GDC 2010
Fable 3: Bro-hugging Peter Molyneux

Greg Tito | 13 Mar 2010 05:57
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In the panel, Molyneux mentioned that once you are king, it is your choice whether or not you live up to the promises you gave to your followers. He was really inspired by a current figure who came to power after so many wonderful promises and has not done everything that he said he would, President Barack Obama.

I asked him about that afterwards and Molyneux said that trend of not living up to expectations has plagued leaders throughout history. "Pretty much, in history, over the last two thousand years, the same thing happens over and over again. People will say anything to get to that position of power, and then when they are in that position, there have been very few leaders, rebels, revolutionaries, kings, queens, monarchs, dictators, that have actually delivered on their promises.

"Obama said, 'I'm going to close Guantanamo bay in a year.' To me, it's this simple, pick up a phone, 'Hey, President of the United States here. Close Guantanamo Bay. Thanks, bye.'" Obviously, it is not that simple, but Molyneux wants to simulate the experience of using power responsibly in Fable 3. "We want to give you a feeling for this: 'Ok, I've got all of the power now? I've made all of these promises on the way to becoming king or queen. How many of them am I going to live up to?'" he said.

That's a very interesting thing to hear from Peter Molyneux. He has made quite a few promises in his career and hyped up his games so much that one might think he was designing that mechanic for himself. I asked him point-blank about his reputation for over-selling his games.

"I am the worst PR person in the world," he told me. "If it was up to me, if I didn't have these really smart clever people behind the camera, with poison darts that they can spit out of little pen tops, I would just say 'Fable 3 has this, this and this.' You would sit there and think 'My god, he's on some horrible drug and he won't stop talking.'" But he said that the PR folks really try to keep him from blurting things out, especially sensitive subjects like casting and Project Natal. "While they get very frustrated with me, it actually is quite smart. Saying that, I don't agree with them 100% of the time."

I started to ask a follow up question and he quickly said, "Remember that they've got poison darts, and your back is turned."

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