E3: Microsoft promotes Peter Molyneux

Creative direction of MS Game Studios.

Microsoft has promoted Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux to creative director of Microsoft Game Studios in Europe, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

Molyneux will oversee the creative output of all internal studios as well as Microsoft's third-party development partners, acting in a leadership role to help ideas come to fruition, as well as ensuring better communication and understanding within the group.

"The best way for us to make sure our platforms evolve in a way that enables the best creative experiences is to make sure our creative leaders are closely tied into the work that's going on with the platform team," said Phil Spencer, general manager of Microsoft Game Studios, speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz.

"What we're asking Peter to do is a creative director role for us in Europe, overseeing all of the creative work that goes on at our studios in the UK and Europe, and the different projects that we have with external partners.

"His role there is to not only help the collaborations and to bring both the thinking from that region back to the platform and Microsoft Game Studios as different things are incubating and being worked on, but the reverse is also true, of taking global knowledge of our platform efforts and different efforts at MGS and help provide context and guidance to those teams."

Molyneux said the promotion isn't about leaving his own mark on other studio's titles, but rather helping internal and external talent realise their creative visions within the Microsoft development ecosystem.

"What you're not going to see is ten Peter Molyneux games. The value of this role is for someone like myself going in and making those little tiny lights of an idea shine as brightly as possible and ensuring everybody within the organisation clearly understands why we're making those titles, the purpose of those titles and their importance to Microsoft overall.

"All I'm going to be doing is making sure those lights are as bright as possible. People at Rare and other European studios are super, super bright and creative people and I'll learn as much about design from them as they would from me."

Molyneux said he hopes to help foster the passion of individuals, and in turn push Microsoft's talent to drop preconceived ideas about game design and strive for innovation.

"I'm definitely not going to go in and say 'this is a dumb idea' and 'this is a good idea'. I'm more about making sure they really are doing the experiences they're passionate about. Because passion is really central.

"That's probably going to involve innovation, I'm going to be pushing them more on the innovation side, especially with Project Natal, and saying, 'look, don't think you've got all of your design comforts here any more, let's think of a new way of doing all that.'"

He also made it clear that he will still remain studio boss of Lionhead, and continues to work on the two titles currently in development at the studio.

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