Peter Molyneux is a man whom inspires extreme opinions; there are people who love his genius, just as there are people who do not enjoy his over-enthusiastic approach to talking about his games. Whichever side you may fall on, I would think you a fool if you were to protest his importance in the gaming industry.
Having started up his brand new independent studio, which I was fortunate enough to visit for a week, he has set his sights upon a new goal, experimentation. Indeed, his announced plan of 22 experiments scattered throughout a number of games released in the next few years is one that cannot fail to intrigue even the most hardened anti-Molyneux’s. Starting with ‘Curiosity’, or ‘The Cube’, the alleged ‘life-changing’ entity which exists inside is a bold way to start this new venture, and a clever one.
Peter Molyneux OBE has admitted to wanting, and even needing, millions of players throughout the life-time of these experiments, and so to claim this pseudo prize to be ‘life-changing’ is possibly a fantastic way of spurring a decent percentage of his targeted audience into giving it a try. Of course, Peter is a clever enough guy to know that he cannot simply state that this unknown thing is so fantastic, and then lose everybody’s interest when it is revealed to be nothing but an apple and an orange. This is the first valid reason to remain interested, a shallow, but albeit consuming lust to know what is so awe-inspiring.
Whilst up until now I may not have talked about anything that has not been discussed on various games journalism websites, or gaming forums, I would like to touch upon a matter which I feel has been all but forgotten. Here, we are faced with a game that is being sold to us with the promise that it will eventually be redundant. It may be in a few months of release, possibly a few weeks, and maybe even just a few days. Regardless, I cannot recall a time when somebody has been so open as to announce the fact that there is a global end to their game, at which point there is no returning to it. Most online games aren’t going to last forever, but it’s hardly a promoted characteristic.
Who knows what 22 Cans has in store for us? They could be planning on allowing the experience to transcend and surpass the life of the Cube, and from what very little I have gleamed from Peter Molyneux, I honestly think there are far greater plans for all of this. In fact, after recently reading the fantastic Edge article about 22 Cans in this month’s (July’s) issue, he certainly seems to be hinting at a convergence of all the experiments into a big final game. Another bullet point added to the ‘Why Should I Care?’ list.
If I were to talk personally about how I instinctively feel when focussing on the cube, and its pre-determined death, I’m not filled with annoyance, nor disappointment, but respect. I have a deep respect for Peter Molyneux, a man willing to do something completely different. This is a man who has said ‘Fuck off’ to all of the usual rubbish that is inherent when developing a Triple AAA FPS with an inevitably stunted multi-player and maybe some shoe-horned co-op to boot. Here, we are seeing something rare; something new. Now this is the third, final, and undeniably best reason to keep your attention locked to 22 Cans. This could be just what everybody didn’t know they needed.