Remembering Paul McLaughlin

I still remember the first time I ever played Syndicate. It was a demo that came with a copy of an Amiga magazine (remember those kids?). My memory is hazy but it was most probably Amiga Format, issue 48 from July 1993, priced £3.95. The seventeen-year-old me didn’t have a clue what he was doing or even what he was supposed to be doing. He was just running around with his cybernetic agents and shooting anything that moved.


That Syndicate demo disk blew me away… as I was blowing the dozens of NPCs away in it. I didn’t know it at the time but that demo would have a lasting impression on me. But it wasn’t just the violence in the game that grabbed me… even when I did blow up a car and people were running around engulfed in flames. It was how it looked, Blade Runner-esque is how it would be looked upon these days. Yup, there was most definitely a strong influence from Ridley Scott’s sci-fi masterpiece in Syndicate.


Anyway, those graphics, the isometric camera, the tiny but detailed characters. The mood and atmosphere of the game were second to none at the time. Paul McLaughlin was the man behind those graphics and he really created something special. Syndicate was just one of many games that Paul lent his amazing talent to. Back in the nineties, Bullfrog were one of the best software houses going. Co-founded by the infamous Peter Molyneux, Bullfrog was knocking out great title after great title and Syndicate was just one of them.

Paul McLaughlin began working at Bullfrog back in 1990 and designed the graphics for most of their games. Theme Park, Powermonger, Magic Carpet, Dungeon Keeper and of course, Syndicate, to name a few. Those games and their graphics were amazing, games that have stayed with me for decades. When Bullfrog eventually went the way of EA, Peter Molyneux set up Lionhead Studios and Paul McLaughlin went with him.


At Lionhead, Paul once more provided art for their titles. The divisive Black & White and yes, the big fan-favourite of Fable. Paul’s fingerprints were all over those titles and he gave each a unique and memorable look. Paul helped make Lionhead the studio it was. Then when MS took over at Lionhead, Peter Molyneux left and opened 22 Cans. Yes, I know but let’s not let petty gaming hatred get into this memorandum.

Anyway, of course Paul moved over to 22 Cans too and he was the head of art and helped shape the look of Godus. Personal feelings and the ‘quality’ of the game aside, it certainly had an eye-catching and distinct look at the time. A throwback to the Bullfrog classic Populous but with a few modern twists.


Paul McLaughlin had a career in gaming that lasted for thirty years. Sadly, Paul died in December following a battle with cancer, aged fifty-seven. I just wanted to write a few words in remembrance of a man whose talent and work had a much bigger impact on me than I first realised. Those games I played for hours and grew up with. Syndicate being a title that I still have a major soft-spot for even twenty-eight years later.

Paul created a world and art style in that game that I still feel is very impressive now. In fact, I’m off to play some Syndicate as soon as I press publish in this article. Paul McLaughlin’s death leaves a gaping hole in the gaming industry and one that can never be filled.


“Paul was a huge cornerstone in my life. He was a professional, moral and funny person who had the ability to see the fair and sensible approach in any situation. I miss him every day in every way. His legacy will be felt and seen for a long, long time.”

– Peter Molyneux

MICROBRITS: My British Game Developers & Publishers Book Update & Info

I’ve been working hard on getting my book published and was hoping for it to be available to buy for a late July/early August release at the earliest. Sadly that’s not going to happen. Mainly because I finished it ahead of schedule and it’s now available to buy from Amazon.

81681 words, 141 pages, (almost) 40 years of gaming history, 15 game studios, 12 months of research, 1 book.

MICROBRITS: A Tapestry Of The British Gaming Industry is a book looking at the history of the British gaming through the very companies who shaped it. Beginning with Imagine Software in 1982, covering almost four decades of British gaming and ending with Rockstar North in 2019.

Imagine, Ocean, Psygnosis, U.S. Gold, Ultimate Play The Game, Rare, The Bitmap Brothers, Gremlin Graphics, Sensible Software, Team 17, DMA Design and Rockstar North are all covered, looking at each company from the start to the very end, the people behind it and some of the games they produced. The book is designed so you can just jump in a read about any of the studios you wish to. But if you read it cover to cover, then an interesting tapestry of British gaming is revealed as many of these companies all cross paths in one way or another. You can play a good game of six degrees of separation with this book. Yarns of interesting partnerships, back-stabbing buy outs, bitter rivalries, surprising interweaving tales and plenty of fascinating tit-bits along the way.

MICROBRITS: A Tapestry Of The British Gaming Industry is a journey through almost four decades of British gaming and how some of the biggest names in the industry, some still working today began… as well as some pretty spectacular failures. But that’s not all. As when you’re done reading this fascinating story of how the British gaming industry was born, there’s a nice bonus at the end. A special three part look at the most important British game designer ever. An in-depth look at the entire career of a certain Peter Douglas Molyneux. I take you through a journey beginning with Peter as a baked bean salesman to his co-founding Bullfrog Productions, via Lionhead Studios and ending with 22Cans.

MICROBRITS: A Tapestry Of The British Gaming Industry is available as a paperback as well as on Kindle Amazon right now.

Oh as a quick aside. I sent an advance copy to the legendary game designer Peter Molyneux last week and he contacted my today…


So MICROBRITS: A Tapestry Of The British Gaming Industry is Molyneux approved.
Buy your copy today.


EDIT: Quick update: Here’s the first review of my book from over at @stoffelpresents .

Don’t believe the hype!

As a popular rap group once proclaimed, but Public Enemy tracks aside… why do we keep falling for the hype surrounding certain games?


I have no idea why, when talking about over hyped games, a picture of Peter Molyneux appears…


Anyway, it is reports on the most recently over hyped game; No Man’s Sky, that got me thinking about us gamers falling for the hype. No Man’s Sky is just the latest in a long line of games not delivering on what was promised, or as I call it, ‘The Peter Molyneux Effect”.

PM 2

There he goes again, damn it!

With recent reports surrounding No Man’s Sky of refunds from Amazon, Steam and PSN and the game losing around 88% of its initial players since launch. No Man’s Sky is quickly becoming one of the most hated games ever. This all stems from promises and game features the developer; Hello Games, said would be included in the game just not being there (there are plenty of articles that point out the HUGE list of missing features), along with reports of massive bugs and game crashes. Simply put, No Man’s Sky has not lived up to the hype. But who is the blame here, us the consumer for believing what the developers told us, or the developers themselves for just not delivering on what they said?
A lot of people will blame us, the consumer for actually thinking that a developer would give us the game they said they would… which I don’t think is fair at all. We just go on what the developer has told us the game would contain, so its not our fault the game falls short is it? We can hardly be blamed for thinking that the developer was actually telling us the truth when in fact they have been outright lying. So why do we believe the developers when they tell us what a game will be like? Because most of the time, they deliver on their promises… unless its Peter Molyneux circa 2002 onward (more on this soon…).

But I don’t want to talk about; No Man’s Sky as everyone else is doing just that right now and its getting a little tedious now. What I do want to do it take a look at some of the most over hyped games and the many, many broken promises we as gamers have put up with over the years. Whether the games were good or not in themselves is irrelevant. This is purely about the game just not delivering on what it was being sold as.

Well, no point in beating around the bush. Lets get straight to the tippy top of over hyping with the main star of the show; Mr. Molyneux and the game that marked the beginning of the end.


Fable: Just for the record, I quite enjoyed Fable and Fable II… Fable III though? Meh. Before Fable became Fable, it was originally conceived and sold to us gamers by the hype master that is Peter Molyneux as a game called; Project Ego. This game was going to be immense and I found an archived interview with the Molyneux right here. Its a good read, but I’ll just cover some of the many things said to be in the game…

  • You’ll become an idol to others. Kids will cut their hair like you and even get tattoos to match your own.
  • But you aren’t the only hero in the world. There are other heroes, who are basically your rivals.
  • Let’s say you are a mean cuss and one day you cut a kid. That cut will become a scar and if you return to that town twenty years later, that kid will have that same scar and a serious hate-on for you. Or maybe you’re more into plant mutilation. Carve your name in a tree and it will stay there through the years.
  • If you make a habit of running away, your character will begin taking on the traits of a coward, with a pronounced facial tick to boot.
  • How you interact with the world physically will shape your body accordingly. So, if you run a lot, your leg muscles will get stronger. Lift heavy objects or swing a big sword and your arm muscles will bulge.
  • Hang out in the sun all day and your skin will tan. Spend too much time in the sun and your skin will wrinkle and age faster.
  • Hide in the shadows, dodge a lot of attacks, sneak up on folks, and you will start to resemble a thief.
  • Ego is filled with other heroes. And not all of them will be happy if you steal the spotlight. You may even find you have to defend yourself against a band of heroes looking to knock the rising star from his pedestal.
  • Project Ego gives you the freedom to get married and have kids. It’s another one of the many options you get to choose.
  • The weapons used in the game will be empowered by the gameplay. While you may still hunt for the ultimate sword of destruction, your own weapon can become legendary by your acts.
  • People camping out in the wilderness and smoke from the campfire moved to the east, in the direction of the wind. – One cool area features tall stalks of grass nearly the height of the main character. And each blade moved with the breeze.


There you go, a nice list of some of the many features (and there are so many more) that Project Ego/Fable was being sold on and never appeared in the finished game, though variations of some of these did turn up in the sequels. Peter Molyneux hyped this game up to ridiculous levels, don’t believe me?

Peter Molyneux:I reckon that Project Ego is going to be the greatest role-playing game of all time. Which is insane. I could say the second greatest, I could say quite good, I could say, hmmmm it’s quite nice, but I’m going to say greatest game of all time.

As I said at the start, I quite liked Fable… but it most definitely was not the game that we were being told about and not even close to being “the greatest role-playing game of all time” either. This was the beginning of the downfall of a once revolutionary game designer. Peter Molyneux was a gaming legend in the 80s and 90s; Populous, Syndicate, Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper, Black & White as well as many other classic game titles he either developed or produced. And then Project Ego/Fable happened and massively under delivered. But that was not the end, this was just the start. Every game Molyneux had his name attached to from this point on was over hyped by him, including the Fable sequels.

Next up? The biggest disappointment in gaming from one of my all time favourite game characters.


Duke Nukem Forever: I kind of feel a little guilty doing this one, its just too easy of a target, but I just love the Duke Nukem character. The history of the development of Duke Nukem Forever is quite simply legendary. This sequel to the groundbreaking and popular Duke Nukem 3D from 1996 immediately went into development and was released in 2011, yes you read that right… 15 years of development for this sequel. The short story is, it was 15 years wasted. The longer story is… well, longer.

Original developers, 3D Realms started work on Duke Nukem Forever in 1997 and the game first publicly announced in April of that year. Even promotional material at the time stated the game would be released in 1998 and there was even gameplay footage shown at E3 that year too. 1998 came and went and still no Duke Nukem Forever, but we were promised it was coming soon. After this, several other release dates were announced over the years up to the space year of 2000 and still no game. In 2001 3D Realms just decided to say “when its done” in regards to an actual release, as this E3 footage from 2001 shows and yet, still no Duke Nukem Forever and everything went quiet for a while until 2007 when a teaser trailer was revealed and it seemed that Duke was still coming soon… but never did.

In 2009, 3D Realms began to downside their staff due to financial problems and they lost a lot of their main development team. But still they kept on hyping up the game (especially by George Broussard & Scott Miller, the creators of the Duke Nukem character) and promising it was still coming and how great it was going to be, in fact 3D Realms went as far to say the game was due to go gold (meaning the game was fully finished and is being mass produced for sale) soon and backed that up with final development pictures of the game.


Also in 2009, publisher Take-Two Interactive who held the publishing right to Duke Nukem Forever filed a lawsuit against 3D Realms due to the numerous delays and false starts over the game and by 2010 the lawsuit was finally settled. 3D Realms approached another game developer; Gearbox Software and asked them if they would be interesting in helping to complete Duke Nukem Forever, which they agreed to do and the game was then officially announced as coming soon (again) at the Penny Arcade Expo in 2010. Eventually, Gearbox Software purchased the Duke Nukem intellectual property from 3D Realms, took on the task of finishing the game on their own and the game was finally finished and released in 2011… and it met with mostly negative reviews and critical response.

Instead of a worthy and playable sequel to Duke Nukem 3D, we got a messy, badly designed and cookie cutter game that felt it would have been outdated in 1997, never mind 2011. This was not the game that was being talked about, nor was it the game those earlier 1997 & 2001 trailers showed. Everything George Broussard & Scott Miller said about the game, the features and gameplay mechanics, pretty much all of them were gone. Duke Nukem Forever almost killed off a great gaming icon, but it has been rumoured that Gearbox Software are making an all new Duke game from the ground up.

Yet there are some people who will defend the game stating that “its an old school game” and that is why people don’t like it. No, its a crap game that is why people don’t like it. You can revive and older First Person Shooter franchise, still maintain a lot of its charm and style but still have it be a good game in itself. Look at the recent reboots of Wolfenstien (2014) or Doom (2016) for proof.

Speaking of Wolfenstein & Doom…


Daikatana: Now this one is almost as infamous as Duke Nukem Forever, it just didn’t take 15 years of hype. John Romero was the co-founder of id Software, the same company that redefined and popularised the whole First Person Shooter sub genre. Their games; Wolfenstein 3D and Doom changed gaming forever and became huge hits around the world. John Romero wanted to create the ultimate First Person Shooter with his new game; Daikatana. Set in multiple time periods and locales including; 2455 AD: Japan, 1200 BC Greece, 560 AD: Norway and 2030 AD: San Francisco. The game was set to feature 24 levels split into 4 distinct time periods (see above), 25 weapons, and 64 different enemy types. The game was going to be HUGE, but for some stupid reason, John Romero originally set himself only a seven month development period to finish the game which began in April 1997 and set for release at Christmas of that year. Even more so, Romero didn’t develop this game with the people at id Software who brought us the mighty games; Wolfenstein 3D and Doom. No, he moved over to a new company he co-founded called; ION Storm and these guys were only just getting started and lacked experienced staff at the time.

At E3 in 1997, the game was shown to the public for the first time… and it looked outdated even for then. It was around 1997 when developers really started to get a grip on 3D gaming and game engines were being updated or even built from the ground up with 3D accelerated graphics, lighting effects, etc. The 3D gaming age was starting to bloom around this time and Daikatana was running on an outdated game engine. Even at this early stage, people saw the game just was not living up to what John Romero promised. The Christmas 1997 release date was quickly changed to March 1988 as Romero finally realised his vision was way behind what other developers were doing at the time. Time magazine even gave Romero and his game; Daikatana glowing coverage stating that: “Everything that game designer John Romero touches turns to gore and gold.”.

Early ads for Daikatana started to appear and were pretty damn forthright in their statements…


Stating that: “John Romero’s about to make you his bitch.”. This was when the hype for the game reached fever pitch. This was also when things started to turn sour. Negative news came out of ION Storm directly at the time with play testers highlighting how bad the game was, Romero had turned himself into the ‘rock star’ of game design and led a lavish life spending more time racing Ferrari cars than overseeing, directing and creating Daikatana, even most of the original development team quit to form a rival company called; Gathering of Developers. In November 1997, what was left of the Daikatana team received the source to the Quake II engine (which was THE best game engine for FPS back then) and very quickly realised just how outdated their work was and that a simple swap to a new game engine would just not be possible. So they had to scrap their entire previous work and begin the game from the ground up once more, this time using the Quake II engine. In fact what was originally scheduled to be a few weeks or months of work tuned into over a year as the switch to the new engine was not completed until January 1999. And yet through all of this, John Romero still kept on publicly talking about the game and stating how it was going to be the best FPS ever made… and we believed him, because he co-created Doom.

Daikatana made yet another appearance at E3 this time in 1999, in fact it made two. One was a pre-recorded bit of gameplay footage which looked pretty good to be honest. But the other appearance… not so great. It was reported that a live demo was also created so people could actually play the game for themselves, now I haven’t been able to find footage of this demo but it has been said that it was so bad that it could only run at about 12 frames per second… which is terrible, showing the difference between pre-recorded footage and actual live gameplay. Daikatana was looking so bad in fact that Eidos (the parent company of ION Storm) eventually just brought out ION Storm completely taking full control of the project. The game was finished and released in 2000, it was met with poor/average reviews.

The game John Romero was hyping up just was not the game that was released. In fact, Romero apologised for the game and especially the hype he created for it. He even apologised for the previously mentioned ad in an interview…

John Romero:Up until that ad, I felt I had a great relationship with the gamer and the game development community and that ad changed everything. That stupid ad. I regret it and I apologise for it.

From over hyped shooters to a disaster of an over hyped beat em’ up.


Rise of the Robots: In the early to mid 90s these kind of one on one beat em’ ups where everywhere and largely in thanks to a slightly popular game called Street Fighter II. The gaming world stood up and took notice when Street Fighter II fast became one of the biggest and most popular games ever. It didn’t take too long for developers to want to cash in on this phenomenon and numerous other fighting games were churned out. From successful games that turned into even more successful franchises like; Mortal Kombat, Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting and others. Then there were less successful attempts at cashing in on the Street Fighter II popularity and Rise of the Robots was one of them. This was a bad game, but it being bad is not why its in this article, its because it was hyped up to be the next big thing and a Street Fighter II beater.

Originally developed by Mirage for the Amiga and DOS. This game was under the creative control ex-Bitmap Brothers member Sean Griffiths and this is what he had to say about the game before it was released…

Sean Griffiths:Using robots that fight and act unusually, with a very high level of artificial intelligence that has never been seen before. We’ll definitely have one over on Street Fighter II.

Yes, he did just say that they have bettered the mighty Street Fighter II. Spoilers, any gamer that has ever picked up a controller knows of the Street Fighter series even if they are not a fan, they have heard of it. How many people remember Rise of the Robots?
It all sounded truly amazing when first being talked about, using Autodesk’s 3D Studio software to create amazing 3D rendered robots as characters, each robot took two months to render and would use over 100 frames of animation each. The development team even had to create new techniques to make the graphics look as amazing as they aimed for them to be. The AI was also being hyped up with Andy Clark (programmer for the Amiga version) talking about how each robot will have differing an unique characteristics and their AI will be based around various attributes like; strength, intelligence, speed and motivation and these separate attributes will affect how each robot acts and reacts even during mid fight and would even learn from their opponents. They even got the legendary guitarist of Queen, Brian May to score the game too, yet only one song from May was used… but that didn’t stop the publishers from advertising the game with “a soundtrack by Brian May.”


The game looked and sounded amazing, the guys at Mirage made sure we knew how great the game was going to be too. Top notch graphics, groundbreaking AI and a soundtrack from Brian May all meant this game would trounce all over that Street Fighter II thing. The game was being so hyped that it was too big a game for just the Amiga and DOS, so it was ported to pretty much every popular machine at the time including; SNES, Mega Drive, Game Gear, 3DO, Amiga CD32, and even the Phillips CD-i, it even made an appearance as an arcade cabinet.
The game had a multi million pound marketing campaign put behind it and was the biggest marketing campaign for a video game ever up to that point. A novel based on the game was even released and at the time, there were plans for a toy line, comics, an animated series and a full feature film. This game was HUGE and hyped up to be the best beat em’ up EVER! Everything was looking sublime and the release date of February 1994 was looking like Street Fighter II would soon be forgotten about… but the game’s release was delayed until November 1994 as Mirage said they wanted to continue to perfect the graphics and enhance the gameplay as much as possible. Sounding better and better.

Then when the game was released, it was met with pretty poor reviews. Yes it looked amazing for the time, but it had none of the depth of fighting that Street Fighter II possessed, the gameplay was clunky, shallow and dull. That amazing adaptive AI that was being hyped up? Well you could beat any opponent in the game by just using flying kicks. All that talk and hype was for nothing and Rise of the Robots was a critical and commercial flop… but that didn’t stop them making a sequel; Rise 2: Resurrection… which was also shit.


So there you go, over hyped games that failed to deliver on what was promised. No Man’s Sky is getting as lot of backlash right now, but we have been here before, many, many times before. There are plenty of other over hyped games that have been relased over the years and I’m sure there will be many more to come too. No Man’s Sky is in good (or bad) company.


What ever happened to Peter Molyneux?


As a kid I loved playing games, but I mainly stuck to the basic platformers, shooters, etc. You know those easy to pick up and play games on the Amiga 500 like IK+, Bubble Bobble, Xenon II, Batman and others. Simple arcade games that were just quick, fun, mindless romps you could get through in a short amount of time.

Then one day in 1989, my elder brother came home with a copy of a game called Populous. Quite unlike anything I had seen before and thought it looked rather dull and uninteresting. There were no big aliens to blow up, no cars to drive, no guns to shoot. The game just was not my cup of tea at all.
Still, I saw how much my brother was enjoying Populous so thought it could not be all bad and decided to give the game a try on a whim. After a while the game grew on me as I slowly started to learn and understand the concept behind the game…quite unlike anything I had played before and Populous was the one game that got me interested in something other than inane action games. It was also the game that got me thinking about how much work goes into a game and not just the game itself. I became curious as to how a game like this was made, who made it and why?
Populous opened my mind to other gaming genres I had previously ignored.

With Populous, Peter Molyneux gave birth to the God Game genre and became a gaming god himself. Around this time, Peter was the King Midas of the gaming world and went on to create and produce some of the best games ever with titles like Syndicate, Theme Park, Theme Hospital and of course Dungeon Keeper all from Bullfrog, a development company Peter himself founded along with Les Edgar.
Bullfrog was eventually brought out by Electronic Arts. Peter decided to leave and later founded Lionhead Studios…and this is where the demise of a once amazing game designer began.

Lionhead Studios produced some “interesting” games but they were often over hyped, delayed and never delivered on their promises. Games like The Movies (a previously cancelled title from Bullfrog called Theme Movie Studio) was a welcome return to Peter’s roots with elements of his earlier work like Theme Park, but the game just felt empty and lacking in so many ways.
There was also Black & White a return to the God Game genre but again, the game was over hyped, delayed and just did not deliver on what Peter promised…this happens a lot from this point on.

Lionhead Studios biggest, most ambitious game yet was announced. A title, while in development called Project Ego. Project Ego promised to be a huge open world RPG where you could do anything you wanted, go anywhere you wanted. A game that Peter promised would be a revelation in the RPG genre. I remember Peter talking about being able to plant trees and they would grow over the timeframe of the game. It was all things like this that was to add a level of awe to the RPG genre.
Project Ego went on to become Fable…and what a Fable it was. As the dictionary defines the word Fable as being: an untruth; falsehood. To speak falsely; lie. Idle talk. In a way, that is exactly what Fable was…a lie based on idle talk and falsehood.
What we got from Fable was not the game Peter described and promised. Did we have the huge open world? No we had small singled off areas with little to zero exploration. Did the game have a “do anything” concept? No, it had a very restrictive and linear concept.

The release of Fable was roughly when us gamers had enough of Peter’s “promises” and even Peter himself would acknowledge his own failings…

Peter Molyneux: “After Fable, there was a pretty dark time where people looked at the game and compared it with what I said in the press, and they felt cheated. I realised that we just couldn’t keep on doing that.

But he did keep on doing exactly that…several times…
Fable spawned two sequels and while Fable II was a slight improvement over Fable. It still was not the game Peter promised and still lacked so much. Then along came Fable III and took several massive steps backwards and managed to be even worse than the original Fable by taking so much away from the player, replacing a simple menu system with the dreaded Sanctuary. A god-awful “Co-Op” mode, restrictive interactions…the list goes on. Yet just as with previous games, Fable III was promised to deliver so much to us gamers (watch Angry Joe’s Fable III pre-release interview and count the blatant lies).

Maybe Peter’s ideas were just to advanced for the technology we had at the time, maybe this open world RPG where you could do pretty much anything you wanted just could not be made on the machines we had…well no. I point you towards Bethesda Game Studios Elder Scrolls games; Oblivion and Skyrim as both of these games were more inline with what Peter promised with his Project Ego concept. Just try to imagine Skyrim with it’s open world, deep character creation and development, everything Skyrim offered…but with the character and humor of Fable…that is Project Ego.

Still, while Peter’s lies and deceit were bad. Do you know what was worse? The fact we gamers kept falling for it. Even after so many broken promises, even after disappointment after disappointment. We kept on buying the games and believing Peter.
Why did we keep doing this? Probably as many of us remember when Peter was a game creating god…he made Populous. We still believed Peter could make great games and even deliver on what he says, even after the countless times he has not.

Eventually, Microsoft brought Lionhead Studios and Peter moved on once again.
So what would Peter do now, open another big time development studio? No, he went the other direction and got back to his roots by forming 22 Cans, a small, independent game studio that would make smaller yet better games free from big business bondage. It was ideal..or so we hoped anyway…

22 Cans first “game” was a title called: Curiosity – What’s Inside the Cube?
Curiosity was described by Peter as being an “experimental social experiment”. Which sounds about right as it certainly was not a game at all. Curiosity’s setting was a minimalist white room with a floating cube in the middle made up of billions of smaller cubes. Players tapped the smaller cubes to get through the surface of each layer and reveal the next layer below.
The ultimate goal was to reach the center and to discover what was inside the cube. Each smaller cube that was destroyed by a player would award them coins. Coins which could be exchanged for tools that would enhanced the player’s abilities for a set period of time, such as various picks ranging from iron, steel and even diamond that would increase the number of the smaller cubes destroyed with each tap.
Essentially the game was nothing more than just tapping on cubes…this from the same guy that created Populous.
So, what was inside the cube? Well I’ll let Peter tell you…

Peter Molyneux: “What is inside the cube is life-changingly amazing by any definition.

What actually was inside the cube was far from “life-changingly amazing by any definition”.
The “game” was won by Bryan Henderson from Edinburgh and what did he win that was “life-changingly amazing by any definition”? Well, nothing at all.
He was supposed to win the ability to be the sole, all-powerful, digital god within 22 Cans upcoming release of Godus and to receive a small portion of all of the incoming revenue that is brought in by the game.
Bryan received none of this, just more lies from Peter.

22 Cans second game was: Godus, hailed by 22 Cans as being the rebirth if the god game.
Godus was also not without its controversy. Being a Kickstarter funded game it (and just like Peter’s previous work) was not the game promised to investors and gamers. With many people who paid via Kickstarter being hugely underwhelmed by the game and demanding their money back as they were just being outright lied to over the whole project.
Godus was far from “the rebirth of the god game”. It was more of an insult to the genre…and this from the man that created the genre to begin with.

After the release and backlash from Godus Peter has been quoted as saying…

Peter Molyneux: I’m going to stop doing press and I’m going to stop talking about games completely.

No Peter, instead of just “ignoring” the press and deciding to not talk about games. Why not just be truthful?

From Populous, the birth of the God genre in gaming. To Godus, an insult to the God genre in gaming and despite of the lies, deceit and delays. I personally still have faith in Peter Molyneux, I still believe he has great gaming ideas in him, I still think Peter has yet to deliver his opus.
The same man that created the god game genre with Populous and produced the amazing Syndicate, the same creative mind that gave us Theme Park & Hospital also brought us Dungeon Keeper…made a “game” where you click small cubes. How times have changed eh?

Instead of burying his head in the sand, Peter should answer his critics and give us a great game that delivers on the promises. It’s been over a decade since Peter announced and talked about Project Ego, it’s been over a decade since Peter disappointed millions of gamers around the world with Fable. Technology has advanced, so why not bring us Project Ego now? I know Microsoft now own the Fable IP so Peter can not use it, but there is nothing stopping Peter from creating an all new IP using his Project Ego concept.

Peter M quote

You made plenty of great games Peter…just not in the last 20 years.

You know, I still play Theme Hospital to this day, as well as Populous and even Dungeon Keeper (original, not that terrible iOS insult). Do you know why? They were and still are great games with rewarding gameplay, great mechanics and overall good, solid titles.

Can we have that Peter Molyneux back?