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Last Updated: Friday, 14 July 2006, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Game guru recounts money worries
Screenshot from Fable computer game, Lionhead
Mr Molyneux famously apologised for what was missing from Fable
British video game legend Peter Molyneux has said selling his company to Microsoft means he can now concentrate on making "quality games".

Mr Molyneux told a game developer conference in Brighton that concerns about money had meant games The Movies and Black and White 2 were "not as good as they should have been".

"The move to Microsoft obviously means we don't now have to worry about money, we can just concentrate on quality".

Mr Molyneux's Lionhead Studios was sold to Microsoft earlier this year but he continues to run the studio, which is based in Guildford.

'Terrifying prospect'

He is one of the most respected figures in the games business, credited with inventing the "god game" genre thanks to the title Populous released in 1989.

He said: "I was trying to make The Movies while at the same time worrying whether we would have money to continue."

The game did not sell as well as anticipated but was a critical hit.

He is currently working on a sequel to Xbox role playing game Fable and an as-yet unnamed title, both of which will be released on the Xbox 360.

Peter Molyneux
Mr Molyneux said he had over-promised on games in the past
He was in Brighton to deliver a speech on his history with game design.

He told the audience that designers could one day be "as recognisable as film directors" and that games could not now be developed successfully without professional designers.

He said that if a designer wanted to change his mind about something "you are spending $2m or $3m" on a game costing upwards of $20m or $30m.

He said that was a "terrifying prospect".

Emphasising how the game industry had changed over the last 10 years he said that in his earlier career design documents for games were non-existent but the design document for Fable 2 ran to 1,000 pages.

He admitted he had "over-promised" on games to journalists in the past.

Two years ago Mr Molyneux famously apologised to games fans for promising features in Fable which never materialised in the finished product.

He said he had a new policy of not talking too much about a title before it was released.

The developer also encouraged other designers to use the "community of game fans" as a resource.

"Listen to what they have to say about a game, what they want from a game," he said.

But he also warned not to take their requests for "strange features" too seriously.


SEE ALSO
Microsoft snaps up UK games guru
06 Apr 06 |  Technology
Why good ideas beat good graphics
11 Mar 05 |  Technology
Call of honour for UK games maker
30 Dec 04 |  Technology
Black and White's colourful complexity
18 May 01 |  Entertainment
Fable creator explains online apology
08 Oct 04 |  Technology

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