Molyneux on Smart Glass, E3, Wii U and Apple: “I struggle as a designer to think how we’re going to use this second screen.”


Talking last night at BAFTA’s, Peter Molyneux commented on Microsoft’s Smart Glass and the Wii U, on the state of E3 and AAA gaming, and on why he likes Game of Thrones so much (hint; it isn’t Peter Dinklage as Tyrion.)

On Smart Glass & multiple screens

“It is a purely a window into a web service that they can read and write to. That’s what it is. It’s not something special to the iPad. It could be any browser. True of any browser, but doubly true of Smart Glass, is that it needs applications that really delightfully support it. And that’s where I was disappointed in the Wii U.”

On Game of Thrones

“I could see in the Microsoft announcement that there was Game of Thrones and you could look down at your iPad and see the Game of Thrones map, that’s great because I haven’t got a clue what’s going on in Game of Thrones most of the time. Not that it matters, because there’s plenty of nakedness to keep me entertained. But I struggle as a designer to think how we’re going to use this second screen. On ZombieU on the the Wii U, it had to tell me to look down at my second screen. Why?”

On input overload

“I do wonder, with any of this new hardware, whether it be Kinect or motion control or whatever, it needs software to really make it sing. I love the idea. As a person who loves gadgets, I’m there. I’d like to control my Xbox or TV with my iPad. But (Molyneux waves several devices around at once) where’s this stuff going to live, while I’m holding my controller and looking at the screen and looking down here?”

On Microsoft’s announcement

“It’s an important announcement because it is a recognition by Microsoft that Apple is here and that Apple is taking gaming seriously. The Apple conference yesterday showed that they’re taking multiplayer and connected gaming super-seriously because, guess what, we have been very lazy in our industry. We made great strides early on, connecting and we kind of stopped there. It takes smart people like Apple to come along and say ‘we can connect people easier, more delightfully, in more accessible games and they’re doing it.’ It gives them this power.”

On E3

Molyneux also expressed his feelings about E3 in general, and the size of the AAA game market; “The publishers are ‘if you’re in this band of metacritic score, it’s worth investing in you; if you’re not, it’s not.’ I think that’s going to squeeze the number of titles that come out. At E3, there used to be over a thousand; this year, there were maybe 500 titles. I wouldn’t be surprised if that shrank down to sub-100 titles.”

On a positive note

“It would be fantastic to have a single gaming experience that the whole world could engage in. Yesterday, I heard that there are 675,000 titles on the app store. What the hell is going on there? There’s probably only twenty apps that are played! It should be one game. And that’s what we’re trying to do at 22 Cans…”