Molyneux's Next Game Poised for GDC 2009
Famed creator tells Kikizo that the unveiling is not far away, that Microsoft wants it to "shock and awe", and that it will cause controversy for its "politically contentious" nature.
Tonight at a private London dinner celebrating the imminent launch of Fable II, Peter Molyneux sat down with Kikizo once more for a catch up - and as you could predict from a mile away, we guided our discussion towards his next game.
Dubbed crudely for the time being as Project X, formerly known as Dimitri, and boasting a top-secret internal name known only to Lionhead and Microsoft staff, it's the game Peter says is so groundbreaking it could hit the covers of leading science journals.
Not long since his last comments to Kikizo about the mysterious game, tonight he revealed to us further nuggets of information.
Firstly, he told us that he now wants to debut the game as soon as GDC in March next year - not that long to wait, considering the project was first mentioned six years ago.
However, he said that Microsoft was cautious about showing it so soon: "Everyone at Microsoft who's seen it is super excited about it - I mean there's just this huge anticipation for us to finally show it, because it is so unbelievably ambitious", he said.
But he told us that Microsoft wants to "shock and awe" the games industry when it's shown for the first time, which could mean the unveiling takes a bit longer to polish and get ready. It visibly troubles Peter not to elaborate, but at the end of the day it's Microsoft's say on when and how it gets shown.
He also told us the game will receive major attention when it's finally shown, not just for its innovation ("there's nothing else remotely like it ever before"), but because it's seriously controversial: "Especially with the current timing, this will be really, politically contentious", he told us.
So, Molyneux's next game, as soon as GDC 2009, and expect the forums to go wild. But what about his next game beyond even that? It's clear that's nowhere in sight yet, but interestingly, Molyneux wants to know what we think he should pursue beyond Fable II and Project X. "What game would you like to see me do next?", he asked. In the past, he's suggested a soccer game or a first-person shooter - but games in these genres are "all the same", he joked.
We said it could be more interesting to see who he could collaborate with, and suggested someone like Valve. "I would love to work with Valve, I absolutely love those guys", he told us, but added that sadly "it's not going to happen". Almost as unlikely are smaller, simpler Live Arcade style games ("I just couldn't do it"), or collaborations with EA Bright Light - the current owner of much the former Bullfrog IP he created - although he conceded that stranger things have happened.
Peter wasn't quite sure how we were going to 'report' on the posh dinner event, which Microsoft arranged for around just 20 journalists rather than stage a typical press day or piss-up. A fellow journalist suggested it would help with Fable II reviews: "it's got a 'meaty' storyline...", he offered - only for the waiter to bring a selection of cheeses over: "But it's a bit cheesy", Peter concluded. "See - I can do this journalist stuff, it's easy!"
He may not need to worry about cheesey review scores, though. Gossip floating around the room suggested that, following the first high review score coming from OXM US, the game will further silence critics with a 9/10 rating in the typically strict Edge magazine - news that came much to Peter's delight. It looks like he was right about Fable II being a "Nine out of ten game"...
See if we agree with the verdict in our own review, coming just as soon as we can bring it to you.
If you missed it, check out our in-depth interview with Peter Molyneux from last month, which included plenty of chat on both Fable II and Project X, in case you've not been paying attention to who said what to whom first.