Peter Molyneux

Peter Molyneux

Infobox Person
name = Peter Douglas Molyneux

caption = Peter at the University of Southampton
birth_date = birth date and age|1959|5|5|mf=y
birth_place = Guildford, Surrey, UK
death_date =
death_place =
occupation = Video game designer
spouse =

Peter Douglas Molyneux OBE (born 5 May 1959 in Guildford, Surrey, UK) is a computer game designer and game programmer, responsible for well known God games "Dungeon Keeper", "Populous", and "Black & White", among others, as well as business simulation games such as "Theme Park" and most recently "The Movies". In August 1997, Molyneux left Bullfrog Productions to establish a new development team, Lionhead Studios. Molyneux was inducted into the AIAS Hall of Fame in 2004 and was honoured with an OBE in the New Year's Honours list announced on 31 December, 2004. He was awarded the title of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in March 2007.

Lauded as one of the world's most brilliant and inventive game developers, Molyneux has nevertheless acquired a reputation for issuing over-enthusiastic descriptions of games under development, which are found to be somewhat less ambitious when released. The most well-known case of this was with the game "Fable", released in 2004 without many of the features talked about by Molyneux in press interviews during development. After the release, Molyneux publicly apologized for overhyping the game.Fact|date=October 2008 His role has also changed from designer and developer to more of a publicist and executive producer role. Though credited in part for lending his name to several recent projects, Molyneux is in fact not the principal designer of "Fable", "The Movies", or "Black & White 2".

On 6 April 2006, Lionhead Studios was bought by Microsoft and now forms part of the Microsoft Game Studios. At E3 2006, Peter Molyneux gave several interviews in the press, in one of which he stated that "I think you're going to see a lot more fantastic games from Lionhead because of that relationship [with Microsoft] ." [ [ Kikizo interview] ]

In July 2007, he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Southampton.

Before Bullfrog

Peter Molyneux began his career in 1982 by distributing and selling floppy discs which contained video games for Atari and the Commodore 64. The company was called Taurus and was founded by Molyneux and Les Edgar in 1982. The company name would prove fortuitous when Commodore, confusing them with a larger company named TORUS, provided them with Ten Amiga computers.

Circa 1984, Molyneux began to focus exclusively on game development. His first attempt was a game called "The Entrepreneur", a text-based business simulation game, which was a commercial failure.

It wasn't until 1987 that he decided to re-approach the video game industry with the foundation of the company Bullfrog.

In this period, Molyneux worked with David Hanlon, Simon Hunter (game sound developers), and Andrew E. Bailey (game programming) on games like "Druid" and "Dragons Breath".



*The Entrepreneur (1984) (Designer/Programmer)
*Druid 2

Bullfrog Productions

* Fusion (1987) (Designer/Programmer)
* Populous (1989) (Designer/Programmer)
* Powermonger (1990) (Designer/Programmer)
* (1991) (Designer/Programmer)
* Syndicate (1993) (Producer)
* Theme Park (1994) (Project Leader/Lead Programmer)
* Magic Carpet (1994) (Executive Producer)
* Hi-Octane (1995) (Executive Producer)
* Genewars (1996)
* Dungeon Keeper (1997) (Project Leader/Designer)

Lionhead Studios

* Black & White (2001) (Concept/Lead Designer/Programmer)
* Fable (2004) (Designer)
* (2005) (Designer)
* The Movies (2005) (Executive Designer)
* Black & White 2 (2005) (Lead Designer)
* (2006) (Executive Designer)
* (2006) (Lead Designer)
* Fable 2 (2008) (Lead Designer)

Media fame

As one of the industry's leading and best-known figures, Molyneux has appeared on many television shows and video gaming news discussion or documentaries. He has been repeatedly interviewed for shows that include: Gamesmaster, Game Over, Games Wars, Gamezville, Bad Influence!, Gamepad, CHEATS,, Rapture, Games World, Blue Chip, LanJam, Ultimate Gamer, and GameStars. These however are just the UK productions, and there are a huge host of international broadcast media outlets that have also interviewed him since "Populous" first debuted. In the Scottish web series Consolevania, he is often portrayed as a dull, uninteresting character.

Molyneux had an entire episode of G4's games retrospective series "Icons" devoted to him, during its third season. More recently, a comprehensive two part interview was filmed of him during the 2006 Brighton Games Developer Conference by leading UK website Eurogamer. [ [ Eurogamer's interview] ] He was also featured in the fourth episode of the Discovery Channel mini-series "Rise of the Video Game" alongside Will Wright and Sid Meier, fellow developers of simulation titles.

He gives keynote addresses and speaks extensively at worldwide conferences, including Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany, Games Convention Asia in Singapore, Develop in Brighton, England, and the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California.


External links

* [ "Peter Molyneux" on Bad Influence! - Early Magic carpet footage]
* [ MobyGames' rap sheet on Molyneux]
* [,1284,39359,00.html "The Worlds of Peter Molyneux" from]
* [ Keeper Klan's article about Peter Molyneux]
* [ "Peter Molyneux's Fable" - Interview with game designer Peter Molyneux about his Xbox game "Fable" from]
* [ MP3 audio interview with Peter Molyneux] from public radio show / podcast The Sound of Young America
* [ BBC News UK - Call of honour for UK games maker]
* [ Joystiq interviews Peter Molyneux of Lionhead Studios]
* [ NextGen Interview: How to Make Great Games]
* [ A CVG interview excerpt about the other project]
* [ photo: god talking to Peter Molyneux]
* [ BBC Blast interview with Peter Molyneux]

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