Lionhead's Peter Molyneux • Page 2

"If I'm not careful I could break into tears."

Eurogamer: You said there were aspects of Fable II you weren't happy with. Eurogamer gave it 10/10 and it sold millions of copies.

Peter Molyneux: I know you did. That was one of the first reviews that we saw. You know, this is what you don't realise being journalists - and you should, you should do this, it would make your life so amazing - when you give a score to a game, you should cherry pick one of those teams and you should go to them with the score. What you don't see is what we do when we see that review.

Eurogamer: What do you do?

Peter Molyneux: You know what I'm going to say now: 'It's f***ing amazing!' I can remember getting that Eurogamer score - because remember, this is where honesty comes in - before that you had been really critical about Lionhead. These things hurt, just like anything else.

I can remember standing in the studio holding up this f***ing 10/10 from Eurogamer. Everybody cheered. It was great. It was like getting a huge award. It really was. You never see that. The press never sees what it feels like to get a 10/10.

Eurogamer: Do you think PR people would allow us to do that?

Peter Molyneux: They're pretty hard people to work with. Personally, I wouldn't ask them.

Eurogamer: We'd get in trouble for that.

Peter Molyneux: You shouldn't report on it. You should experience on it. You should. If you've thought a game was that good, and you've played it and you've read it and the team's worthy of it, you should turn up and say, 'Look, we want to tell you what score you've got.'

3

Eurogamer: Maybe with Fable III we will.

Peter Molyneux: Who knows? You might not give it a 10/10.

Eurogamer: Your presentation suggested you're trying to increase sales of Fable by making it more accessible.

Peter Molyneux: Definitely. Absolutely. You could see that in the demo.

Eurogamer: That must be hard to do that while keeping the loyal, core Xbox 360 fans happy.

Peter Molyneux: Yeah. That was pretty tough. The word accessibility can be misinterpreted for easy. It's nothing to do with easy. Easy soon becomes tedious in my book. Accessibility means there are consequences to you not being good at the game. It means your game experience will be slightly different.

But you don't want people getting confused or bewildered or bored or not knowing what they're doing. Personally I absolutely loath - detest in fact - being killed, going back five minutes, being killed again, going back five minutes.

I'll give you a good example. I played Farmville. In one sense Farmville is hugely accessible. I've got to take my hat off - in the last 18 months it's probably one of the most innovative games there's been, because it used your social network as part of the game experience. There were lots of things about it.

But there was one terrible thing about it, which made it less accessible, even though it sold 90 million. Your crops died. Why did they do that? I think they did that because they were frightened about accessibility. They were frightened not to give people a consequence.

So, accessibility has many pitfalls. It doesn't necessarily mean easy. It just means clear and understood. If I'd had time to set it up, what I was going to do was throw the controller out to the audience and say, 'This is how accessible it is. You do the demo. I'll do the talking,'

Eurogamer: Perhaps accessible is a dirty word when it comes to hardcore gaming.

4

Peter Molyneux: Well it shouldn't be. With Fable, because the weapons morph, if you're crap at combat, your weapon's going to look not nearly as good as if you were a hardcore gamer. You weapon is going to be bigger, is going to have more moves unlocked, you'll be able to trade it, you'll be able to show off.

Every time you die your weapon gets a tiny notch in it. That's accessible, and it's real consequences to you being non-core. I can look at someone's sword and I can almost say, 'Right, this guy is an amazing gamer. It's a perfect sword.' That all makes sense. It's building accessibility and core into one thing.

The fast weapon switching we've added in, I know the most casual gamers will just go like this [button-bashes]. That's all they're doing. No matter what I say, no matter how many times I say you can hold the button, they'll totally button-bash.

You're beating your head against a brick wall if you try and force them to do anything else. You have to take the controller away from them if you want to do that. But that doesn't mean I should just support button-bashing. You can now in Fable III be button-bashing, and you just slip your finger to the other button and you can shoot your gun at the same time.

Or you can button-bash, slip, and hold the other button, and you're charging up a shot. I love that. I know that 50 per cent of our audience will never discover it. But the other 50 per cent will love it. I love the fact that you and I can co-op together and we can use those combinations in ways to get through a battle far better.

Don't forget, if you do it really successfully, your weapon gets better. That's the levelling up which I really, really adore.

Comments (107)

Comments for this article are now closed, but please feel free to continue chatting on the forum!