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Molyneux Frets Over Dangers of Casual Gaming

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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DISCUSSION

Problem here is that the argument that took strenght in the early N64-PS1 days because of the community and the corporations grew so damn big.

Back in the day it was the graphics and mature gameplay, Sony and third party developers started this, not to say Nintendo is the white knight because it isn't but really this was not started by them.

Then the community and newcommers eat that idea up like it was the best candy in the world, only it was not. Then behold, years went by with passionate fanboy flame wars, the internet took strenght and the monster grew bigger.

The days of the 64 and PS1 went by and the days of the GC and PS2 came, the monster still feeding from ignorant consumers and people with a need to be part of something. Kiddy they said to Nintendo, while the PS2 was the mature, hardcore (while the term was still new if you want).

I won't count the Xbox because of a number of reasons, first because it was introduced quite late in that generation, second, they really didn't knew well of that kiddy, mature thing, they were new in the console business but for better or worse they learned too quickly.

And stil the monster was weak, then this generation came and it all went downhill. Sony and Microsoft started a pissing contest so big we are now swimming in a ocean of piss. They started this whole casual and hardcore bullshit, they made it what it is now, their armies of fanboys battling each other like no tomorrow.

Nintendo didn't create these terms, nor this generes (if you can call them like that), it was the merchandizing teams of Sony and Microsoft, which are followed by the teams of third party developers, which are followed by the fanboys (which sadly are not only from Sony or MS, but from Nintendo too).

These console wars are bullshit, but its more bullshit that the communities and the gamming press are allowing this to continue. We must stop, we are not getting paid for this (at least not the community, the gaming press for the most part is), we must enjoy these games, wether it is Wii music, Halo, Shadow of the Colossus, whatever, and if we don't like them then its alright, but we must stop attacking each other because of what some idiots who job is to sell products told us to be the truth.

We must stop being so damn elitist, and more open minded.