Microsoft praises Molyneux as he heads to new firm

 

Acclaimed British videogame developer Peter Molyneux has left Lionhead Studios and Microsoft to work for a new independent company.

The creator of the much-praised games Fable, Syndicate, Populous and Black & White will join a developer called 22 Cans which was set up last month.

But he will work as a consultant on Fable: The Journey for Microsoft up until its release on the Xbox 360 Kinect system later this year.

Despite losing a key figure, Microsoft has lavished praise on Molyneux, calling him "one of our most passionate and influential developers for the Xbox 360 platform" in a statement issued today.

It added: "He has made an indelible mark on the games industry and we wish him all the best of luck in his future endeavors."

Molyneux was also full of praise for Lionhead and Microsoft, telling Kotaku: "I felt the time was right to pursue a new independent venture. I'd like to thank the team at Lionhead, as well as our partners at Microsoft Studios for their support, dedication and incredible work over the years."

It is in stark contrast to the cloud under which he said he had left EA in 1997 after it had taken over one his past companies, Bullfrog.

Molyneux co-founded Lionhead with Mark Webley who will now take over at 22 Cans, a company which is based in Guildford and was set up by Lionhead's former chief technical officer, Tim Rance, when he left in January.

He is seen by the industry as one of the UK's most talented videogame creators and he told The Independent last year that he was proud of Britain's input in videogaming, believing David Braben's Elite, Jez San's Starglider and Charles Cecil’s interactive adventures "forged the way for what we now think of as computer entertainment".

He said: “There is no doubt that Britain has made a huge contribution to the games industry in terms of both creativity and innovation.

"Even though these days there are fewer games being made here, the number of British born people who are working in places like Canada the US and Japan is incredibly high.”

Molyneux has formed many companies over the years, starting with Taurus not long after graduating from university where he gained a degree in computer science.

Taurus was set up to create databases but formed a sideline in gaming. Molyneux set up a new gaming company called Bullfrog which he later sold to EA. Another new developer, Lionhead, was formed in 1997 and acquired by Microsoft in 2006.

He was the creative director for the European division of Microsoft Game Studio and his main focus was on consoles rather than the PC on which he made his name. Molyneux was particularly enthusiastic about the controller-less Kinect.

When asked about his regrets, he told The Independent last year: "Naturally there are too many regrets to mention. I do regret not recognising that some of my games had far too many features and I regret not taking the time to finish games properly – Powermonger springs to mind.

"But, going back in the early 90s, refusing to do sequels to games like Syndicate and Populous through an idiotic belief that it would be creatively stifling is regrettable.”

So far, 22 Cans has not released details of any forthcoming titles it is working on.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst - Tunbridge Wells - £30,000

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Test Analyst/Systems Administ...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - .NET, C#

    £40000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Global Real Estate Software P...

    Recruitment Genius: Drupal / PHP Developer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity for a talented...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Technical Support Engineer

    £17000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continuing growth, recru...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us