Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why We Can't Have Nice Things (Follow-up)

This story keeps expanding: Loss Of Faith: Will Godus Ever Have A God Of Gods?. And in that story, RPS references a terrific Eurogamer article that's here: The God who Peter Molyneux forgot: For Curiosity winner Bryan Henderson, the prize inside the cube has been anything but life-changing.

In case you've forgotten, Peter Molyneux put out a game several years ago called "Curiosity--What's Inside the Cube?" There was a cube, and everyone tapped on it it.

Seriously. That was the game.

As many, many people tapped on the cube, parts of it fell away, revealing more layers. Finally, though, after millions of taps, Bryan Henderson from Edinburgh made the final tap and was declared the winner. Here's an excerpt from the accompanying video:
You, the person who has reached the centre, will be the god of all players. You will intrinsically decide on the rules that the game is played by," Molyneux said in the video. "And here's the life-changing bit: you will share in the success of the product. Every time people spend money on the product, you will get a small piece of the pie.

Life changing and all that. Bryan Henderson was going to "The God of Gods."

Except, several years later, nothing's happened at all. Bryan has received the grand total of zero moneys. Also, 22cans stopped contacting him.

I strongly encourage you to read "The God Who Peter Molyneux Forgot" link referenced in the first paragraph, because it explores the disaster in greater detail. And you'll get more mealy-mouthed quotes from Molyneux, who seems positively unable to answer questions in a direct manner. Here's a good example:
Guaranteeing is a very strong word," he replies when I press him on the matter. "There are so many new technologies we are trying to implement. If all goes well, absolutely it should happen. I want it to happen. I think we need it to happen. With all the press that went on with Bryan, why wouldn't we make that happen?

What was the question? Does it even matter? It's an astonishing bit of dissembling.

Eurogamer pressed Molyneux on the same subject:
Guaranteeing sounds like I have to put my life on the line, but we will make every effort to make this happen, yes. We've got the skilled people here to make that happen. Our finance director has been accruing the revenues ready for when it starts happening, and then we'll switch on and then he'll get the revenues, and then the God of Gods role should happen the way we want it to happen.

What an incredible non-answer.

The tremendous irony here is that Molyneux's core audience, and possibly his most loyal one, consists of people who remember Populous. And he has utterly abandoned all of us.

There's one action that clearly needs to be taken here if Peter Molyneux is going to save what's left of his reputation. He needs to announce that he's suspending work on "The Trail" and putting his entire team back on Godus.

Obviously, this won't happen, because if Molyneux was making good decisions, he wouldn't be in this mess to start with. He clearly has no understanding of his responsibilities when he accepts $800,000+ in Kickstarter donations.

You know, his responsibility to make the game he promised to make.

Is anyone going to buy his next game? I hope not. I won't.

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