DeNA to release Molyneux's GODUS

The successful Kickstarter-backed game's mobile versions will be distributed worldwide; Molyneux also tells us he fears consoles are "becoming a hobby"

The great game designers of the industry are heading to mobile platforms: Sid Meier has released Ace Patrol for iOS; Will Wright is aiming for mobile with his newest design; Warren Spector has discussed his interest in mobile games; and now Peter Molyneux, creator of the god game genre, has announced a deal with mobile game giant DeNA to distribute GODUS. Molyneux's studio 22 Cans successfully gathered funding for GODUS from Kickstarter late last year.

"For me, this is where gaming really should be," Molyneux told GamesIndustry International. "This is where the home of gaming should really exist. When you make a game as a designer, you always have in the back of your mind that 'People are going to love my game, and they're going to get involved in the world, and it's going to form part of their life.' It's only now that we have these devices in hundreds of millions of people's hands that we can do that."

The GODUS game is being designed for PC, Mac, iOS and Android. DeNA will distribute and market GODUS when the mobile game is released for Android, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices. The game will also utilize DeNA's Mobage mobile social games platform in Western territories, Japan and Korea.

The decision to publish through DeNA was, in part, due to Molyneux's recognition that "You could publish it yourself, but that is a distraction."

"What you're trying to do as a design team is something that will delight and engage the world. It was easy to enter into discussions with DeNA. As a global leader in developing and publishing mobile games, DeNA is the ideal partner for us to collaborate with on the launch of GODUS. Their breadth of expertise working with second and third-party game developers is invaluable as we prepare for the release of GODUS on mobile devices," he said.

"I find my Wii U crushingly disappointing"

Peter Molyneux

The god game genre is new to mobile platforms, and Molyneux feels the touch interface lends itself to the genre. Players use their fingers on the screen to mold the landscape and watch the inhabitants respond. There are other worlds and rival gods to face and to challenge, using the power to cause earthquakes, volcanoes or tornadoes, which can be unleashed upon your foes; you can also send armies of devoted followers into battle against other players.

"It's an honor to have the opportunity to work with Peter again on the launch of GODUS," said Clive Downie, CEO of DeNA West. "Our team is looking forward to working with 22 Cans on a game that we know will set a new standard for the mobile generation."

Molyneux also had time to comment on the newest consoles. "I find my Wii U crushingly disappointing," he said. Molyneux is worried about the reception for new consoles from Sony and Microsoft, fearing that they might have trouble attracting a wide audience. "I'm a huge console fan, but I fear it's becoming a hobby, like hi-fi enthusiasts," he added. He doesn't see the innovations in the next-gen consoles that will really affect game design, not to the same extent that mobile platforms have with touch screens, numerous sensors, and a massive audience that dwarfs the console market.

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Latest comments (11)

Sebastian Moss Editor -in- Chief, PlayStation LifeStyle8 years ago
I don't think we can use the WiiU to predict the reaction to the nextbox/PS4. The WiiU has simply been a catastrophic failure of design, marketing and support, rather than an indicator of any general trends in consumer spending or enjoyment.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 8 years ago
He doesn't see the innovations in the next-gen consoles that will really affect game design
Come to the PC-side. We have the Oculus Rift.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 8 years ago
Very perceptive, as ever, from Peter.
This deal is very good indeed for both parties. DeNA have a game for Western markets and 22 Cans have global distribution.
Thus far 22 Cans have got everything right and if GODUS meets expectations they could be the next Supercell.
The mobile market is changing fast, driven by 7inch tablets. The emphasis is going from bus queue games to more complex games that are played on the sofa. Peter's game development pedigree is perfect for this market, micro management works so well with the FTP business model. So 22 Cans could well be Peter's greatest success.

When it comes to consoles he is exactly right, they have lost their mainstream relevance and become a niche. Game sales for them have been declining rapidly since 2008. Whilst the market for phone/tablet games has exploded, continues to do so and will do so for some time. There are still less than 2 billion smartphones in use out of an eventual base of over 7 billion. The number of game consoles in regular use is titchy in comparison. And the last two major consoles released, the Vita and the WiiU, have been crushing failures.

Amazingly the mobile gaming market has yet to see it's first mega success. Something that is as ubiquitous as Angry Birds but with the monetisation of CSR Racing. This will come and when it does even the luddites will realise that the world has changed. 22 Cans must be one of the candidates to achieve this. Maybe with Godus, maybe with what comes after it.
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Show all comments (11)
Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 8 years ago
@Werner Nemetz

Most consoles from the current generation are no longer in use by their owners. So they are paying nothing. The Wii was a fad that distorted the market and was a bubble that burst.
Even the biggest console blockbusters are reporting lower sales with each iteration and the non blockbusters have disappeared from the market. Several large publishers and many developers have gone bust. Others will follow.
The current generation has lasted much longer than previous generations, yet the 360 and PS3 combined have still sold less units than the PS2 did on its own.

Smartphones are just coming up for 2 billion in daily use. That is far more than all the consoles ever made since the beginning of the game industry. I would be surprised if there were many more than 100 million home consoles still in weekly use, with this number declining rapidly. $60 up front for a game is no longer accepted by most of the market. I see PS3s and 360s having their prices slashed in the secondhand shops because nobody wants them.

Have you seen how successful publishers like Supercell, GungHo,, Kabam, NaturalMotion, Mojang and Backflip are? This is the new reality of gaming. It is what the customers want. And every day vastly more people play mobile games than console games. At least 100 times as many.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bruce Everiss on 21st May 2013 10:35am

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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 8 years ago
Funding it via Kickstarter allows us to stay a small independent team with unlimited freedom in our creativity. It’ll just be you, us and our unbridled dedication (no publishers).
From the KS page at
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Dave Wolfe Game Developer, Cosmic Games8 years ago
PS2 was a big success, but it was also a bubble similar to the Wii. The PS2 alone outsold the entire previous generation combined. The PS2 generation sold about 210 million units total (PS2, GameCube, Dreamcast and Xbox), and this generation has sold around 247 million units total. The PS1/Saturn/N64 genration sold around 145 million units. Even if the next generation only manages sales figures in the PS1 era (which could easily happen given the WiiU fail) it doesn't mean the console market is going away or is a failure.

Also of interest, if you take away the Wii sales from this generation, the PS3 and X360 total is about the same as the PS1/Saturn/N64 total. Considering the Wii wasn't targeted at core gamers, why wasn't anyone lamenting the death of consoles back in 2006? Could it be because there was no mobile market to blame the lost sales on?

edit - Saturn, not Dreamcast :)

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Dave Wolfe on 22nd May 2013 1:01am

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Bonnie Patterson Narrative Designer, Writer 8 years ago
Ugh, the dilemma. Buy a smartphone and learn to deal with people calling me, or do the unthinkable and not play a Peter Molyneux game.

For a Molyneux, I think I can probably endure the agony of people calling me to ask me to read them the email I just sent them. Probably.
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gi biz ;, 8 years ago
Just my thought, but with Linux being installable on many tablet devices (the 7 inches people play on the sofa mentioned by Bruce), and Canonic on their way pulling out their own tablet/mobile set... aren't tablets going to become a smaller arm-based laptop? Since hardware is more limited in choice, maybe we can tell they are going to become like open consoles? A hybrid between consoles and laptops, no? If that's the case, it's not like consoles are dead and phones are the future, it's just that tablets are a console themselves, just like Ouya and SteamBox. And you can do other than play (ie: browse the web, see the forecast), just like the Wii.
So to remain on topic: designers going "mobile" are just targeting the new console that doesn't come from a specific brand and make games for it, without going through the hassle of buying the expensive SDKs for "regular" consoles, whatever it means. Just to mention, the PS3 *is* able to run Linux, can connect to the internet, has USB. That's like a "screenless" tablet, or an overpowered raspberry pi to me.
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gi biz ;, 8 years ago
@Steve Peterson: "The GODUS game is being designed for PC, Mac, iOS and Android."
From that statement I take it by "PC" you mean "Windows", letting readers understand there will be no Linux version. From the comments on the kickstarter page, however, I get there will be one. Which one is it?
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 8 years ago
@Morville O'Driscoll

A publisher has three jobs, marketing, curating and financing. I don't think that DeNA are really doing much of these here.
It seems that 22 cans are using DeNA as the digital equivalent of a distributor. To actually get the game out to the end users.
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Mike Wuetherick Lead Designer, Super Mega Awesome Games8 years ago
DeNA does do marketing - the size of the mobage network in the west is pretty significant, however they are extremely risk-adverse, and only tolerate (or support) the extreme successes (monetization-wise). In DeNA's world, it's all about whether your title is hitting their metric benchmarks - they don't do pre-release marketing, they don't put any marketing dollars into a title whatsoever unless the title is showing the potential for becoming successful (based on their internal LTV calculations).

I am very curious how DeNA's oversight will affect the development and design of what 22 cans is doing. They trend heavily towards the slot-machine / skinner box game mechanics usually, so will be interesting to see if the pairing with a 'real' game design will be successful.
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