Sony and Microsoft were “like two frat houses” at E3, says Molyneux

Thursday, 13th June 2013 04:28 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Former Microsoft Game Studios creative director Pete Molyneux isn’t shy about giving his opinion on his former employer’s E3 2013 press conference, and didn’t think much of Sony’s, either.

Since leaving Microsoft and Lionhead, Molyneux has always been very clear about his reactions to industry happenings as being from a consumer’s perspective. As a consumer, he wasn’t impressed by this year’s conferences.

“It seemed to me like two frat houses. It’s like ‘oh you’ve done that, so we’ll do this,’” he told GamesIndustry.

“They are kind of defining each other’s strategy. I think Sony changed its strategy because of what Microsoft did and Microsoft changed its strategy due to what Sony did. Me, as a consumer, I don’t give a shit. What I give a shit about really is the games, whether the launch titles are something I’m going to invest 500 bucks in, or 400 bucks for Sony.”

Molyneux was particularly scathing on the topic of Microsoft’s presser.

“I just think it was very unprofessionally done. There was one message from one Phil and then another message from another Phil, and they seemed to be kind of shooting from the hip.

“Always online is simple for me. As a consumer, just show me why I should be always online and I’ll be happy with it. At the moment, it just means game sale authentication. I don’t want that. But if there’s some way you can give a huge benefit for the consumer, and make the message super clear, [it would be accepted].”

Molyneux said that, right now, the message isn’t very clear, and he doesn’t know if the Xbox One is always on or on every day or what. He believes Microsoft’s policy will be accepted eventually, if we cna just figure out what it is.

“We need, as an industry, to be super clear to our consumers, and when you’re at E3 you kind of forget about consumers for a while. It just seems to be all about the show,” he added.

In the full interview, Molyneux gives some further interesting comments on the state of E3, noting that “adrenaline” games take too much of the spotlight even though many of the press he met at E3 were quite blasé about all the sound and fury and more personally interested in indie titles, as Molyneux himself is.



  1. salarta

    Even though Molyneux is coming at it as a consumer perspective, I think his consumer perspective is still heavily influenced by allegiance to Microsoft. He ignores the huge overriding complaints the majority of gamers express to suggest that gamers will accept Microsoft’s policy, and that getting them to accept it is a mere case of Microsoft being clear enough about their plans and offering some kind of special service as a trade-off for the loss of consumer rights. Pushing such an idea ignores just how big the positive response to Sony was this week, both online and right there with the attendees of Sony’s press conference.

    In effect, Molyneux is saying in a much nicer, measured way that consumers and/or gamers are so fickle and are so deprived of any sense of standards that they’ll give up critical rights for the long-term if Microsoft offers something shiny enough in the short-term.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Yoshi

    @1 Definitely, he said after the MS conference “All is forgiven” because he loved it so much. Now I didn’t find anyone who said anything like that, except maybe Xbot fanboys.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Francis O

    He makes valid points. I thought both press conferences were weak. Microsoft didn’t show us why always online is better. And there was far too many shooters. No Japanese support outside of MGS 5 and Crimson Dragon. Hell, there’s not even a Japanese launch date. The price point is too high as well. $499.99 plus Xbox Live, no used games, and no renting games? Only rich people will be able to afford to game on this system.

    Sony also showed a bunch of shooters and ‘lead people to believe’ Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy 15 were exclusives, when there actually coming to the Xbox One as well. In my opinion, KH3 and FF15 were the best games at Sony’s press conference….and there not exclusive….

    Sony “won” the conference because they announced they won’t impose DRM or used game fees and it will be left up to the publisher. But that sh*t should be standard. We shouldn’t have to cheer for them and praise them that they’ll let us borrow a game from a friend and use the console offline. It’s our console.

    The price point was sweet but I really didn’t see the software for me to go out and spend $399.99. Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed, Diablo and many of the launch titles are also on the PS3 and Xbox 360.

    Infamous Second Son looks good, but that’s coming next year. I want to get solid dates on KH3 and FF 15 before I invest in a PS4. I also want to see how the Japanese Market is going to respond to the PS4 as Sony seems more geared to supporting shooters over JRPGs and traditional Japanese games.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. ayman03

    so,the biggest liar in the gaming industry is giving opinions now
    WHY should i care?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. salarta

    @3: Your complaint about KH3 and FF15 is just as applicable to Microsoft regarding games like MGS5. Both companies “led people to believe” games they presented at E3 were exclusives. It’s common practice. It’s expected, in large part because it’s downright stupid for a company to expressly state their competitor is getting it too at their own conference. If they did that, they may as well be saying “We’re getting this game, but hey, you can get it from our competitor too, so who gives a fuck that we’re the ones that got to present it!”

    I agree with you, though, that we shouldn’t have been put in this position where one company could win E3 and elicit such a rush of delight purely by saying they aren’t going to be doing anything differently. Microsoft should have had the respect and common sense toward both consumers and the medium itself to know better. Normally, Sony making the announcement they did shouldn’t have been a big deal.

    BUT, specifically because of Microsoft’s plans and policies, Sony deserves every bit of praise they’re getting and more, even though all they did was more or less say “we’re doing the same thing we’ve always done.” That’s how it should work. Groups and people that show respect for consumers, quality, the past, etc should be praised and rewarded for their behavior. Shrugging it off as Sony merely doing what they’ve always done is a disservice to Sony’s willingness to listen to consumers and do what’s right instead of going down the rabbit hole of greed.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Francis O


    I see what your saying but using MGS 5 for the Xbox One is a bad example because MGS 5 was already shown off and announced for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

    KH3 and FF 15 were never officially announced before Sony’s presser (unless you’re counting FF Versus 13). Many thought those games were exclusive because of Sony’s history with Square Enix.

    Nobody though MG5 was a exclusive for Xbox One.

    I’ll give Sony some credit, but they’re still allowing publishers to impose used game fees and DRM. They just won’t mandate it.

    Nintendo strictly prohibits DRM and used game fees so you can assure yourself you don’t ever have to deal with that crap.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. zoopdeloop

    @6 “I’ll give Sony some credit, but they’re still allowing publishers to impose used game fees and DRM. They just won’t mandate it. ”

    By that they mean online-passes for used games.Pretty much the same with current gen.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Malmer

    @3 Not to be that guy, but Ms was kind of clear in that they will support used games (so your “no used games” is factually wrong) and that they wouldn’t impose any used game fees either, so you’re wrong there too.

    That said, it is correct to criticize MS for their policies, but I’m seeing a lot of these blanket statements that simply aren’t true. The practical difference between the ps4 and XO isn’t that big, when you factor in MS friends/family game sharing functionality. The BIG difference lies in the PRINCIPLE of ownership vs licensing. Practical difference for most people isn’t that big.

    (and yes I will get slammed for this, but I simply want things to be kinda balanced. Criticize MS all you want, but do it on grounds of facts, not emotions.)

    #8 2 years ago
  9. NeutralBlade

    Launch titles mean very little in the grand scheme of things. The installed base will heavily influence who gets what in the future. As it stands now, Sony is in a position to gain a much higher installed base versus the Xbox One, thus, it will have more games over time, and the Xbox One will get less exclusives.

    Along with that, we don’t even know if all of those exclusives for the Xbox One are permanent. If some are not, that will further weaken their position in a year or so. The number of consoles available later this year, may limit purchasing power. But come early next year, is when we’ll start seeing the difference in consumer choice.

    Xbone adopters sure are taking a risk. If they make the Xbone successful, expect either more restrictions, or if any restrictions are removed, the probably becomes higher that they will return. Regardless of how much I may like a certain game series, I’m not forfeiting my rights, just to play them.

    If MS wins in their plan to take from us, (meaning the Xbone is successful, not necessarily leading next-gen), then you better believe they’ll prepare to take even more from us. If the industry followed down the path MS wants to take us, its actions like that, that will lead the console industry to its demise.

    @6 As the other member said, it’s online pass only, and it’s optional; and Sony also said their first-party titles will not support any sort of DRM, including online passes. Sony specifically said developers cannot impose DRM methods similar to what’s done on the Xbone, nor will they make any changes to their console to allow it.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Citrus raptor

    @8 One of the most sane comments I’ve seen on the matter.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. ps3fanboy

    So Molyneux actually said “shit”, LOL!…

    #11 2 years ago

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