"We're going to see a lot of price pressure put on games," says Molyneux
Lionhead Studio's boss comments on the past 12 months and speculates about the future
Lionhead studios boss, Peter Molyneux, has detailed his view on the games industry over the past year and speculated over what would happen over the coming 12 months.
Speaking to the BBC, the designer behind Fable II commented on the performance of the latest generation of consoles, the success of Grand Theft Auto IV, and the lacklustre sales of LittleBigPlanet.
"2008 was the year that the Nintendo Wii got even better, more than anyone really thought possible when it first launched. The 360 did well, although it was put into the shade somewhat by the Wii. PlayStation 3 has been disappointing to say the least," Molyneux explained.
"On the gaming front, GTA IV was a real moment for the industry. Rockstar nailed how you characterise a game and their engine and cut sequences are state of the art. However, only a few people actually saw all the cut sequences because the game was so tough to play. Are we making games too difficult? That's a question the industry has been asking itself of late."
"We - as developers - are finally comfortable with the next-gen consoles and we saw a slew of sequels this year. Gears of War 2, Fallout 3, Fable II, the seventh Tomb Raider."
"One of my personal favourites was Little Big Planet; superb artistry and a fantastic marketing job by Sony - yet it didn't make the numbers. I wonder if Christmas is really the right time to release a new title. We've got into a rhythm [of sequels at Christmas] which is all fair and well while people are buying games but we have to make sure we don't get complacent."
Molyneux added that the games industry shouldn't underestimate the effect that the economic downturn will have on sales.
"Next year, well, it's all looking a bit dry," he said. "All the triple A titles came out this Christmas and while there is stuff in 2010 we can look forward to, off the top of my head I cannot think of anything next year that really excites me."
"Everyone says games are good value for home entertainment, despite the relatively high price. I'm not so sure. I think we're going to see a lot of price pressure put on games."
He concluded: "And as for Lionhead: now we've got Fable II out of the door we can focus on our other project - it's super secret for now - but we might announce it next year."