I recently had the opportunity to sit down with renowned computer game developer, Peter Molyneux, at the lush Burnley headquarters of his company, 99 Cans, to talk about his latest deception.
Jamie P Barker: Thanks for taking the time to see me, Peter, I know you’re a very busy man, what with this media shit-storm.
Peter Molyneux: But I can’t see you!
PM: You’re invisible. Who said that?
JPB:: I’m not.. are you… heh… what?
JPB: Okay… now, you’ve been getting it in the neck lately, unfairly in my opinion, about failing to keep promises.
PM: Eh? No, I promise you that wasn’t me. People looove me.
JPB: Erm, yeah, it was you. I’ve just read the big long interview on RPS.
PM: Honestly, I don’t even know what that is.
JPB: What what is?
PM: That RPS you said. Is it role playing… sim? What’s that?
JPB: The interview you just did? The one that went global?
PM: Rock, Paper, Shotgun. No, I swear I’ve never even heard of it. Is that what it’s called? That was a guess, by the way.
JPB: Heh, look Peter, I’m actually on your side. I’m also a creative. People, regular people, don’t understand the creative process. How you can’t constrain it with deadlines and and realistic cash limits and so on. Telling you, if that guy spoke to me like he spoke to you… what was his problem? It’s only a game, right?
PM: I thought I came out of it looking good.
JPB: You didn’t. Neither of you did. But you could have fought your corner better. Nobody can make a great game or book or work of art at the click of your finge-.
PM: I could.
JPB: You could what?
PM: I could do anything.
(Peter clicked his fingers. Nothing happened)
JPB: You say that but Godus. That’s a game that you’ve been working on. It’s a pretty major bone of contention on the internet. Because it hasn’t been finished like you promised it would be, despite you getting loads of money off Kickstarter. Money from fans.
JPB: Yeah, there was a Kic-
PM: I finished Godus. Yesterday. It got ten out of ten in Edge.
JPB: I don-
PM: And in Eurogamer. Ten out of ten.
JPB: It didn’t.
PM: It did, look.
JPB: Look at what?
PM: The monitor, Eurogamer, ten out of ten.
JPB: That’s not a monitor. That’s… that’s nothing, Pete. And anyway, Eurogamer have dropped scoring out of ten.
PM: No they haven’t.
JPB: They really have. The point is it didn’t get finished and you can say it did until you’re blue in the face. I don’t give a fuck. You give money to Kickstarter you deserve everything you get, which is usually nothing, But, and yes, I guess this is a surprise, this time they smell blood. This time they’re not letting go.
PM: The Metacritic for Godus is at one hundred and ten.
JPB: No, Peter, it’s not. There was a story on Eurogamer about it. About how you didn’t keep your promise to that poor backward Scottish lad.
PM: The one we found in the cube?
(In 2012 Peter Molyneux had this scam going, with a cube)
JPB: Well, he wasn’t actually in the cube.
PM: He was, he was in the middle of it. Wrapped up in a tartan blanket. McTavish we called him. He’s in my airing cupboard now.
JPB: No, his name was Bryan or Ian or something, but anyway, you promised him he’d become a god in Godus and he’s still just a Scottish person.
PM: I never said anything about McTavish being God for six… three months. Two months.
JPB: You did, in a video. There’s a video on the internet.
(Peter gestures to the invisible computer on his desk)
PM: Find it, find the video, is that what you called it? A video? Video? What’s video? I’ve never heard of vy-
PM: Vy dye
PM: Vleh mlue mleh?
PM: No, sorry.
JPB: But it’s just another example of you promising things and then not delivering. Peter, mate, I told you, I’m on your side. This interview was supposed to be the counterpoint to the one you did with the angry guy.
PM: I didn’t do a video, I didn’t do an interview, and now… I’m over here!
JPB: Peter, come on, for fuck’s sake, come on. And you didn’t move.
PM: Didn’t I?
JPB: No, not enough to announce, ‘and now I’m over here.’ You’d need to have moved across the room or something, not just shifted in your chair.
PM: You know so much about me! Perhaps you’d be happier if I was out of the industry. Is that it? Keep chipping away in that case.
JPB: Chipping away? Stow the guilt-trip shit, Peter. I’m really not… that’s not my intention I just want to…
PM: To see the real me?
JPB: Well, the honest you. There must be some truth in you. There must be. That’s what… Peter, you’ve still got fans out there.
PM: Keep chipping away. You’ll get what you want and I sincerely hope it makes you happy.
JPB: Peter, are you a pathological liar? I mean, I thought it was shitty when that nerd asked you but…
PM: No, I have never lied.
And then I saw it. I saw it. A tiny piece of Peter Molyneux fell off when he told a bare-faced lie.
JPB: Peter, what colour is grass?
Another tiny piece fell off. Hardly noticeable but, yeah, I saw.
JPB: Is Diego Costa a horrid cheat?
JPB: Did the first episode of Better Call Saul drag?
And so it went on for hours and hours. Peter shrinking with each lie he told until he was a speck on his chair.
“Peter”, I asked after licking my lips, “what’s after the number 3?” I heard a reply that sounded like eighteen, but the words dissolved into a ringing in my ears as the room was filled with brilliant yellow light.
“Congratulations,” boomed an ethereal voice, “You have won. You have found out what’s at the centre of Peter Molyneux.” The light was so bright I couldn’t look at it, I shielded my eyes with my forearm.
“And what did I win?” I asked.
“Sweet, what kind?”
“A reeeal fancy one. A Tesla.”
And then there was a mighty flash that I actually saw through my arm and eyelids. And then darkness. I lowered my arm fearing I was blind. I opened my eyes and the room was lit by the regular fluorescents set into the suspended ceiling. The chair when Molyneux had been sat was empty.
“So where’s the car?” I asked the room.
Of course there was no fucking car.