Illustration for article titled Molyneux Frets Over Dangers of Casual Gaming

"I don't like this divide we are building," Peter Molyneux tells me. "More and more we are saying these ones here are core games and these one here are casual games. Actually I think that is an incredibly divisive thing and if we're not careful the amount of attention we put into these core games will get less and less because they are so expensive to make. Less and less people will be able to afford to make them." This comes minutes after Molyneux explains to me why he asked reviewers to get casual gamers to check out Fable II before writing their review. I point that out to Molyneux and then say that I agree with him about the dangers of separating the "core" games from the "casual." It's the Wii effect, I say. I don't say this to attack the Wii, but it was from Nintendo that I first started receiving requests to have "casual" gamers check out their games and not hardcore gamers. It was Nintendo that, I think, was first to argue that hardcore gamers didn't "get" their Wii games. Molyneux seems to agree."I wandered around the show floor yesterday and I kind of realized it was like walking back in time a little bit," he said. "I'm sure I saw that ten years ago, that approach to little groups of people, not worrying so much about the animation, but worrying about the mechanics. "It's a big shock. It's a big worry for me as a designer. I think this industry needs to move forward and make these opuses for a much broader audience not just the casual audience." Instead Molyneux sees traditionally hardcore games adding things to appease to the casual gamer, something he doesn't think Fable II is doing, exactly. "Here was the design problem," he said. "You sit down with Fable and there are an awful lot of influences you have. Your publisher is saying one thing, your audience is saying one thing, your team is saying one thing and all of those sort of come together in the mixing pot. "The thing we realized, we could build that combat function and say that foundation we laid down in Fable one was right or we could ask ourselves what we could do with combat. What we chose to do is to make it much deeper and while making it much deeper, make it much simpler as well." Instead of making Fable II more casual, Molyneux hopes the Lionhead game expands the genre in a way that doesn't hurt it. "I think the pigeon hole of RPG is not doing Fable any favors," he said. "We have to persuade people it's not an RPG, this is an experience. Ultimately i think we are hoping to broaden (the genre). I think the way i happens is to get people playing the game. "The whole of the coop mechanic is actually because we want to get more people to play the game. My theory is you or I are playing Fable and our partners or friends walk in and we have to turn the game off. Wouldn't it be brilliant to just give them the controller and say give it a try. And that's I think is probably going to do more for than casual audience than anything else."

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