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The Sims and World of Warcraft “sucking air out” of PC gaming, says Molyneux

Wednesday, 20th February 2008 09:53 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux has expressed dismay over the state of PC gaming, saying that any initial innovation in casual gaming has dried up and that monster franchises like The Sims and World of Warcraft have sucker-punched the industry in general.

“There’s an enormous amount of gaming happening with PopCap, Big Fish and Reflective,” he said. “The fascinating thing is when they first started, all these games came out like Peggle and Mystery Files and Alice Greensleeves and Diner Dash, and it felt quite exciting. There was a lot of innovation going on. OK, there weren’t great graphics, but there was innovation.

“In my view, that has completely stopped. They’re doing the same game over and over again with a different wrapper. It’s like a mini-universe in itself which is emulating what’s happening in our industry. The second thing is, you’ve got The Sims and World of Warcraft sucking all the air out of the PC market. It’s just incredible.”

Spekaing in an interview to be aired in its entirety on Eurogamer later this week, Molyneux went further, saying that Blizzard and EA’s unending quest for franchise sales is a “tragedy”.

“I think it’s a huge tragedy,” he said. “I mean, you might as well say PC gaming is World of Warcraft and The Sims… The weird thing is everyone’s got a PC, they’re just not buying software for it.”

Expect to hear plenty more from Peter this week: he’s demoing Fable 2 at GDC on Friday in a conference titled, “Fable 2 –The Big Three Features Revealed”.

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4 Comments

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  1. Blerk

    The casuals are coming! The casuals are co… oh. They’re already here. Bugger.

    #1 7 years ago
  2. patlike

    Is innovation really being kicked out of PC gaming? RockPaperShotgun appears to carry tons of indie stuff all the time. Not sure if anyone’s making any money, like, but there we are.

    #2 7 years ago
  3. Tiger Walts

    Yes, there’s innovation. But it’s indie and homebrew setups that are doing it which is very surprising since the middleware and in-house tools available to the larger companies allow them to do so much with little effort. Would it not be a good business decision to dedicate a small part of their workforce (or indeed hire existing indie devs) into producing smaller, shorter budget titles that also double up as tech demos and proofs-of-concept. With the growth of the casual market so does the demand for casual games. Portal is one example of something like this happening and we need more of it.

    #3 7 years ago
  4. ginger

    It’s like the whole google 10% thing – if a company is willing to bet 10% of some employees time on whatever they like then you’ll get more innovation, but not necessarily success. The problem with the casual market (and consumers in general) is that it usually takes a long time to get a mass market take up of a new idea.

    Alternatively (to the 10% thing) in software dev I always thought it was worth sponsoring uni 2nd or 3rd year projects – i.e. the best new microgame (no more than 2 hours to complete) wins £500 and their game gets released on steam / XLA etc

    #4 7 years ago