes a game?

  37. BurningPet says:

    Brilliant. This interview made me return to read RPS.

  38. Iscannon says:

    What the hell is this? I thought you said you were a journalist, John, this is fucking embarrassing. Molyneux’s an outdated waste of development time but that doesn’t mean you should act like a prick to the guy. If you weren’t one of the owners you’d never be writing articles.

  39. drokkwit says:

    I’m intrigued. I’ve had the patience to read pretty much most of the comments on this feature, but yet to see any replies from John himself. I’d also find it interesting to hear from the other RPS alumni to read their opinions on this particularly(would they have conducted the interview the same? etc).

    I haven’t purchased a PM game since Black and White due to the disappointment I felt in that game, (having said that I admit I was also interested in the first Fable until I played a demo), therefore I’m well aware of the over-promises that PM has made/makes.

    If anyone who knew PM’s back-history backed the Godus kickstarter I’d want to know why on earth why?

    I think he’s genuine, or tries to be, but I reckon he needs a proper producer put in charge of him to rein him in.

  40. bill says:

    Did John really stab him in the arm with a screwdriver?

  41. Moriarty_Jones says:

    Great straight-talking interview. Unlike some lily-livered types in the comments section here, my sympathies solely go to the backers who have been strung along in this affair and young Bryan Henderson who has been virtually ignored. With regard to PM himself, at least he had the backbone to stick the interview out and face the questioning, which says something. Unleash John on some other questionable shenanigans taking place in gaming I say.

  42. diaskeaus says:

    Well, if RPS wants to make a name for themselves as the biggest jerks in gaming media, this is a great way to break ground.

    It’s freaking Kickstarter. You aren’t promised anything. It’s a way for the community to support developers they like, not a gaming platform. So many Kickstarters fail and fail bad, but John here seems to think Kickstarter is the new Steam or something.

    The tone of this interview is ludicrous. John asks the same questions over and over again, but it feels more like he is just annoyed by Peter’s answers. John should be embarrassed for baiting anyone into a corner and then kicking him while he’s down. It’s unprofessional and makes the whole industry look like junior high school.

    And then he has the audacity to publish the whole thing, unedited, while making quaint edits here and there to show his disdain for Peter’s replies (the whole callout to the office was unnecessary and insipid).

    I know an apology isn’t probably in the books for John, but it’s the right thing to do. Peter may talk a big game and have difficulty in getting people who follow him to deliver on his promises, but he always pulls through with something. That’s more than can be said for this interview. All that I got from this interview was a guy with a grudge beating up another guy because he was nice enough to let him.

    I applaud Peter for sticking to the end of the interview. I hope he does go back in his word to do more press, but I do worry if this kind of maturity is the standard, it’s pretty obvious why Peter wouldn’t want to participate.

    • webs1 says:

      You don’t have a clue about Kickstarter, do you?
      Yes, it’s not a gaming platform, but it is by no means just “a way to support developers you like”.
      Developers have clear rules to adhere to and it is no coincidence nor is it unrealistic that some backers are calling for refunds right now. What does that have to do with “feeling entitled”?
      “Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.” That’s from the terms of use at the time Godus was backed.
      Also, in this interview Peter literally admits that he lied in the “Risks and challenges” on the kickstarter page.

      “We’ll only release GODUS once it’s the fantastic game we know it can be. And we want to get it into the hands of players in less than a year from now….
      22cans has a lot of game industry veterans so we know the risks – GODUS will be using new technology and that has to be tested and perfected…
      Our backers deserve a great game they’ve funded, seen in through its development and helped create. We can make it if we achieve the amount we’re asking for.”

  43. Apocalypse says:

    Peter Molyneux, the guy who always tries, but never delivers.

  44. Apocalypse says:

    This was the most insightful interview I ever have read. Kind of sad that it coming from a gaming website and a Peter Molyneux interview.

    Pathological liar? Maybe Jury still out on this, but it it is true then poor Peter.
    But for sure pathological dreamer and true artist. Confused and ill-organised, but passionate beyond healthy levels.
    I guess what this man needs is someone in charge over his projects to kick his ass down to reality. Would be nice to see again good games from Molyneux, because the last good one was still running on dos.

  45. SuperTim says:

    George Orwell once said: “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”

    By that definition, this is probably one of the best journalistic pieces on this site. Well done.

    As for the somewhat harshness of the interview, well, in my country (not the UK) we have many of these tv shows where journalists go to confront fraudsters using confrontational questions. This is usually the only thing that actually work, as these people will normally dodge questions unless you really confront them. It also means I see him more like a Anne Robinson than a Jeremy Paxman, but that’s not bad at all.

    As for PM, I’m not sure how to call him. But he seems to be working more than 16 hours a day, every day, next to the stuff he does at home. And he expects everyone around him to do the same. I’d say that is the main reason that he can’t reflect on the things he did, or learn from the mistakes he made, or learn things about project management, or learn anything at all.

    I just feel sorry for that guy.

  46. MintySenior says:

    This interview shows how aggressively harrying someone into a corner will make for flustered, defensive responses. I expect in his mind John Walker fancied himself as David Frost with Molyneux as Nixon. It’s a shame that most of the well-balanced journalism doesn’t happen until near the end of this long interview.
    The premise of Walker’s argument, that Molyneux is a pathological liar is flawed. Overly-enthusiastic optimist would be more accurate. If anything he’s pathologically honest, in that he blurts out ideas, hopes and dreams that other people would quietly keep to themselves.

    The biggest criticism you can level at Peter Molyneux is that he lets his passion for his work get the better of him. If he had a spokesperson or publicist to deal with the press and reveal details of upcoming projects as and when they were concrete, we’d just appreciate the end-results and he’d be left to get on with doing what he’s best at, creating.
    The issue with Kickstarter pledges not getting their goodie bags is a sign of poor management (or poorly defined promises), not of cynical deception.
    Molyneux is an artist, a creative type and they’re not the best people to make cold hard business decisions. He appears to be trying to do too many things and should probably delegate the managerial decisions to someone else. If he was working for a large games publisher that’s what would happen, but the quality and integrity of the creation would likely suffer as a result.
    If instead of stating all the features he hopes to implement in the future, Molyneux simply described what features were working now and which problems or stumbling blocks had been encountered, there wouldn’t be such a backlash against him. But people don’t give you financial backing on what you have now, but on what you promise them later.

    The reason Peter Molyneux’s name is so well known (and why he gets so much flak) is because of his contribution to the games industry of some of the most iconic computer titles over the past three decades: Populous, Powermonger, Theme Hospital, Black & White, Syndicate, Magic Carpet, Dungeon Keeper, Fable. Original games which spawned new genres. Even the critised PC version of Fable III, scored an average of 70% from the fickle industry press.
    Part of the problem is that he makes life harder for himself by continually raising the bar on what’s expected from an exceptional game. If he was developing games that just reused existing ideas (like all those Tetris and tower-defense game clones that get churned out these days) it would be a lot easier to predict how they would progress.
    “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” – Ken Robinson.

    I can’t help feel that the effect of biased negative press against Molyneux will be to either drive him from the industry, or to force him to rush development just to get people off his back, leaving this game unfinished or a flawed release. At which point the press which hounded him will smugly sit back and say “we told you so!”
    Personally, if I was Peter Molyneux I’d have given up years ago, told the press to go to hell, hung up my hat and spent time with my family. Thankfully for the games industry he hasn’t.

    “To destroy is easier than to create, and that is why so many people are ready to demonstrate against what they reject. But what would they say if one asked them what they wanted instead?” – Ivan Klíma

    • AyeBraine says:

      All creative people are professionals. Every single one of them. This is what separates them from amateurs, this is what separates them from hacks and opportunists. They might not be competent financiers, or be good at planning complex projects, or be good at negotiating, or handle stress or pressure particularly well. They can fail and break promises for reasons other than laziness, loftiness, or ill intent or malice.

      But they are professionals. And they take their work – the very matter of their work, meaning the thing they create – very seriously. They never substitute actual, realized work of art with wishful thinking and excuses and complaints.

      For a real, enlightened, uncompromising, passionate creator (Molineux claims to be such a person) this crack between aspirations and result, promises and performance, expectations and delivery… this incongruity is the most painless, shameful thing. Thing they work all their life to prevent. Thing that exists in entirely other universe from any reason or excuse.

      They laugh students out of a writing class or a painting studio or a music class for any of the excuses Molineux has made. There is absolutely no place for “might have been” and “supposed to” and “I really was feelin’ it before” in a piano performance (I know, I had piano exams for years and I’ve been terrible at many of them – no retries, no talking to the panel to explain). Even in game development, not one person ever seriously said all this and expected sympathy.

  47. AugustSnow says:

    Publishing this interview in this way was a huge favor for Molyneux, and I believe Walker did it on purpose, meaning that he has real fondness along with his criticism for PM and it shows in the interview.
    Here’s why:
    1. Looking at the internet climate towards PM before and after, this is definitely a pro-PM interview.
    2. The usual Molyneux news story, including the previous RPS ones, goes like this: write about some contradiction in PM’s statements, reach out for clarification, show with other quotes why clarification is wrong, prove for the 1000th time PM is lying\mistaken\aiming high. By repeatedly confronting him and not letting go, Walker lets PM clarify his stance even though he is extremely bad at it, a chance no other media I’ve seen has really given him. It’s no wonder people who read this interview feel a bit sorry for him – this is a journalistic achievement, not a byproduct.
    3. The interview highlights some achievements by PM I haven’t seen anywhere else – specifically working with students.
    4. The interview could easily be edited, without breaching normal journalistic standards, to make Walker look much better and PM much worse. Just obscuring the fact that the interview started with the (unnecessarily aggressive, IMHO) pathological liar question could forward the Proust\Nixon angle.

    Thanks RPS for a great interview and for letting us know PM better, for better and for worse.

    • ErraticGamer says:

      Yeah, it’s kind of stunning to me how many people are reacting to this by taking the view that John Walker doesn’t know how his own interview sounds.

  48. AyeBraine says:

    That was incredible.

  49. AlanMDavis says:

    We’re still in alpha, so there are a lot of rough edges and bounties aren’t yet using real money – but hopefully this platform we’re working on can help address situations like this.

    link to webounty.com

  50. Bobtree says:

    Four days of intermittent reading later, I’m finally at the end of the comments.

    What a tragic shitty mess. I genuinely feel sorry for everyone involved: PM, all the developers, the backers and players, and also JW and fellow RPS readers.

    FWIW, the worst interview I’ve ever seen is of Anthony Weiner, by Lawrence O’Donnell, whom I quit watching. It was just stunningly stupid, and similarly led with a loaded but pointless question. I won’t be swearing off RPS for good, but I can certainly understand the impulse.

    • czerro says:

      If John had opened acidic, not the entirely dead-end way that he did, but a bit more of a question in there coupled to a challenge. This might have gone better. He might has well have attacked his subject with, “Are you a serial rapist? I mean, you raped a lot of money out of people…you really like raping people, right?”

      How is Peter supposed to respond to an opening like this? Did he not slog through it? Granted, it’s normal Peter bullshit, but we can’t even hear what he has to say, because John keeps interrupting him time and again! Was John trying to cause him to have a breakdown?

      Look, Godus is the contention currently. How did this serve information regarding Godus? It clearly didn’t. Peter controlled the interview more than John, who desperately kept ATTACKING his interview subject and interrupting him! We get it John, you want to kick this easy target, but it’s real difficult, because YOU’RE inept, and this guy actually has something to say. You WANT him to talk.

      John, you put this man up on a cross, yet he is but a man, and would have you hear him if you weren’t so insistent on crucifying him! We can crucify him after, when your due diligence is complete and he has exposed himself.

      Interview: Research subject and subject matter. ENGAGE subject to elucidate the questions you want revealed. Hardest part. How to do this is relevant to your research. You might even have to BEFRIEND someone in conversation to draw out ACTUAL questions to the things you want. Attacking a man with known poor social skills and interrupting his stammering with shouts of “LIAR”, is not going to glean anything into the ‘truth’ of that man. He’s just going to be a stammery weirdo that your beating with a crowbar because you have a known legitimate advantage over him.

      Peter does/did once apparently want to talk about Godus production. How did you not kill this? How did you not know Peter well enough to know how to engage him in an interview and come away with something that nobody else came away with? You just kept kicking him in the nuts. I don’t care if he deserves it, but people care about the state of Godus. You failed John. You failed bad. You are internet Jail now. Like, you need to take a slomo bullet for Jesus, while the J-man handily rains down redemption with duel SAWs in the apocalypse before people will respect your redemption.

      • czerro says:

        I love the tag “I can’t make it any better or worse than the things you’ve said.” Dear lord John, you’re on the ‘worst’ end of this!