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Molyneux Kickstarting Populous successor

Molyneux Kickstarting Populous successor

Wed 21 Nov 2012 9:05pm GMT / 4:05pm EST / 1:05pm PST
GamesDevelopment

22 Cans crowdfunding Project Godus, follow-up to seminal god game

Peter Molyneux has become the latest celebrated developer to try crowdfunding a return to his roots. Molyneux's 22 Cans studio today launched a Kickstarter page for Project Godus, a spiritual successor to Molyneux's original god game Populous.

The studio is hoping to raise £450,000 ($717,000) for development, with the game itself expected to launch within a year for PC and mobile devices. (Other platforms could be added if Project Godus exceeds its funding goal.) 22 Cans said that it has turned to its fans for funding because it "allows us to stay a small independent team with unlimited freedom in our creativity."

In the pitch video, Molyneux proposes Project Godus as a throwback to the work of his previous studio, Bullfrog.

"What I would love to do is go back to those glory days of Bullfrog, go back to when we focused ultimately on the gameplay," Molyneux said. "And with the team at 22 Cans, with your help and your direction, recreate the entire god game genre."

While Molyneux has said he has just one game left to make before he retires, Project Godus isn't it. The Kickstarter page notes that if the game is finished, "we'll have taken another huge step towards the big game which will be the culmination of 22cans' 22 experiments."

10 Comments

A general question away from my usual PM bashing - should established developers engaged on project be able to use Kickstarter - or should it be just for the unestablished project developers?

Posted:A year ago

#1

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,226 385 0.3
I'm surprised PM doesn't have £450k to self fund.
Personally I avoid Kickstarting anything that is aimed at mobile devices. No offence to mobile, but there is a reason that old school pc game crowdfunding drives are exciting a certain group who feel under-served, and with a bunch of people telling us these games are not viable through normal channels, we jump at the chance. The minute it is aimed at touch devices, it risks being diluted, and joins the status quo of everything without a collosal budget being aimed at iOS.
I also don't know that I trust PM with my money, he may still have a great game in him, but what starts as a god game, may end up as a golf sum with pigeons.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

555 606 1.1
It's a good presentation and kickstarter page though. Better than the recent Elite one.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,479 1,251 0.8
@ Kevin

I'd say it depends. Obsidian's an established developer, but how many old-school style 2D RPGs with AAA values are their being developed, outside of Project Eternity and Shadowrun Returns (also kickstartered)? But this does seem a bit... cheap, to me. Molyneux can surely raise the funding for it from a publisher, and I doubt many companies would try and meddle in it's development enough to warrant the "we want creative freedom" line they use in the written pitch.

Posted:A year ago

#4
@Morville - Thanks for those observations. As Andrew also says, you would assume that PM can dig $500,000 out of his butt, unless there is a more underlying issue towards all his shilling recently. The rumor of a less than rosy position of his investments, and his efforts to try and redefine his image makes us wonder what is the real situation... oh look how quickly this descended back into a PM complaint post!

Posted:A year ago

#5

Richard Westmoreland
Game Desginer

138 89 0.6
Of course PM could fund the project himself. But why gamble with your own or investors' money when you can gamble with your customers' before they even get the game? Also Kickstarter projects get some additional headlines. It goes against the ethos of Kickstarter, but this is what it has become - a non-guaranteed pre-order system.

Posted:A year ago

#6

James Berg
Games User Researcher

132 163 1.2
Given PM resorted to asking for donations to try to fix Curiosity, this doesn't surprise me. PM has some great ideas, no doubt, but I just can't see how people can look past his history of over-promising and under-delivering, and the constant stream of rhetoric. He's not backing his own *experiment game* with his own money, he wants customers to do it.

I've been spending more on Kickstarter than I have on 'regular' games for a while now, but a PM game seems more likely than most to be the first high-profile game that won't complete, or won't meet backer expectations.

Posted:A year ago

#7
Am a little concerned, just read this end statement on the PM interview over at Destructoid:
...Despite his sheer enthusiasm and ambition that unfortunately seem to come back and bite him when high expectations can't be met, it appears work has been taking a toll on the designer. "Iím one of those human beings whoís surprised heís still alive every time he wakes up in the morning," he explained. "I think I will be doing games until the day I die. I canít see that, at this rate, the way Iím burning through my lifeÖ I donít see that Iíll be alive much longer."
Never thought I would say this, but am a little concerned that PM may be a bit depressed that his plans have backfired on him. As you may remember I said previously I was wondering if he was the victim of the games media - finding an ego they could set up on a pedestal only to kick it away (creates headlines on the way up ad more on the way down)?

PM, time you just back out quietly and leave it to others - you have your laurels.

Posted:A year ago

#8

Farhang Namdar
Lead Game Designer

75 47 0.6
Seriously guys kickstarter is free cash. Why wouldn't you abuse a platform to get a reasonable amount of cash. And who is there to stop them. Besides most projects on kickstarter from unestablished developers are bound to fail, their budgets and estimates and plannings are too optimistic. Most of the projects look impossible but people still pay for it, so yeah why not kick that bag of gold for a couple of extra coins. And concerning established developers, why wouldn't they deserve a bit extra its already hard enough to make a qualitatively good game within a time constraint and a budget.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Paul Gheran
Scrum Master

123 27 0.2
+1 James Berg

Except where you said you've been funding projects on Kickstarter. You get a -1 for that.

Posted:A year ago

#10

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